The Nobel prize announcement for the year 2021 has been completed. So, let’s have a look at this year’s laureates and their works.
The Nobel Prizes were established in five categories in the year 1895 through the will of Swedish scientist ‘Alfred Nobel’. The Nobel Prizes are a set of awards given by the Nobel Foundation in the fields of chemistry, literature, peace, physics and physiology/medicine.
The ‘Nobel Foundation’ is a private institution established in the year 1900, which has the ultimate responsibility of fulfilling the will of ‘Alfred Nobel’.The prizes in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics and Physiology/Medicine were first awarded in the year 1901. Besides, in the year 1968 ‘Sveriges Riksbank’ established the ‘Sveriges Riksbank Prize’ in the field of economics in memory of Alfred Nobel.
Nobel Prizes 2021:
Two scientists from America, ‘David Julius’ and ‘Ardem Patapoutian’ have been awarded the Nobel Prize 2021 in the field of Physiology / Medicine for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch. Their work mainly focuses on ‘somato sensation’ i.e. the ability to see, hear and feel in particular organs like eyes, ears and skin.
Waking up to good news!— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 9, 2021
This week new medicine laureate Ardem Patapoutian and his son Luca, woke up to discover that Ardem had become a #NobelPrize laureate. He was awarded the medicine prize for his work investigating how our bodies recognise touch.
Photographer: Nancy Hong pic.twitter.com/uEXlLgqTji
David Julius’s findings on the skin’s sense of temperature were based on experiments on how certain cells react to capsaicin. Capsaicin is the molecule that gives chilli its flavour.
Whereas, Ardem Patapoutian discovered two mechanically sensitive ion channels, which are known as ‘Piezo’ channels.The name ‘Piezo-1’ is derived from the Greek word ‘Píesi’, which means ‘pressure’. He is credited with discovering the cellular mechanism and underlying gene that converts a mechanical force on our skin into an electrical nerve signal.
These findings have allowed us to understand how heat, cold and mechanical forces can initiate nerve impulses, which allow us to perceive and adapt to the world around us.This knowledge is being used to treat a variety of ailments, including chronic pain.
Nobel Prize in Physics was jointly awarded to SyukuroManabe and Klaus Hasselmann, while the other half was awarded to Giorgio Parisi for his understanding of complex physical systems.
"We have to think about how to mitigate climate change and how to adapt to climate change, which is happening right now… we are facing a very difficult problem."— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 9, 2021
– Syukuro Manabe, awarded the #NobelPrize in Physics this week for his pioneering work developing climate models. pic.twitter.com/2mGzX3uDvd
This is the first time climate scientists Manebe and Hasselman have been awarded the Nobel Prize. Last year this award was given for research in ‘Black Hole’.
Manabe and Hasselman are being given this award for physical modelling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and accurately estimating the severity of global warming.Their research has shown how an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will increase global temperatures, which lays the foundation for current climate models.
Whereas, Giorgio Parisi has been given this award for the discovery of the interaction of disorder and fluctuation in physical systems from the atomic scale to planetary scale. He developed a complex physical and mathematical model that has made it possible to understand complex systems in fields such as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and machine learning.
Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin List and David Macmillan for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.
They have developed organocatalysis, a new and simple tool for making molecules. It is dependent on many research fields and industry chemists’ ability to manufacture molecules that can make elastic and durable materials, store energy in batteries or prevent the spread of diseases. For this purpose, catalysts are needed.
Earlier, only two types of catalysts were available viz. metals and enzymes. The catalyst increases its rate without participating in the process.In the year 2000, they developed a third type of catalysis independently of each other. This is called asymmetric organocatalysis and is formed from small organic molecules.
Its uses include new pharmaceuticals research and will increase environmental compatibility in chemistry experiments and research.Furthermore, corrosion of metals requires an environment free of water and oxygen, which was difficult to ensure on an industrial scale.Enzymes, on the other hand, perform well when water is used as a medium for a chemical reaction.
Through these reactions, researchers can now more efficiently manufacture anything from new pharmaceuticals to molecules that can absorb light in a solar cell.
Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration into the effects of colonialism and the refugee’s fate in the gulf between cultures and continents.
Abdulrajak Gurnah was born in the year 1948 and grew up on the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. He was forced to flee to Britain in the late 1960s after the revolution in Zanzibar.Zanzibar is part of East Africa, the region known as the Swahili Coast, stretching from present-day Somalia to Mozambique on the west coast of the Indian Ocean.
He has published ten novels and several short stories. He has imbibed the theme of refugee disruption throughout his literature.He began writing at the age of 21 during his exile to Britain, and although Swahili was his mother tongue, he chose English as a literary language.
At a time when the global refugee crisis is accelerating, Gurnah’s literature draws attention to how racism and prejudice against target communities and religions perpetuate cultures of oppression.
The Nobel Peace Prize for the year 2021 has been awarded to Philippine journalists Maria Ressa and Russia’s Dmitry Muratov for their efforts to protect freedom of expression.
Maria Russa is an investigative journalist, in 2012 she co-founded Rappler, a digital media platform for investigative journalism, which she herself leads. Rappler has focused critically on the controversial and murderous anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte’s regime.
She has also written Seeds of Terror: An Eyewitness Account of the Al-Qaeda Newest Centre of operations in Southeast Asia and Bin Laden to Facebook: 10 Days of Abduction, 10 Years of Terrorism.
On the other hand, Muratov has defended freedom of expression in challenging circumstances in Russia for decades.In 1993, he started the publication of the independent Russian newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, along with 50 of his associates, and is one of its founders. He has served as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper since the year 1995.
A US-based non-profit, the Committee to Protect Journalists, honoured Muratov as one of the winners of the International Press Freedom Prize in 2007.
Muratov’s six associates have been executed since the newspaper began, often facing harassment, intimidation, violence and murder threats from his opponents.
Despite the assassinations and threats, Muratov, the editor-in-chief, refused to abandon the newspaper’s independent policy.