Tuesday, October 4, 2016

An awesome range of possibilities!

This year's Nobel prize winners have tickled my senses to no end. It underlines man's continuous quest in his thirst for knowledge and the winners of the medals in Medicine and Physics have fascinated me.

 (a) Medicine.

       Japanese scientist, Yoshinori Ohsumi, had discovered a cellular process called 'Autophagy' or
       'self eating' in which cells take unneeded/damaged material and transport them to a recycling
       compartment while working on the yeast cells. In yeast, this compartment is called the
       'lisosomes', while 'vacuoles' serve a similar purpose in human cells.

        Mutation in autophagy have been linked to diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders
        like Parkinson's Syndrome, etc.

        A sure step forward to bring about effective medical management of these incurable illnesses,
        thus far!

  (b) Physics.

        This year's Physics Nobel Prize has been shared by three British scientists viz. David Thouless,
        Duncan Haldane and Michael Kosterlitz for their work on exotic states of matter.

         It explains why some materials have unexpected electrical properties such as super conductivity
         and in future, could pave the way for quantum computers. In other words, discovery of :-

                  * totally unexpected behaviour of solid materials.
                  * a mathematical framework in the field of topology to explain the weird properties.
         Topology, explains why electrical conductivity inside thin layers changes in integer steps.
         This discovery paves the way for designing new materials with all sorts of novel properties!


Exciting times ahead!


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