Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Nobel Prize in Physiology & Medicine 2012 for induced pluripotent stem cells

Who wins the award?

From left: John Gurdon, Shinya Yamanaka. Image taken from Nobelprize.org

The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the year 2012 is jointly awarded to John B. Gurdon of University of Cambridge and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University.

What is it awarded for?

The citation of the award was "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".

In 1962, working with frog eggs, John Gurdon discovered that nuclei of somatic cells contained all required information to develop into a mature organism. In a classic experiment, he replaced an immature nucleus from a frog egg with a nucleus from a mature intestinal cell. The modified egg cell develops into a normal tadpole.

More than 40 years later, Shinya Yamanaka showed that intact, mature cells can be turned into stem cells by introducing a few genes. These stem cells are able to develop into all cell types of the body.

Image taken from Nobelprize.org

What is the impact of the discovery?

All of us begins our life in the womb as a single cell. From this cell known as zygote, it keeps dividing and give rise to over 300 cell types in the body. This single cell develops into organs found in pregnacy (including the embryo), known as totipotency. Pluripotency is the ability to become all cell types except the placenta and amniotic sac.

We have traditionally thought that differentiation into mature cells is irreversible. The former discovery challenged this understanding, showing that the genetic program for cell differentiation is not lost as the organism develops but retained throughout the organism's lifetime. The latter discovery took one step further, showing genetic programs required to maintain the pluripotent state of stem cells.

The discoveries resolved the ethical controversy of working with embryonic stem cells and also opens up new avenues to treating diseases using the approach of regenerative medicine, including:
  • Creating reprogrammed pluripotent stem cells to treat blood cancer
  • Inducing cell division of nerve cells to treat paralysis
  • Creating "disease in a dish" model to study diseases from a developmental biology approach

Related links:
Press Release
Advanced Information (if you understand biology)


  1. You talk about Nobel Prize in Physiology & Medicine 2012. It is very important to know who is won Novel price and what is their activities. I also want to know about nhd annotated bibliography writing more. Please give this post.

  2. This is good article about novel prize in physiology and medicine. Here you have shared great information about how to get this novel prize in physiology and medicine section. Also check our best phd proposal services for your educational help. This information should helpful for medical students. Thanks for this valuable article.

  3. Nobel Prize is one of the most prestigious award in the world. You explain who win Nobel Prize prizes and their contribution in their sectors. hope next time you will write more about Nobel Prize read more and it'll help you to know more about the academic papers writing.

  4. An individual describe which acquire Nobel Winning prize cash incentives and also their particular share inside their areas. desire the next occasion you may compose a lot more useful site concerning Nobel Winning prize examine a lot more and also it is going to allow you to learn in regards to the school paperwork creating.

  5. Novel price is great asset for a person so on this post we are clearly find some excellent information about novel prize in physiology and medicine. Actually if we have to do something then we will have do it better then the best that is why the identity of Novel price. check it and choose your option to write your papers.