Written by Andrew Octavian
You must have heard or come across some news about Nobel Prize laureates, but what are these that make them so special? Nobel Prize is the most prestigious award one can get in the fields of research in different disciplines, namely Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics, and Peace. So who made the cuts for this year’s most pepped up award in 4 out of 6 of the given categories?
Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald made a huge contribution to the world of physics as they presented that neutrinos – something that had been baffling physicists for decades – change identities. Neutrinos are similar to electrons, just that in this case, neutrinos do not carry any charge. The discovery led to the far-reaching conclusion that neutrinos, which for a long time were considered mass-less, must have some mass, however small. Due to the fact that these subatomic particles have mass, they can then metamorphose. For particle physics this was, indeed, a historic discovery.
Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar share the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this year for having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard our genetic information. These three pioneering scientists have successfully observed and unravelled to the whole world – to the most extensive level – how our basic DNA repair mechanisms work. Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awardedto three individuals with stunning contributions to the world of medicine. William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura was awarded half of the Prize for their discovery of a new drug, Avermectin, which radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, while the other half was awarded to Youyou Tu for her discovery of Artemisinin, a very potent Malarial drug. These two discoveries have provided humankind with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases and the consequences in terms of improved human health are immeasurable.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded this year’s Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for their significance contribution on bringing stability and fundamental rights to all the Tunisian population irrespective of gender, political views, or religious belief after the wake of the Jasmine Revolution in 2011. It established an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war. This year’s prize will contribute towards safeguarding democracy in Tunisia and be an inspiration to all those who seek to promote peace and democracy in the Middle East, North Africa and the rest of the world.