Three share Nobel prize for medicine


Stockholm : Three scientists Monday won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their discoveries of the immune system that opened up new avenues for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.

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American Bruce A. Beutler and French scientist Jules A. Hoffmann were honoured for their discoveries “concerning the activation of innate immunity” and Canadian Ralph M. Steinman for his “discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity”.

“This year’s Nobel laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activition,” the Nobel Committee said in a statement while announcing the recipients.

“Their work has opened up new avenues for the development of prevention and therapy against infections, cancer and inflammatory diseases,” Xinhua reported quoting the statement.

The discoveries revealed how the innate and adaptive phases of the immune response are activated and thereby provided novel insights into disease mechanism, the jury noted.

The winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics will be announced Tuesday, followed by chemistry Wednesday, literature Thursday, peace Friday and economics next Monday.

The annual Nobel prizes are usually announced in October and are handed out Dec 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite.

Nobel dedicated his vast fortune to create prizes to those who conferred the greatest benefit on mankind.

The prizes have been awarded since 1901. Each prize consists of a medal, a personal diploma and a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (about $1.46 million).