2015 nobel in medicine: parasites

October 5, 2015 at 4:28 pm | | nobel

I love this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine. Curious Wavefunction has a great writeup on it. I love that it was awarded for efforts to help prevent painful and fatal diseases the inflict millions around the world, especially in poorer countries. I also love that it recognizes how Artemisinin was derived from traditional medicine, but then isolated and tested for effectiveness and safety. There needs to be more of that. Traditional medicines may certainly be effective, probably because they contain some active drug that influences the body. But I don’t want to take unknown doses of unknown chemicals please.

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  1. I am really glad that the nobel committee has selected awards based on specific discoveries, rather than a body of work over many years. Each of the three scientists for the physiology/medicine award made an important and distinct discovery related to causes and treatment of parasitic diseases- (i) culturing the parasites from soil, (ii) finding a, ‘herbal’ compound that targeted the parasite, and (iii) chemically modifying that compound to make it more effective.

    The same could be said for the chemistry prize this year. However, with the exception of Paul Modrich I am not sure that the committee selected the scientists who made the biggest discoveries on the DNA damage response. It’s particularly unfortunate for Steve Elledge who discovered p21 and many other important genes. I doubt that there will be two nobels for DNA damage. Not as egregious as leaving Gallo out for HIV, but close.

    Comment by joe — October 7, 2015 #

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