Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Biotech

2015 Nobel Prize In Chemistry Awarded To 3 For DNA Repair 20

An anonymous reader writes: Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar have earned the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discoveries about how DNA is repaired at the cellular level (PDF), and how genetic information is protected. "Each day our DNA is damaged by UV radiation, free radicals and other carcinogenic substances, but even without such external attacks, a DNA molecule is inherently unstable. Thousands of spontaneous changes to a cell's genome occur on a daily basis. Furthermore, defects can also arise when DNA is copied during cell division, a process that occurs several million times every day in the human body."

Tomas Lindahl first published work in this field back in 1974, when he found a bacterial enzyme that culled damaged remains of cytosines from DNA. He methodically worked out how base excision repair works, and even managed to recreate the process in vitro in 1996. Aziz Sancar's contribution has to do with how DNA repairs damage from ultraviolet light. After struggling to find a lab interested in his work, he went on to show how a group of enzymes identify and excise UV damage. Paul Modrich's focus was on how natural processes corrected base pair mismatches in DNA. He spent a decade laboriously mapping out how each enzyme interacted with this process — an important thing to know, since defects in the repair system can cause cells to turn cancerous.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

2015 Nobel Prize In Chemistry Awarded To 3 For DNA Repair

Comments Filter:
  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @08:46AM (#50678325) Journal
    At 77 (Lindahl), 69, and 69 years of age respectively, it has the feel of a lifetime achievement award rather than an innovative breakthrough.

    I suppose the system is gamed to reward heads of departments and study groups for the contributions of the many.

    • Cautious committees (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Wednesday October 07, 2015 @09:04AM (#50678387)

      At 77 (Lindahl), 69, and 69 years of age respectively, it has the feel of a lifetime achievement award rather than an innovative breakthrough.

      Nobel prizes routinely ARE a form of lifetime achievement award. It's very common for them to be awarded 20-30+ years after the discovery was actually made. Part of this is conservatism on the part of the Nobel committee. They don't want to hand out an award for something that later turns out to be wrong or not so important after all. That has happened a few times. The breakthroughs ARE innovative at the time they are discovered even if the award comes many years later. The Peace prize tends to be the only exception to this and it has awarded the prize several times to individuals whose achievements were of questionable, insufficient or later dubious merit.

      And multiple winners is nothing unusual or bad. There often are more that one deserving recipients in a year so why not award two or three if their discoveries merit recognition? Occasionally the prize is awarded to groups rather than individuals but this serves little purpose since only individuals can really benefit.

      • Nobel prizes routinely ARE a form of lifetime achievement award. It's very common for them to be awarded 20-30+

        Hmm....so, again, exactly why did Obama get a Nobel award? What were those achievements over a lifetime again?

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          What about " The Peace prize tends to be the only exception to this" didn't you understand?
        • I believe that was covered by previous poster's comment of "They don't want to hand out an award for something that later turns out to be wrong or not so important after all." Don't worry, I'm sure he'll return it to the Committee...
      • And multiple winners is nothing unusual or bad. There often are more that one deserving recipients in a year so why not award two or three if their discoveries merit recognition? Occasionally the prize is awarded to groups rather than individuals but this serves little purpose since only individuals can really benefit.

        That's actually built into the prize. The rule is that only a maximum of three persons and two works per prize may be considered. The exception is the peace prize, which may be awarded to institutions. It also doesn't have to be awarded, the money can instead be split between the other prizes.

    • Mod parent insightful. That is actually how academia seems to work, yes ( and is one of the major reasons I always kept clear from it ).
    • Anyone remember how this clown reacted?
      https://johnosullivan.wordpres... [wordpress.com]

What sin has not been committed in the name of efficiency?

Working...