2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka awarded for stem cell research
John Gurdon from the UK and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan, two pioneers of stem cell research, have shared the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology.
John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka were awarded the prize for transforming specialized cells into stem cells, which can become any other type of cell in the body.
Prof. John Gurdon used a gut sample to clone frogs and Prof. Shinya Yamanaka altered genes to reprogramme cells.
The Nobel committee said they had “revolutionized” science.
In 1962, John Gurdon took the genetic information from a cell in the intestines of a frog and placed it inside a frog egg, which developed into a normal tadpole.
Shinya Yamanaka showed that specialized mouse cells could be reprogrammed to become stem cells by introducing four genes. The resulting stem cells could then be converted to other types of cell.
The Nobel committee said the discovery had “revolutionized our understanding of how cells and organisms develop”.
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