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Winners in Medicine

Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider, and Jack Szostak won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for their work on telomeres, reports the Associated Press. In the 1970s, Blackburn identified repeating segments at the ends of DNA in Tetrahymena while Szostak found that single-stranded DNA was rapidly degraded in yeast. Blackburn and Szostak then collaborated on a project, finding that the Tetrahymena DNA protected the single-stranded DNA from degradation in yeast. In 1984, Blackburn and Greider, her graduate student, discovered telomerase. The Nobel citation lauds these researchers for their contribution to the study of aging, cancer, and other diseases. "The discoveries by Blackburn, Greider and Szostak have added a new dimension to our understanding of the cell, shed light on disease mechanisms, and stimulated the development of potential new therapies," it says.

Blackburn was also the Daily Scan poll favorite. She led the pack with 43 percent of the vote. She was followed by her co-laureate Szostak who garnered 25 percent of the vote.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.