Less than two weeks from now, the world's most important annual scientific celebration will begin, the announcement of the Nobel Prizes.
It usually begins on the first Monday of October each year, which falls on October 3 this year, when the Physiology and Medicine Prize is awarded, followed by the Physics Prize on October 4, and then the Chemistry Prize on October 5 And then come the prizes for literature, peace and economics.
Usually the days of announcing the Nobel Prizes are a great opportunity to follow the scientific celebrations accompanying them. On social media, these days are the season that science and knowledge lovers await to argue about the new ideas and technologies that won the prize.
In this context, the famous Thomson Reuters Foundation has had an interesting and important custom every year, which is to publish, in late September, its list of predictions for the Nobel Prize, which became years ago under the name of "Clarivit Analytics".
In order to enter this list, your research must be the most cited among researchers in your research field, not only that, but the candidates must be the first in their discoveries so that these research represent an innovative window into new and original research fields, not to mention the existence of a history of famous high scientific awards. The foundation has already succeeded in predicting more than a dozen Nobel Prizes in previous years.
Medicine and Physiology Prize
And because we, in the scientific section of the Meydan website, have been doing sober and lengthy coverage of the Nobel Prize for the Arab reader, we will start, as usual, with its expectations, and Clarivate says about the Medicine Prize that it may not come out of three nominations, the first for Masato Hasegawa, President The Department of Brain and Neurosciences at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Sciences and Virginia Man-Yee Lee, a professor of Alzheimer's Disease Research at the University of Pennsylvania, reported their discovery of a protein called TDP-43 as a marker Pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobe degeneration (FTLD), with their other contributions to the study of neurodegenerative diseases in general.
We don't yet find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or frontotemporal lobe degeneration, but we now know that this protein, which is naturally found in our cells, sometimes things get out of hand and fold abnormally, and then a group of those proteins assemble Forming clumps of toxins that hit cells.
By discovering this sign, we are now on the way - perhaps a long time - to discover treatments for this type of disease in general, in which the nerve cells of the injured person slowly collapse, until he loses his life at some point!
As for the second nomination, the Foundation expects Mary-Claire King, a professor of medicine and genomics at the University of Washington, to show the role played by genetic susceptibility to breast and ovarian cancers, especially the role played by mutations in a specific gene called “BRC” A1" (BRCA1).
About 15-20% of breast and ovarian cancer cases come from causes inherited from the parents. The BRCA genes are one of the most important genes that are associated with this process. In fact, a woman who carries specific mutations of these genes has a 1% chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer. 40 and 70%, respectively, now - thanks to the findings of King and others - we have a better chance of doing tests to predict that a woman will have these types of cancer, and thus start working on her treatment early, giving us a close to 100% chance of curing her with early detection.
In the third nomination, the Foundation places Stuart H. Orkin, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, for his achievements in foundational research on the genetic basis of blood diseases and the promotion of gene therapy for sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia.
Orkin's accomplishments in this area are numerous, beginning in the 1970s when he was able to identify genetic mutations associated with a group of blood disorders known collectively as thalassemia.
This discovery led to the construction of the first comprehensive description of molecular defects in a genetic disorder. Then, in the 1980s, he and his team cloned a gene that causes chronic granulomatosis, also the first time that a disease-causing gene had been cloned without researchers knowing its protein.
Aruken's research is opening the door, day after day, to a scope that uses our knowledge of genetics to develop new treatments, a so-called gene therapy.
In physics, the Clarivate Foundation puts Stephen R. Quake, Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics from Stanford University in the US for his achievements in the physics of fluid phenomena at the nanoliter scale, in the first nomination.
Kwik has invented many measurement tools for biology, including new DNA sequencing technologies that have enabled rapid analysis of the human genome, and "microfluidic automation" models that allow scientists to efficiently isolate individual cells and decipher their genetic code.
Stephen Quick (networking sites)
Kwik is the archetype of a true inventor. The man is also known for inventing new diagnostic tools, including the first non-invasive prenatal test for Down syndrome and other aneuploidy conditions. Millions of women each year now benefit from this system.
Overall, Kwik's innovations have radically accelerated biology and made medicine safer by replacing potentially harmful biopsies with simple blood tests.
Quick is also known as the former academic advisor to Hee Xiankui, the controversial scientist who was allegedly involved in producing the first genetically modified babies.
On the other hand, the Foundation nominates Takashi Taniguchi, Director of the International Center for Architecture of Nanomaterials at the National Institute of Materials Science (NIMS) in Tsukuba, Japan, and Kenji Watanabe, Senior Researcher in the field of electrical and electronic materials at the Institute. The same, for their achievement in the fabrication of high-quality hexagonal boron nitride crystals, which revolutionized the range of electronic behavior of 2D materials.
Hexagonal boron nitride crystals (networking sites)
Because of its similar structure to graphene, hexagonal boron nitride is sometimes called white graphene, but it is very different from graphene, and this is the source of its importance!
This compound has one of the highest thermal conductivity coefficients between semiconductors and electrical insulators, and its thermal conductivity increases with the decrease in thickness and purity of samples, in addition to that, it possesses a high degree of thermal stability and is not easily exposed to oxidation, which has created a position that is rising day by day in the electronics and photonics industry. nanoparticles, and Tanjiuchi and Watanabe played a major role in this.
In chemistry, the foundation nominates Zhenan Bao, a professor of chemical engineering from Stanford University, for her development of biomimetic applications using electronic, organic and polymeric materials, including a flexible “electronic skin.” Zhenan simply aspires to develop a skin Similar to human skin, but made up of electronic chips only!
Bao is working in a field that you may not hear much about: wearable electronics, and more specifically, it is developing plastics that are able to perform electrical functions and remain flexible at the same time, as well as be able to degrade and heal.
Once upon a time that was pure fantasy, but we are now - with Bao and her team research - on a very clear path towards this goal, just imagine the following: a smartphone, a phone battery, a circuit on a computer board, transistors distributed on a processor, but it's all rubber And as thin as a plastic bag you put your things in the market!
All of this is already available now, with a scientist who has issued more than 700 refereed publications and obtained more than 100 US patents.
In the second nomination for Chemistry, the Foundation lists duo Bonnie L. Bassler, Professor of Molecular Biology from Princeton University, and E. Peter Greenberg, Professor of Microbiology from the University of Washington for their achievements in regulating gene expression in bacteria from Through a chemical alert-response system associated with multiple densities, it is called quorum sensing.
Quorum sensing is a discovery that you may never have imagined that exists at this level of living organisms (bacteria), as it is similar to democratic elections, where each individual in bacteria communities secretes specific chemicals, each of which expresses a "voice", and when a quorum meets A determinant directs the decision of bacterial populations in a direction.
When a small group of bacterial cells enter your body, they know that they will not harm you because you are simply too large for them, and therefore they wait until the quorum is complete, i.e. the number that you know will be harmful for you (beneficial for them) and begin to strike!
This pattern of behavior is found in ant and bee communities as well.
For the third nomination for the Chemistry Prize this year, we meet Daniel G. Nocera, Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University, for his fundamental experimental and theoretical contributions to Proton Coupled Electron Transfer (PCET) and its applications in energy and biological sciences. .
Simply put, Nocera mimics the process of photosynthesis that occurs naturally in plants. The plant obtains air, water, and light and turns this mixture into everything in its life, food and energy. Nocera and his companions managed to invent a similar, but artificial, system, sheets of matter that pull light from The sun, thanks to it, turns water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then provides hydrogen to bacterial cells that convert hydrogen (in combination with carbon dioxide) into liquid fuel and fertilizer for plants. It is a renewable system that opens the door to an unpolluted future. Nocera invented it, it pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases oxygen, and in between we get energy, what if one day this innovation turned into industrial land?
Well, those were eight predictions for three awards that will begin to be announced soon. They are awaited by professionals, amateurs and science lovers all over the world in the diversity of their interests and different cultures.
We may not find any of them in the announcements of the upcoming Nobel Prize, but the idea is to introduce you to this fascinating world of its complexity, and sober as it presents a fantasy biography, it is scientific research.
1- Clarivate Reveals Citation Laureates 2022 – Annual List of Researchers of Nobel Class