On Wednesday, Sweden’s Tomas Lindahl, American’s Paul Modrich and Turkish-born Aziz Sancar emerged winners for 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This was in recognition for their work on mapping how cells repair damaged DNA, giving insight into cancer treatments.
Reuters cited the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences as saying in a statement awarding the 8 million Swedish crowns ($969,000): “Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments”.
Thousands of impulsive changes to a cell’s genome occur on a daily basis while radiation, free radicals and carcinogenic substances can also damage DNA.
To keep genetic materials from disintegrating, a range of molecular systems monitor and repair DNA, in processes that the three award-winning scientists all helped map out, opening the door to applications such as new cancer treatments.
Modrich is a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University School of Medicine in the United States, while Lindahl works at Britain’s Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory.
Sancar is a professor at the University of North Carolina in America; he has both Turkish and U.S citizenship.
Chemistry was the third of this year’s Nobel prizes. The prize is named after dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel and has been awarded since 1901 for achievements in science, literature and peace in accordance with his will.