Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes to Stem Cell Scientists

John Gurdon, Shinya Yamanaka share the prize
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2012 5:57 AM CDT
Nobel Prize for Medicine Goes to Stem Cell Scientists
Thomas Perlmann of Karolinska Institute presents Sir John B. Gurdon of Britain and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan as winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology.   (AP Photo/Scanpix, Bertil Enevag Ericson)

The first of this year's Nobel prizes was announced this morning, with a British scientist and a Japanese scientist sharing the prize for medicine. John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka helped discover that specific and mature cells "can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body," said the Nobel committee in announcing the prize.

"These groundbreaking discoveries have completely changed our view of the development and specialization of cells," said the Nobel Assembly in a statement. Gurdon and Yamanaka will share the $1.2 million prize, Reuters reports. (That amount used to be $1.5 million, but was lowered this year due to financial problems across the globe, CNN reports.) The rest of the Nobel prizes will be announced as the week progresses, starting with physics tomorrow and culminating with the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday. The prize for economics will be announced next week. (More John Gurdon stories.)

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