The Buzz: Nobel Prizes 2009

i-c32632842c71331036f6efa29b90f7f7-images-1.jpgAnnouncement of the 2009 Nobel Prize winners began Monday morning with the prize in Physiology or Medicine. The prize was shared between two American and one Australian-American researchers who identified a vital mechanism in genetic operations of cells--Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, and Jack Szostak. The trio was honored for their discovery of the protective relationship between telomeres and chromosomes, and the role of the enzyme telomerase. The Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, literature, and the Nobel Peace Prize will be announced later this week, while the economics award will be presented on October 12.

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It's worth noting that 1) Greider was Blackburn's grad student but Blackburn shared the glory (unlike several male recipients) and 2) Blackburn was the scientist who got fired from the Bush "bioethics panel" for daring to inject some reality into the stem cell debate.