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October 06, 2014

Meet the Winners of Nobel prize in Medicine 2014

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The Nobel Prize in Physiology / Medicine for the year 2014 has announced today. Three neuroscientists have honored with this award. They are British-American John O'Keefe and Norwegian couple May-Britt and Edvard I Moser, for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine administered by the Nobel Foundation, is awarded once a year for outstanding discoveries in the fields of life sciences and medicine. This award was established in the year 1895 by Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

One of the winners of Nobel Prize in Medicine 2014, John O'Keefe is an American British neuroscientist and a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience and the Department of Anatomy (University College London). The winners May-Britt Moser and Edvard I Moser are husband and wife. They both are neuroscientists and Founding Directors of The Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory (KI/CBM) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

They have discovered a positioning system, an "inner GPS" in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function. Initiated by John O' Keefe in 1971, by discovering the first component of this positioning system. He found that a type of nerve cell in an area of the brain called the hippocampus that was always activated when a rat was at a certain place in a room. Other nerve cells were activated when the rat was at other places. O'Keefe concluded that these "place cells" formed a map of the room. More than three decades later, in 2005, May‐Britt and Edvard Moser discovered another key component of the brain's positioning system. They identified another type of nerve cell, which they called "grid cells", that generate a coordinate system and allow for precise positioning and pathfinding. Their subsequent research showed how place and grid cells make it possible to determine position and to navigate.

This research has 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 physics, chemistry, literature and peace awards will be announced later this week. The economics prize will be announced next Monday.

Aditya Bhardwaj

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10 comments:

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  5. Ravindra Kumar ShrivastavOctober 7, 2014 at 12:17 PM

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  6. 2 MOUSES with a KNIFE

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    ReplyDelete

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