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Nobel Prize in Medicine 2013

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to James E. Rothman, Randy W. Schekman and Thomas C. Südhof for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells.

These three scientists solved the mystery of how the cell organizes its transport system. Each cell produces and exports molecules which are released into the blood and chemical signals called neurotransmitters are sent from one nerve cell to another. These molecules are transported around the cell in small packages called vesicles. The three Nobel Laureates have discovered the molecular principles that govern how this is delivered to the right place at the right time.

Randy Schekman discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic. James Rothman – protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of this. Thomas Südhof revealed how signals instruct vesicles to release these molecules  with precision.


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