諾貝爾獎創始人Alfred Nobel 是瑞典人,他認為獎應該頒給「對人類有最大貢獻」的人。諾貝爾本來並沒有給詳細的審核條件,下面則是諾貝爾的簡短審核大綱,取自諾貝爾獎官網

"The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiology or medical works by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not."


諾貝爾獎有六個獎項:physics, medicine, chemistry, peace, literature and economics.

它包含了1.4百萬支票、一個 gold medal 和一張證書,將在Nobel 的忌日十二月十日頒予得獎人。

今年的諾貝爾獎在上上個禮拜(week of Oct 2nd)出爐了,介紹一下三項科學的獎項。

Physics: John C. Mather (NASA) & George F. Smoot (UC Berkeley)
 for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation.
 help cement the Big Bang theory of the universe and deepen understanding of origin of galaxies and stars.
 blackbody radiation: cosmic background radiation believed to stem from the the "Big Bang," when the universe was born.
 CMB: the "oldest light" in the universe that comes from 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

今年的醫學獎和化學獎都跟RNA有關,而且得獎者其中兩個都是史丹佛大學教授。

Medicine: Andrew Z. Fire (Stanford Univ.) & Craig C. Mello (Univ. of MA)
 for their discovery of RNA interference (RNAi) that can be used to turn off the effect of specific genes by preventing messenger RNA (mRNA) from delivering its message to the protein-making machinery(A. Fire et al, Nature 391, 1998).
 RNAi: gene silencing by double-stranded RNA.
 發現用RNAi 關掉基因表現的方法,為治療各種疾病--從癌症到AIDS--開了新路,而RNAi 也可以用於基因治療(gene therapy)上。

Chemistry: Roger D. Kornberg (Stanford Univ.)
 for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription.
 the first person to create an actual picture of transcription at the molecular level in eukaryotes (2001 on RNA polymerase II).
 studies of how cells take information from genes to produce proteins, a process that could provide insight into defeating cancer and advancing stem cell reseach.
 研究基因轉錄(transcription)成mRNA 的細節。(之前提過的Central Dogma: DNA → RNA → mRNA → amino acid;DNA到RNA的過程叫transcription,RNA到protein叫translation。)

Kornberg 的父親現年88歲,也是曾諾貝爾獎得主,於1959年拿到醫學獎。
 for their discovery of the mechanisms in the biological synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA).

Kornberg 和他父親是第六對得到諾貝爾的父子檔,另外還有分別得到物理獎和化學獎的Pierre Curie 和Irene Joliot-Curie 父女檔,Pierre 的妻子Marie Curie (居禮夫人) 也得過化學獎和物理獎。哇咧,居禮夫人她們家的基因也太好了吧!前幾天在看Time 雜誌介紹時,其中有句話就寫,「這樣的基因,有誰會不想買呢?」

1903 Physics Perrie & Marie Curie
1911 Chemistry Marie Curie (發現鐳)
1935 Chemistry Frederic & Irene Joliot-Curie


另外還有搞笑諾貝爾獎(Ig Nobel),全名《Ignoble Nobel》是雙關語,在官網可以看到歷年和今年的得獎者,中文版翻譯可以在科景網站看到。








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