Saturday, October 11, 2008

Nobel prize winners 2008

Medicine prize goes to virus researchers; physics prize given for symmetry-breaking work.

Two French virologists who discovered HIV share this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with a German oncovirologist who showed that human papilloma virus (HPV) causes cervical cancer. The Nobel Prize in Physics went to two Japanese researchers and a Japanese-born American for their work on symmetry breaking in subatomic physics.

Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier identified the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS in 1983, while working at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. They originally called it lymphadenopathy associated virus (LAV).

Harald zur Hausen, former director of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, was honoured for going against the prevailing dogma to discover that it was not a herpes simplex virus that causes cervical cancer, but in fact HPV.

The physics prize went to Japan's Makoto Kobayashi of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK) in Tsukuba and Toshihide Maskawa of Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics at Kyoto University for discovering the origin of the 'broken symmetry' that contributed to a preponderance of matter over antimatter in the Universe. They share the prize with Yoichiro Nambu of the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago in Illinois, who discovered the mechanism by which spontaneous broken symmetry occurs in particle physics.

Symmetry breaking describes how symmetrical systems can suddenly show a preference for one direction over another. As a simple example, imagine balancing a pencil on its tip. Viewed from the top, the balanced pencil appears symmetrical, but after a time it will fall and point in a single direction.

The above information was adopted from Nature Published online 8 October 2008 Nature 455, 712-713 (2008)

OMG, discovering the HIV virus seems to be one of the biggest discoveries on EARTH, after all the disease plague the whole world , and without its initial discovery of the development of diagnostic tools, blood screening agents and drugs would have happened!!! I wondered why they honour these 2 virologist so late??

I DUN GET THE PENCIL THINGY.....if you dun hold it firm/tight, and put it on its tip, definitely it will drop, wont it??? i really ponder how tis theory apply to particle phsyic? It definitely look puzzling to me!!!! HAHA, but i'm lazy to read it out, as if my stuff to read is not enuf. Somebody who understand the theory please sumarize and comment it for me please. TQTQ


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