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Kaelin, Jr., Ratcliffe, Semenza get Nobel Prize in medicine

The scientists discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability
14:40, 7 October 2019

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The 2019 Nobel Prize in medicine is awarded to three scientists. Their names are William G. Kaelin Jr. (USA), Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe (Great Britain) and Gregg L. Semenza (USA). The Swedish Royal Academy reported that at the special press conference in Stockholm. 

The scientists discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability. 

Related: Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for safe chemicals and evolution control

"Animals need oxygen for the conversion of food into useful energy. The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for centuries, but how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen has long been unknown. William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability. They identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen. The seminal discoveries by this year’s Nobel Laureates revealed the mechanism for one of life’s most essential adaptive processes. They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function. Their discoveries have also paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases", reads the explanatory note.

Related: Nobel Prize 2018 in Economic Sciences awarded

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