The Research Matters team caught up with Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, when he was in Bengaluru in June, 2017. Having won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae, our team wanted to know his views about the recent discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO and the Virgo Observatory. Read on to know more about his work on type 1A supernovae and share his excitement for the future of cosmology, after the discovery of gravitational waves.
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Autophagy, or self-eating, is a process where cells in our body devour some of the cell components to replenish their nutrient supply during severe shortage. This process, though sounds gruesome, is essential for our survival and any defect in this mechanism could lead to neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease. Several research, inspired by Nobel Laureate Prof. Yoshinori Ohsumi’s work on autophagy, has now uncovered new dimensions on our understanding of how cells function.
The Nobel Peace Prize is announced every year to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses", as described in Alfred Nobel’s will. For the year 2016, Colombian presidentJuan Manuel Santos was awarded the prize for his efforts to end his country's 50-year civil war. From 1895 to today, there have been 104 individuals and 26 organizations that have been awarded with this prestigious title.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences today announced that the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2016 would be awarded to Prof. David James Thouless, Prof. F. Duncan M. Haldane and Prof. J. Michael Kosterlitz ”for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter”. Prof. Thouless has been awarded half the prize share, while the other half will be shared equally between Prof. Haldane and Prof. Kosterlitz. The scientists have used advanced mathematical methods to explain unusual properties of matter when cooled to very low temperatures.
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel 2016 has been awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström for their contributions to “contract theory”. Both the laureates will share the prize money of 8 million Swedish Krona for the 48th prize, which was instituted in 1969.
When the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry is about the world’s smallest machines”, the world had found the answer to another Nobel laureate, Richard Feynman’s question - How tiny can you make machinery? “The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly to Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir James Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Lucas Feringa for the design and synthesis of molecular machines”, read a press note from the Academy. The machines developed by these laureates are controllable, nanometer sized objects, a thousand times thinner than a strand of hair, which can move around and perform a task when energy is added. The three winners will split the award equally, with each having played a different role in the development of molecular machines.
As Alfred Nobel quoted in his will, “For the greatest benefit to mankind”, the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute, Sweden, has opened this year’s list by announcing the winner for Physiology or Medicine on Monday. Yoshinori Ohsumi from Japan has bagged the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine for his “Discoveries of mechanism for Autophagy”.