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The Professors ’Race … Who Will Win the Nobel Science Prize this year?

We are only a few weeks away from the Nobel Prize, the largest scientific event in the world that science professionals and their passion await with great passion, and the days of announcing the Nobel Prizes are a great opportunity for simultaneous science festivals to celebrate them. Nobel will begin this year on the fifth of October with the announcement of the Prize for Medicine and Physiology, Then physics on October 6th, and chemistry on October 7th.

The famous Thomson Reuter Foundation has had an interesting and important habit every year, which is, in late September, to publish a list of its predictions for the Nobel Prize, which years ago became under the name “Clarify Analytics.” In order to enter this list, your research must be the most cited by researchers in your research area. Not only that, but the candidates must be the first in their discoveries, so that such research represents an innovative window into new and original fields of research, while ensuring a history full of famous and prestigious scientific awards.

Well, let’s leave the introductions aside and start with the United States of America. This year, the first nomination is for Dr. Pamela J. Björkman, Professor of Bioengineering at Caltech, in partnership with Jack L. Strominger, Professor of Chemistry. Harvard Biomedical University, for their achievements in defining the structure and function of a protein called the “principal histocompatibility complex” (MHC). It is one of the most important discoveries in the field of molecular immunology, and it has contributed to the development of many drugs and vaccines.

To understand the importance of this detection, let’s get to know a little bit about the main histocompatibility complex, which is a group of compounds that are found on the surface of every cell with a nucleus in your body, and its main function is to differentiate between what is “subjective” and what is “foreign” to your body, and the goal is Simply determining which things will we attack, a virus or a new organ that doctors try to put in the body or bacteria? When the foreign body is identified, it immediately sends signals to the immune system to start the attack. Therefore, every step taken by this duo and brought us closer to understanding this strange compound is a step to control our bodies, so we allow the passage of what we want, and we do not allow the other.

Now let’s move on to Dr. Hoda Zoghbi, a professor in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in the United States. As you can see from the name, we are facing an Arab-born character, who was born in Beirut in 1954, and although she loved literature as a child, her mother convinced her to choose a profession in the world of biology on the pretext that it was a profession that would ensure stability for a girl in an unstable region of the world, in the seventies and during the civil war. She is studying medicine at the American University of Beirut, but she traveled to the United States of America after her brother was wounded in the war, and there she began her research path.

Clarifit’s analyzes nominated Hoda Al-Zoghbi because it helped uncover the genetic causes of Rett syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects the way the brain develops and mainly affects girls. Symptoms of the syndrome usually begin to appear within months to several years of a child’s life and include a progressive loss of motor skills, speech, language, and the ability to communicate. For every family that has a patient with this syndrome, life itself is like a nightmare. Finding out her genetic causes opens the door one day to finding a cure. Hope how many girls Hoda can save? This disease affects one in every 10 thousand girls, almost!

And in the third Nobel nomination for Medicine and Physiology, the Foundation places Dr. Yusuke Nakamura of the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center for his achievements in developing our understanding of so-called “polymorphic genetic markers” and his contributions to enriching human genome studies, which promises a future adoption of a pattern. A “personalized” treatment for cancer.

What you might expect is that people with the same type of cancer will receive the same treatment, that was really the pattern of treatment followed and still is, but over time doctors noticed that complex treatments for this disease work better for some people than others, and with research we discovered that there is It is genetic differences in the types of cancer that cause different responses in patients.

At that point, Nakamura enters, where he was able to develop our understanding of some genetic markers on our DNA, which are usually characteristic of groups of people but not others, and is currently working on developing a “genetic test” that can help each patient receive the most appropriate treatment for him. Without others, Nakamura hopes that cancer will turn – at least – into a chronic disease, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which we may not be able to treat, but with medication, the patient is an almost normal person. That would really be a massive achievement!

Predictions of physiological medicine have ended, and in the world of chemistry, Clarifit analyzes predictions start from the trio of nanoparticles, Taeghwan Hyeon, professor of nanoscience at Seoul National University in South Korea, and Moungi G. Bawendi, professor of chemistry from MIT, And Christopher B. Murray, professor of chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, for their achievements in creating, developing and directing nanocrystals for applications in a wide range of applications in physics, engineering, biology and medicine.

Nanocrystals are very small atomic structures in size less than 1000 nanometers, and a single nanometer is one part of a million parts of a millimeter. To understand the importance of these structures, let’s start with an example, one of the diseases that cause death, more even than cancer, is “heart failure” (heart failure), and it has no cure, but some technical attempts can electrically excite the heart and regulate its beats (pacemakers ), But its problems are big, either it is small and it is only two electrodes and it is not able to excite the heart sufficiently, or it may envelop the whole heart like a metal mesh, but it may cause the heart to excite in excess.

At that point, the rubber enters, as it is the most secure thing for the heart muscle, as it stretches with it and contracts with it in intense harmony. But rubber is an electrical insulator and cannot be used to regulate the heart’s electricity. Here, Hyun asks, what if we could graft it into tiny wires of nanocrystals that can conduct an electric current? In that case we get the best possible chance of treating heart failure, it is the rubber that conducts electricity, and this is only one of the applications.

In the second nomination, we meet John F. Hartwig, a professor of chemistry from the University of California, and Stephen L. Buchwald, a professor of chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), about a chemical reaction bearing their names, the “Buchwald-Hartwig reaction” – Hartwig amination), through which it is possible to synthesize a bond between carbon and nitrogen atoms, one of the most important chemical forms in the world of drug manufacturing, as well as “complete synthesis”, which is a complete chemical synthesis of complex molecules from simple and commercially available compounds.

Although combining carbon with nitrogen in one bond with organic compounds is a technology that began about a century ago, the Buchwald-Hartwig reaction has great advantages that make it one of the easiest techniques to spread among synthetic chemists, as its alternatives to reactions require a high temperature to take place, and toxic compounds are produced. Also, the catalysts in the case of the Buchwald-Hartwig interaction are available and cheap. 25 years have passed since the invention of this mechanism and are still contributing fundamentally to the worlds of medicine and industry. Imagine the role played by these two worlds!

Finally, in the field of chemistry, comes the Japanese professor of chemistry Makoto Fujita from the Tokyo Foundation for Molecular Sciences, nominated for his contributions to the science of macromolecular chemistry, specifically for his clever use of “self-assembly” mechanisms, which were mainly inspired by how nature itself works, Biomimicry has always been a successful process, and in 2018 trio Frances Arnold, Gregory Winter and George Smith were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing a mechanism for producing new enzymes and drugs by simulating one of nature’s mechanisms, the process of natural selection.

Self-assembly is a process by which particles acquire a specific order automatically, to understand the matter, imagine that there is a paper puzzle, parts of which are scattered on the table, left and right, irregularly, and suddenly with one click of the table those parts come together to make a complete picture, in nature something similar happens, where Molecules and cells come together to make a more organized and complex body, due to the dynamics of those internal molecules, as if they were mounted to do so.

For example, when you wash your hands with soap, the soap particles collect around the dirt on their own, by virtue of their physical nature and after stimulating them by contact with the surface of the skin, and this is the reason for the ability of soap to clean, but although we monitor the phenomenon in nature on a large scale, the dynamics that Its control is not fully understood, Fujita appears at that point.

In the field of physics, things are no less wonderful, and let’s start with the duo, Thomas Caroll, a researcher from the Center for Computational Materials Science, and Louis M. Pecora, a researcher at the Center for Magnetic Materials and Nonlinear Systems, both of which are affiliated with the US Army Research Centers. Their achievements are in nonlinear dynamics, in particular the process of synchronizing chaotic systems.

One of the most famous examples of the idea of ​​”nonlinear dynamics” is what we call the “butterfly effect.” The flapping of a butterfly’s wing in China can lead to a tornado in the United States, and the simple idea is that the flapping of a butterfly’s wing of course cannot do all of that, but it does happen. In turn, it has a greater impact, then a greater impact than the previous one, and thus the system continues to develop in an escalating manner until we reach the hurricane. This type of system is very sensitive to the initial conditions, take the weather for example, if you decide to build a mathematical model that predicts its conditions, you will find that slight differences in the decimal point can change its conditions from (clear during the day and a little rainy at night) to (a new hurricane that hits the southern coasts. ).

In the linear relationship, every addition is equal to some product. The matter is similar to working every month for three thousand pounds, every additional month increases your wealth by an amount equal to three thousand pounds, and this is how the increase continues, but in non-linear systems it is like an example saying, “The straw that is I broke the camel’s back, “If the system was linear, every additional piece on the camel’s back would have caused an effect equal to its value and we would not have hit this proverb, but the system here is non-linear, the camel is loaded with heavy things so that it can no longer bear anything else, and then put a small straw over it. The system collapses completely.

Nonlinear dynamics is the science that studies almost everything. Living systems, ecosystems, and even social systems follow non-linear patterns, so understanding these systems affects almost everything, at nearly that point this pair stands, but Hongjie Dai is a professor. Chemistry at Stanford University, and Alex Zettl, a professor of chemistry from the University of California, stand at another point that might also change everything in our lives.

Dai and Zeitl work in the range of nanotubes, whether it is carbon tubes or boron nitride, as they each have been able to find innovative uses for these very small technologies, that even one of them will be only several nanometers in diameter. The characteristics of these types of tubes have attracted the attention of scientists for decades, as they are almost not resistant to the passage of electricity through them, which leads to a number of very important advantages, it means that these tubes will not generate heat during the course of electricity in them, as well as a greater speed in the flow of electrical signals, These two features alone are enough to revolutionize electronics.

Now let’s leave the applied sciences a bit and go to the accomplished cosmology trio, Carlos S. Frenk, professor in the Department of Computational Cosmology from the University of Durham in Britain, Julio F. Navarro, a researcher from Victoria University of Canada, and Simon DM White (Former president of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Clarifit’s analyzes nominate them for their achievements in advancing our understanding of how galaxies evolved in our majestic universe.

This model, built by the three of us, and now known as their “Navarro-Frenk-White profile”, explains the distribution of dark matter around galaxies, and is one of the most well-known models in cosmology. In fact, every step in our understanding of dark matter is a step in the way of our understanding of the entire universe, as it represents 27% of the structure of the universe, along with only 5% of the matter we know and see in cars, smartphones, and stars, and 68% of dark energy that does not We know anything about her, too.

Dark matter is the entity that encapsulates galaxies and prevents the stars in their fringes from escaping. But hey, what we see radiating in the known images of galaxies is their center only, not their edges, because it is assumed that that dark matter does not radiate anything we know and does not interact with anything, and we know its effect only gravitally, meaning that it affects its surroundings through the special force of gravity Out.

Well, those were nine expectations for three prizes that will begin to be announced by October 5, 2010. They are expected by specialists, hobbyists and science lovers all over the world, based on the diversity of their interests and the different cultures. We may not find any of them in the upcoming Nobel Prize announcements, but the idea is not to display expectations as much as to introduce you to this dazzling world of its complexity, and sober as much as it offers from a fantasy biography, it is the world of science.

Hundreds of thousands of researchers through the scientific method improve on a daily basis our abilities to understand the universe, and ourselves, and help in developing our ways of life, delving into the vast cosmic unknown to know more secrets, we are here in front of nine of those windows that overlook us on a great, bold new world, Despite all black expectations for an unfortunate future in light of the tension that this planet is experiencing during the past few decades, science stands to paint a more optimistic picture.

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Sources

  1. clarivate citation laureates 2020




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