Nobel Prize 2018

  • Category
    Miscellaneous
  • Published
    10th Oct, 2018

Context

  • The prestigious Nobel Prize winners of year 2018 in the category of Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Peace and Economics were declared recently.
  • The Nobel Prize is a set of six annual international awards bestowed in several categories by Swedish and Norwegian institutions in recognition of academic, cultural, or scientific advances.

About

Physiology or Medicine

  • The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine. It is one of five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, in his will.
  • The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly conferred to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation.
  • The duo successfully established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy by stimulating the ability of immune system to attack tumour cells. It is called “Immune checkpoint therapy”. They showed how different strategies for slowing down the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer. Their discoveries are landmark in fight against cancer.



    Chemistry

  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has selected US scientists Frances Arnold and George Smith and British researcher Gregory Winter for the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
  • They were selected for harnessing power of evolution to develop enzymes and antibodies that have led to new pharmaceuticals and biofuels. Frances Arnold shared the half price and George Smith and Gregory Winter share other half of the prize.
  • Frances Arnold is the fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel in the prize’s 117-year history. She has been awarded for conducting the first directed evolution of enzymes, leading to more environmentally friendly manufacturing of chemicals, including drugs, and in production of renewable fuels.
  • George Smith and Gregory Winter: Smith had developed new way to evolve proteins while Winter had used method for evolving antibodies with aim of producing new drugs. These antibodies can neutralize toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and cure metastatic cancer.



    Physics

  • Three scientists Arthur Ashkin (USA), Gerard Mourou (France) and Donna Strickland (Canada) have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. They were selected for ground breaking inventions in the field of laser physics.
  • Arthur Ashkin: He received prize for optical tweezers and their application to biological systems. His optical tweezers are able to grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers, allowing use of radiation pressure of light to move physical objects.
  • Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland: They were jointly awarded for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses. They have created ultra-short high-intensity laser pulses without destroying amplifying material, thus paving way towards shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind. Their innovative technique is known as ‘chirped pulse amplification’ (CPA), has now become standard for high-intensity lasers, including ultra-sharp beams used in corrective eye surgeries.
  • With this, Strickland (59) became third woman to have received Nobel Prize in Physics, after Marie Curie in 1903 and Maria Goeppert Mayer in 1963.



    Peace

  • Norwegian Nobel Committee has selected Dr. Denis Mukwege (63), Nadia Murad (25) to jointly award 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. They were given award for their efforts to end use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.
  • Denis Mukwege, Congolese gynecological surgeon, has been awarded prize for defending victims of wartime sexual violence. He has been involved in helping victims of sexual violence in African nation of Democratic Republic of Congo. Mukwege along with his staff have treated thousands of war-time sexual assault victims.
  • Nadia Murad was one of the thousand Yazidi women who were abucted, abused and raped by IS (Islamic State) and kept in captivity. Following her escape from IS, Nadia Murad spoke about assault faced by her. She was one of rape victim who came out in public about abuse she and other women underwent. She has shown uncommon courage in recounting her own sufferings and speaking up on behalf of other victims.

    Economics

  • The 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science was awarded to the American economists William D. Nordhaus and Paul M. Romer for reshaping the understanding of the long-term determinants of economic growth, innovation and climate.
  • While William D Nordhaus was cited for his work on the implications of environmental factors, including climate change, Paul Romer was cited for his work on the importance of technological change and on endogenous growth theory. They both will share a $1-million cash prize.



    Literature

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed for this year.
  • The institution that chooses the laureate is embroiled in a scandal involving allegations of sexual misconduct, financial malpractice and repeated leaks — a crisis that led to the departure of several board members and required the intervention of the Swedish king.
  • According to reports, two laureates might be named next year.


  •                                                                                             About Nobel Prize

     • The will of the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895.
     • The prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine were first awarded in 1901.
     • In 1968, Sweden's central bank Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, which, although not being a Nobel Prize, has become commonly known as the Nobel Prize in Economics.
     • The Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award available in the fields of literature, medicine, physics, chemistry, economics and activism for peace.
     • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awards the Nobel Prize in Physics, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.
     • The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; the Swedish Academy grants the Nobel Prize in Literature; and the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
     • The prize is not awarded posthumously; however, if a person is awarded a prize and dies before receiving it, the prize may still be presented.

     

    Literature

  • The Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed for this year.
  • The institution that chooses the laureate is embroiled in a scandal involving allegations of sexual misconduct, financial malpractice and repeated leaks — a crisis that led to the departure of several board members and required the intervention of the Swedish king.
  • According to reports, two laureates might be named next year.
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