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Three egg heads will share the Nobel Prize in Medicine

Monday, 03 October 2011
Bruce Beutler, Jules Hoffmann and Ralph Steinman have been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for medicine.
One half of the prize is shared between Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann. The other half goes to Ralph Steinman.

Beutler, and Hoffman are rewarded the prize for their discoveries relating to the activation of innate immunity. Steinman was rewarded for his discovery of dendritic cells and its role in acquired immunity.

A Bruce Beutler was born in 1957 in Chicago, USA. Since 2000 he is professor of genetics and immunology at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, USA.

Jules A Hoffmann was born in 1941 in Echternach, Luxembourg and studied biology at the University of Strasbourg. Between 1974 and 2009 he led a research laboratory in Strasbourg.

Ralph M. Steinman was born in 1943 in Montreal, Canada. Since 1988 he is professor of immunology at Rockefeller University in New York, USA
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This year's prize is awarded for discoveries concerning the basic principles of how our immune system is activated. This is according to the Nobel Committee revolutionized immunology.

Beutler and Hoffmann discovered receptors, receivers of the body's cells, which can react to the dangerous and disease-causing microorganisms and activate the innate immune system which is the first line of defence in the immune system.

Ralph Steinman discovered the immune system's dendritic cells and their unique ability to both activate and regulate the acquired immune response which constitutes a second line of defense, and that can kill microorganisms in the body.

Ralph Steinman discovered dendritic in 1973,  the finding was questioned at first, but Steinman could clarify that dendritic cells have an exceptional ability to start new immune reactions

Jules Hoffmann and Bruce Beutler made their discoveries 1996. Hoffman studied the immune systems of fruit flies and found that a specific receptor that is encoded by a particular gene, known as the Toll gene, was involved in the sensing of microorganisms that entered the body. While Beutler found that mammals have a system that is very similar to fruit flies.

The Nobel Prize was instituted in 1895 by dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel. The first prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology / Medicine, Literature and Peace, was awarded in 1901. Since then, also an economics prize from the Riksbank (Swedish central bank) came in 1968, although this is strictly speaking not a genuine Nobel prize.

Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and money. This year's prize money is Skr 10 million.
By scancomark.se Team


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