Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    City of Blinding Light
    Posts
    15,915
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    12302

    2012 Nobel and Ig-Nobel Prizes

    The Nobel Prize winners will begin to be announced beginning in the first weeks of October. In anticipation, the awards for the Ig-Nobel Prizes were given out last night. For those who don't know, the Ig-Nobels are somewhat comedic, somewhat serious awards given out for science which is done seriously, and may have serious merit, but which comes across as a bit... silly.

    To grab a quote from the Ig-Nobel website:

    ...it's a collection of, like, actual Nobel Prize winners giving away prizes to real scientists for doing f'd-up things... it's awesome.
    You can find a list of the 2012 winners here, as well as descriptions of what they won for:

    http://www.improbable.com/ig/winners/

    My favorite this year is probably the U.S. Government General Accountability Office. Sadly, they're the only awardee who did not show up. They won the literature prize for "issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports."

    Although the peace prize is actually very cool: "The SKN Company [RUSSIA], for converting old Russian ammunition into new diamonds." In his acceptance speech, Igor Petrov said, "Ladies, if you want diamonds, come see me after the show — but bring your own explosives."
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Gwyneth Paltrow Fan Club headquarters
    Posts
    17,295
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    30881
    Thanks for the link! These are always hilarious. Especially because Nobel Prize winners show up to hand out the hardware
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    City of Blinding Light
    Posts
    15,915
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    12302
    And most of the winners actually show up and are happy to have a chance to call attention to their science.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  4. #4
    Re-registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Nowhere in particular
    Posts
    5,849
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    1561
    Thanks for posting this. I always enjoy reading about the Ig-Nobel winners. Your favourite is my favourite. I actually looked at the document and it actually is as described. I have to wonder what was going through the head of the woman who wrote it.
    ‎"You emerge victorious from the maze you've been travelling in." Oct 21,2012- Best Fortune Cookie Ever!

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Diagonally parked in a parallel universe.
    Posts
    4,804
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by GarrAarghHrumph View Post
    My favorite this year is probably the U.S. Government General Accountability Office. Sadly, they're the only awardee who did not show up. They won the literature prize for "issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports."
    That would be funnier if it hadn't killed so many trees.

    Reminds me of the West Wing episode though ...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    City of Blinding Light
    Posts
    15,915
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    12302
    The schedule for the actual Nobel Prize announcements is here:
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_priz...announcements/

    First announcement will be on Monday.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    City of Blinding Light
    Posts
    15,915
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    12302
    The prize for medicine was announced today. It was given for reprogramming adult cells - the discovery that adult cells can be transformed back into stem cells that act like those in embryos.

    John Gurdon, 79, of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge, UK, and Shinya Yamanaka, 50, of Kyoto University in Japan, discovered ways to create tissue out of adult cells that would act like embryonic cells, without the need to harvest embryos. This lead to cloning, and has gone on to lead to the potential to treat diseases using stem cells that are harvested from an adult.

    This allows, for example, tissue from an adult to be harvested from, say, the skin, grown into brain cells in a lab, and have treatments tested on it in ways that don't jeopardize the health of the patient. They hope it will help with treatments for diseases such as Parkinsons. They also hope it will eventually lead to replacement organs that can be transplanted into the person the cells were taken from, without the risk of rejection that an organ from a separate donor carries.

    As an amusing aside, in an interview, Gurdon mentioned that he still keeps a report from his school on his wall. It says, of his younger self, "I believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist... This is quite ridiculous. It would be a sheer waste of time, both on his part and of those who have to teach him. He will not listen, but will insist on doing his work in his own way."

    Yeah, I guess that worked out for him.

    Yamanaka's research wasn't published that long ago - 2006. As I recall, it's not overly common for research that recent to win the Nobel, but his has been big-time influential. Basically, he re-wrote the book.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...363646792.html
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    the Rainbow State
    Age
    32
    Posts
    2,346
    vCash
    730
    Rep Power
    0
    Yamanaka's research is well deserved - it really advanced progress toward personalized and regenerative medicine.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/sc...chemistry.html

    The Chemistry Prize went to people who worked on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are a major superfamily of proteins that have a multitude of functions in the cell.

    That being said, all my chemistry friends are butthurt that the Chemistry Prize went to molecular biologists again

  9. #9
    Resident Rude Brazilian
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    In a million depressions over the end of the World Cup
    Posts
    3,229
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    15463


    Know the feeling. Having graduated experimental Physics, I was outraged when they gave it to astronomers last year. What is the practical result of astronomy research these days.
    That said I'm glad they didn't give it to the Higgs boson team this year. The only lives it'll change (I mean, not change, since they actually found the damn particle that makes the counts right) is of mathmaticians and theoretical physicists.
    Dá-lhe, Isadora!!
    Lead me not into temptation. I can find it, and eat it, all by myself.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,804
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Woohoo for Duke chemistry!

    I loved these two clips from the WP article:

    Lefkowitz said he was fast asleep when the Nobel committee called, but he didn’t hear it because he was wearing ear plugs. So his wife picked up the phone.

    “She said, ‘There’s a call here for you from Stockholm,’” Lefkowitz told The Associated Press. “I knew they ain’t calling to find out what the weather is like in Durham today.”
    Kobilka said he found out around 2:30 a.m., after the Nobel committee called his home twice. He said he didn’t get to the phone the first time, but that when he picked up the second time, he spoke to five members of the committee.

    “They passed the phone around and congratulated me,” Kobilka told AP. I guess they do that so you actually believe them. When one person calls you, it can be a joke, but when five people with convincing Swedish accents call you, then it isn’t a joke.”

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    bawlmore
    Age
    27
    Posts
    2,512
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    782
    I interviewed with Dr. Lefkowitz a few years ago when I was interviewing at Duke.... very friendly person!

    Regarding iPS cells (Yamanaka's research): iPS cells are a "hot" field right now, and lots of people are working on it. I do feel the Nobel's a bit premature, though, considering that clinical applications are still extremely preliminary.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    the Rainbow State
    Age
    32
    Posts
    2,346
    vCash
    730
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by beepbeep View Post


    Know the feeling. Having graduated experimental Physics, I was outraged when they gave it to astronomers last year. What is the practical result of astronomy research these days.
    That said I'm glad they didn't give it to the Higgs boson team this year. The only lives it'll change (I mean, not change, since they actually found the damn particle that makes the counts right) is of mathmaticians and theoretical physicists.
    Now that I think of it, physicists have more reason to complain because they got snaked by the chemists in 2010 (graphene), so you have more scientific disciplines encroaching on your territory

    Quote Originally Posted by altai_rose View Post
    Regarding iPS cells (Yamanaka's research): iPS cells are a "hot" field right now, and lots of people are working on it. I do feel the Nobel's a bit premature, though, considering that clinical applications are still extremely preliminary.
    You're not alone, I know many other cell biologists who think that the iPS Nobel is premature given how medical application of stem cells is still in its infancy and nowhere near being a standard clinical procedure. However, I think it really shifted the paradigm of the field because of its potential use and the practical advantage of using adult cells rather than plucking an embryonic cell and then keeping it preserved until needed.

    But that being said, it's nice they coupled it with a classic Xenopus experiment with the theme of cellular reprogramming rather than just iPS.
    Last edited by CantALoop; 10-11-2012 at 03:24 AM.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    the other FSU
    Posts
    3,687
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by CantALoop View Post
    The Chemistry Prize went to people who worked on G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), which are a major superfamily of proteins that have a multitude of functions in the cell.

    That being said, all my chemistry friends are butthurt that the Chemistry Prize went to molecular biologists again
    I'm a little butthurt. I was rooting for Brus or Graetzel. You know.....chemists.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Age
    43
    Posts
    16,654
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Looks like our cousins down south are doing very well with the Nobel committee again this year. congratulations to all the winners.

  15. #15
    ((Swedish skating dudes))
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    2,440
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    1090
    The Literature prize went to Chinese novelist Mo Yan.
    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_priz...aureates/2012/

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    fall, glorious fall
    Posts
    1,652
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I loved watching that press conference with Gurdon about how his teacher said he shouldn't try to do anything with science!! That is soooo funny. Talk about the ultimate way to prove someone wrong!

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    City of Blinding Light
    Posts
    15,915
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    12302
    The physics prize this year went to Serge Haroche, 68, of the Collège de France and the École Normale Supérieure, in Paris, and David J. Wineland, also 68, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado, for their work observing quantum particles.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/sc...pagewanted=all

    It's believed this work will lead to things such as more accurate atomic clocks (already has done some of that), better GPS systems, and quantum computers.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  18. #18
    Resident Rude Brazilian
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    In a million depressions over the end of the World Cup
    Posts
    3,229
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    15463
    Quote Originally Posted by CantALoop View Post
    Now that I think of it, physicists have more reason to complain because they got snaked by the chemists in 2010 (graphene), so you have more scientific disciplines encroaching on your territory
    Physics is everything

    I was particularly happy with the award in 2007 (discovery of giant magnetoresistance) as the 1st name on the paper (Baibich) was actually one of my teachers. Of course he wouldn't win anything as he was a mere post-dco in need of a publication. He noticed the effect on the measurements and Fert and Grünberg did the work. Sitll, very exciting
    Dá-lhe, Isadora!!
    Lead me not into temptation. I can find it, and eat it, all by myself.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    On the run from cholla's vibrating cleavage
    Posts
    6,127
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    GREAT decision re Literature. Mo Yan is an outstanding writer.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Age
    30
    Posts
    4,972
    vCash
    1670
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by beepbeep View Post


    Know the feeling. Having graduated experimental Physics, I was outraged when they gave it to astronomers last year. What is the practical result of astronomy research these days.
    That said I'm glad they didn't give it to the Higgs boson team this year. The only lives it'll change (I mean, not change, since they actually found the damn particle that makes the counts right) is of mathmaticians and theoretical physicists.
    Wow, i can't believe this statement...

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •