3 win Nobel Prize in Physics for discoveries in cosmology

Nobel Prize Medal

Nobel Prize Medal

He discovered key aspects of how cells sense and adapt to changing oxygen levels through his studies of a protein that is impaired in the hereditary cancer, von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the scientists' research had "transformed our ideas about the cosmos".

Last year's Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to James Allison and Tusuki Honjo for their work on immunotherapy, a method of harnessing the body's immune system to fight cancer.

His work was transformative in shifting the understanding of the hot expanding universe from qualitative to precise, in revealing the existence of dark matter, and for pointing out the puzzles that remain, said Paul Steinhardt, a professor of physics at Princeton.

Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza will equally share the 9 million kronor ($918,000) cash award.

The "love of science" should be the driving force for young researchers going into science, not the search for awards, said Canadian-born United States researcher Peebles of Princeton University.

He received his PhD in physics from Princeton in 1962 and has taught at the university since, first as an instructor and researcher in the early 1960s and then as an assistant professor in 1965.

"Here I am as a cancer biologist helping to contribute to a new drug for hematological condition, namely anemia", he said, adding he hoped to use his voice to advocate for sufficient funding for such science.

Last year, the honour went to immunologists James Allison of the U.S. and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, for figuring out how to release the immune system's brakes to allow it to attack cancer cells more efficiently.

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It was October 6, 1995 when Queloz and Mayor first announced the discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than our own, revolving around a star 42 light years away from Earth.

That was "the first step in our search for, 'Are we alone?'" said astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University.

More than 4,000 exoplanets have since been found in the Milky Way, and scientists think one out of every four or five stars have planets.

Queloz was meeting with other academics interested in finding new planets when the press office at Cambridge University interrupted to tell him the big news: He had won the Nobel. Peebles demurred, replying instead: "It's a life's work".

"The awards and prizes, well, they are charming and very much appreciated, but.you should enter science because you are fascinated by it".

The rest of the week will see Nobel prizes awarded in the fields of physics, chemistry, and literature, as well as the Peace prize for bettering foreign relations.

This was the 113th Nobel Prize in Physics awarded since 1901, of which 47 awards have been given to a single laureate.

Past physics prize laureates include Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and James Chadwick, the discoverer of the neutron.

The Nobel Prize in psychics, chemistry, literature, and peace, and the prize in economic sciences, will follow over the next seven days.

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