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Nobel Prizes 2022

Nobel Prizes 2022

The Nobel Prizes have been awarded this October and from CymitQuimica we would like to give you a summary of the new discoveries awarded in your areas of interest.

These prizes were constituted as the last will of Alfred Nobel, an important Swedish industrialist and the first award was in 1901. Since then, they have been awarded year after year in the categories of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, economics and peace.

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022:

This year, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to researchers Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and Barry Sharpless for their development of "click chemistry", making it possible to use this technique to improve the targeting of different cancer drugs.

Although chemical research had previously been focused on the production of highly complex molecules that could then be used to artificially recreate biomolecules in the pharmaceutical industry, this avenue of research is time-consuming and difficult to implement. For this reason, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the prize to these researchers.

Barry Sharpless and Morten Meldal have laid the foundations for click chemistry, a new way of linking different molecules together quickly and efficiently. Carolyn Bertozzi, on the other hand, has taken advantage of this method to work with living organisms, the orthogonal chemistry.

Click chemistry consists of joining two compatible biomolecules in the right environment in a single step. In this way we avoid the use of metal catalysts and interference with water. This lays the foundation for orthogonal chemistry, which allows us to perform these reactions inside the organism. By not needing metal catalysts and avoiding interference, it reduces the risk of modifying normal cellular functions.

Nobel Prize in Medicine 2022:

The Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to Svante Pääbo for his discoveries on the hominin genome and human evolution.

The relationship between humans and their ancestors has always been a major area of scientific interest and new DNA sequencing techniques allow us to study this relationship more precisely. However, the high technical requirements due to poor preservation of samples and the presence of microorganisms that can interfere with the genome had meant that it was not possible to directly relate the human species to its ancestors.

Svante Pääbo has succeeded, by means of rigorous standards, in correctly sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, the closest ancestor. In addition, he has also discovered another relative of extinct man, the Deasinova, using the genome extracted from a piece of bone from a finger.

With the data obtained from the genome of these two extinct ancestors, he has been able to determine that the current human being comes from a coexistence of these two, resulting in an introgression of the DNA of both in the current human species.

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