News & AnalysisNOBEL PRIZE IN PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE

Reprogrammed Cells Earn Biologists Top Honor

Science  12 Oct 2012:
Vol. 338, Issue 6104, pp. 178-179
DOI: 10.1126/science.338.6104.178

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Summary

The assumption that a cell's differentiation and maturation could not be reversed was first upended by work showing that a nucleus from a mature, specialized cell could be made to restart development as if it were young and later by other work showing that adding a few genes to mature cells in a laboratory dish could prompt them to behave like cells in early embryos. The two results netted John Gurdon of the University of Cambridge and Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan and the University of California, San Francisco, this year's Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine. The pair's work "revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop," the Nobel committee wrote in its award announcement.