Brain cell scientists win Nobel prize in medicine

A British professor and two others from Norway have been awarded the world’s most prestigious scientific award- the Nobel prize in medicine.

Announced Monday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, John O’Keefe of Britain and May‐Britt Moser and Edvard Moser of Norway won the award for their work identifying the cells that make up the GPS of the brain.

Announced, Monday, by Goran  Hansson, secretary of the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine, John O’Keefe of University College London in the 1970s identified the place cells in the brain that register specific places.

Thirty-five years later, the Mosers, discovered the grid cells, which function as a built-in navigation system that tells animals where they are, where they are going and where they have been.

The Mosers who are husband and wife, are professors at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

The Nobel Committee said in a news release, Monday, “The discoveries of John O ́Keefe, May‐Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries — how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?

“The discovery of the brain’s positioning system represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of how ensembles of specialized cells work together to execute higher cognitive functions,” the release said. “It has opened new avenues for understanding other cognitive processes, such as memory, thinking and planning.”


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  • murtala bg

    If you can honour some one for just identifying a cell and its functions, what about the creature & the sustainer of that whole system and the whole complex & balanced universe we stay in.but instead you even cast doubt in his existence.”indeed the unbelievers are transgressors”.

    • tsunami1earthquake

      Very good observation but I guess they honour people for discovering what is already there, what the Creator has already established and set working. Maybe we should always acknowledge the Creator as the All and All. Having said that, I want to deviate a little and remind us that, while we honour scientists like these, we should endeavour to encourage scientists to find solutions to viral infections; how humans can knock off viruses, just as we presently do to bacteria. The lack of solution to viral infections is humankind’s present Nemesis whereby human beings are plagued by diseases like the HIV/AIDS and the ‘rave’ of the moment, Ebola disease. The Nobel Committee will not wait to decorate any scientist who succeeds in procuring a cure for any viral infection, even a cure against the virus for the common cold. In fact that would open up the floodgate to finding cures for the more dreadful viral diseases like the ones mentioned above.