Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Happy Nobel Prize Week!

This week is one of my favorites - the Day the Nobel Prize Winners are announced! Let's see who some of the Lucky Winners are!

Nobel Prize in Physics
- 1 American scientist and 2 Japanese scientists are sharing this prize.

The American Yoichiro Nambu has won for his work on "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics."

NPR news did a better write up of the Japanese scientists' story so I will let them explain. "Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan shared the other half of the prize for discovering the origin of the broken symmetry that predicted the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature."

In case you didn't know, quarks are subatomic particles. Very small stuff...Don't ask me any more questions because I am likely to make something up not know.

Nobel Prize in Medicine -A German scientist (from Heidelberg! Go CN!) and 2 French scientists are sharing the prize this year.

Harald zur Hauser discovered the Human Papillomia Virus (or HPV) which was found to cause cervical cancer in women. This discovery led to the current vaccination against HPV (at least available now in America) and one of the first vaccinations against cancer. If you have young daughters, please look at getting them vaccinated!

The 2 French Scientists, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi (go women scientists!) and Luc Montagnier discovered the HIV virus in 1983.

The prize in medicine this year is not without controversy. An American scientist, Dr. Robert Gallo, was also instrumental in HIV work but not recognized. Although he was not the first to isolate the HIV virus, his work helped to show the link between HIV and AIDS and also furthered technology to isolate the virus. In fact, there was rift between the French and American government where they agreed to share credit and patent rights between them.

There are a lot of rifts between scientists. However, they rarely involve the Presidents of 2 major countries ending the dispute by signing an agreement!!! (just another reason to call them Freedom Fries!)

This is better than a soap opera!

So, sit down with your kids and/or friends and have a Nobel Prize party this weekend after they have all been announced! What are your predictions for Literature, Chemistry, Economics and Peace? Will Bono finally win a Peace Prize? This is WAYYYY better than an Oscar party! :)

Stay Tuned....


J said...

I'm also a big fan of the Nobel prizes, but mostly the Peace and Literature ones. I try to watch the ceremony every year.

C N Heidelberg said...

hehe, I get two wins to cheer about so far this year, since my alma mater and my current town got prizes so far!

Yelli said...

@ J - You gotta love the science!

@ CN - 2 wins? No far! I got nothin...