The Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine will go to:
- Canadian scientists Ernest McCulloch and James E. Till, who discovered stem cells in the 1960s, along with Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese researcher who figured out that adult stem cells can be rewound to an embryonic-like state.
- Americans Douglas L. Coleman and Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, whose experiments led to the discovery of leptin, the hormone that regulates metabolism and appetite. (The pair won the 2010 Lasker Award for basic medical research on Tuesday.)
It might even be awarded to:
- Dr. Ralph M. Steinman of Rockefeller University in New York, who discovered the dendritic cells that are necessary for the immune system to function.
- Dr. Patrick O. Brown of Stanford, who invented DNA microarray (a.k.a. gene chip) technology, which allows scientists to analyze thousands of gebe fragments at once.
- Stephen J. Lippard of MIT, who found a way to interfere with cancer cells’ ability to replicate by squeezing tiny molecules between base pairs of DNA.
The scientists named as Thomson Reuters Citation Laureates have reason to be optimistic – 19 prior laureates have gone on to win Nobels since 2002, the company says.
-- Karen Kaplan/Los Angeles Times