Rounding out the 2009 science Nobel Prizes are Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, and Ada E. Yonath, who will receive the prize in chemistry for their work on an atomic-scale map of the ribosome.
Ribosomes are the cellular organelle responsible for assembling amino acids into proteins. If DNA is the blueprint, ribosomes are the construction workers. Ribosomes themselves are composed of a combination of RNA and specialized proteins.
We live in a world designed by Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, and George E. Smith. Their work on the physics of light made possible the fiber optic cables carrying this web page to your phone, and the digital camera on the other side. And on December 10th, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will award them the Nobel Prize in physics for their work.
Linda B. Buck, co-winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine, retracts a 2001 Nature paper, citing irreproducible results.
By Martha HarbisonPosted 03.07.2008 at 3:47 pm 0 Comments
For scientists, having to retract a paper is like a kick to the gut. It means that your work cannot be verified, and thus is likely either 1) an error or 2) a fabrication. So it comes as something of a surprise that Nobel prize-winning scientist Linda B. Buck had to retract a 2001 Nature paper this week, citing an inability to reproduce the reported findings, and "inconsistencies between some of the figures and data published in the paper and the original data."
As my colleague has pointed out below, this week off in some place called Sweden, five prizes are being given out to a bunch of stuffy scientists, writers and peacemakers. And what do the winners receive? A hefty check for $1.4 million, a diploma and a shiny medal that is awarded to them by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. Boring.
Who cares about those prizes, when a much more important awards ceremony is set to take place tonight? The Ig Nobels, the bastard child of the Nobel Prizes, are awards presented to scientists for research that cannot or should not be reproduced. The raucous event is a chance for real Nobel laureates to throw paper airplanes as well as to recognize the work of cohorts in poorly publicized fields of research. Last years winners include researchers who studied the brain patterns of locusts forced to watch Star Wars and the guy who made Neuticles, replacement testicles for neutered dogs.
If youre in the greater Boston area, you may still be able to get tickets for tonights 7:30 ceremony. For the rest of us, a live webcast is offered at the official Ig Nobel site. It promises to be a truly inspiring and magical evening. —Dan Smith
By Elizabeth SvobodaPosted 01.01.2005 at 1:15 pm 0 Comments
01.13_PANDEMIC PANIC A flu virus that originated in birds kills three people in Vietnam, raising fears that the potent strain may spread unchecked if it becomes capable of human-to-human transmission.
01.26_MAD-COW IN THE CHOW? After a cow in Washington State tests positive for bovine spongiform encephalo- pathy at the end of 2003, agricultural officials strengthen an existing ban against including cow parts in cattle feed. Bovine tissue is known to harbor disease-causing prions.
Dick Armey, retiring majority leader of the House of Representatives, created such a stir recently with comments about liberal and conservative Jews (the latter have all the brains, Armey said), that another aspect of his comments attracted less notice: Science, according to Armey, is the stomping ground of conservatives. "Conservatives," said the Texas Republican, "have a deeper intellect and tend to have occupations of the brain in fields like engineering, science and economics. Liberals, on the other hand, tend to flock to occupations of the heart."