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Nobel Medicine Prize Awarded For Cells' Mechanism of Adapting to Oxygen Availability

© EPA-EFE/Pontus Lundahl

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to William G. Kaelin Jr (US), Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe (UK) and Gregg L. Semenza (US) for their studies of how cells adapt to lack or absence of oxygen, the Nobel Assembly at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute on Monday, TASS reports.

The prize was awarded "for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability," secretary of the Nobel Assembly Thomas Perlmann said.

These discoveries explained one of the most important adaption processes. The scientists revealed the mechanism of "how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability," the assembly said in a statement. "They [researchers] identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen."

The trio "established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function. Their discoveries have also paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases," the assembly concluded.


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