Good news: who are they, what have they done? These are the 2022 Nobels

This week’s Good News brings everything you need to know about the people who won the Nobel Prizes, the people who, in addition to having contributed to the significant progress of humanity, can also teach us a lesson in humility and determination.

The Nobel Prizes are relevant to Good News because, although they do not represent one-off news events, they reward slower, broader developments that have reshaped the world we live in.

Click on the video above to see the full summary and learn more. If you prefer to read, continue below.

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in equal parts to Carolyn Bertozzi, from Stanford University, California, USA; Morton Meldal, from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark; and Barry Sharpless, Scripps Research, La Jolla, California, USA.

They received the award for developing click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.

Click Chemistry, coined in 2000, is partly explained by its name. It is basically about joining molecules.

They say to imagine that we could attach little chemical buckles to different types of building blocks. Then imagine that you can put these buckles together and produce molecules of greater complexity and variation. That’s the chemistry of the click.

The other part of the chemistry prize, for the bioorthogonal chemistry concept, is still in its early stages.

“I think there are probably a lot of new reactions to be discovered and invented,” Carolyn Bertozzi said in a statement.

The biotech industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the medical industry, with new approaches to treating and diagnosing diseases, “will be strongly affected by the chemistry of the click,” says Bertozzi.

It’s basically a superpower “that opens the door to all sorts of cool apps.”

Bertozzi says that before the advent of bioorthogonal chemistry and “click chemistry” developed by Professors Sharpless and Meldal, “there was really no way to study certain biological processes. They were just invisible to scientists. But these chemistries make visible those processes.

Since the Nobel Academy is in Northern Europe and the winners are announced in the morning, America’s laureates often wake up to the incredible news.

Click on the video above to see the reactions of the laureates after receiving the news first thing in the morning that they had won a Nobel Prize.

“I immediately thought, maybe, maybe it’s not real,” said Morten Meldál, who won the award jointly with Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless.

Meldal says his hope is that the prize will help persuade young people to take up chemistry as a discipline, “which is a bit difficult at the moment”.

The teacher thinks that chemistry is the solution to many of our challenges.

Barry Sharpless, the third Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, said he only wanted to create chemistry that would work “in hours instead of days”.

“I guess I’ve always been impatient. I like to go to the lab, mix up some stuff that works, and go from there. If I have to wait a day or two, I just can’t. It’s not right. So I try to create a chemistry that moves in hours instead of days,” he said.

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Medicine to Svante Pääbo, a Swedish scientist, for his discoveries on human evolution.

Pääbo’s DNA sequencing of Neanderthals showed that our ancestors had sexual relations and children with them.

“What we do is look at the genetic material, the DNA of people who have lived here long before us and try to see how they are related to us, and how they are related to other forms of humans that were here as well, like Neanderthals.” , said.

Pääbo recovered genetic material from 40,000-year-old bones, producing a complete Neanderthal genome and starting the field of ancient DNA studies.

The scientist, like many of the other winners, said that what drives his work is mere curiosity, “it is as if an archaeological excavation were carried out to discover the past. We do a kind of excavation in the human genome.”

But his curiosity was far-reaching; his research has provided key insights into our immune system and what makes us unique compared to our extinct cousins.

“We have found, for example, that in the COVID pandemic the biggest risk factor for getting seriously ill and even dying when infected by the virus has come to modern people from Neanderthals,” says Pääbo.

Nils-Göran Larsson, a member of the Nobel Assembly, has called this “a basic scientific discovery”.

“We already know that it affects our defenses against different types of infections, for example, or the way we can cope with high altitudes, but like all great discoveries in basic science, more and more knowledge will come in the coming decades.” “.

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics in equal parts to Alain Aspect, from the Universite Paris-Saclay and the École Polytechnique Palaiseau in France; John F Clauser of JF Clouser and Associates, Walnut Creek, California, USA; and Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna, Austria.

The award celebrates his work in quantum information science and his discoveries about how invisible particles, such as tiny bits of matter, can be linked, or “entangled,” with each other, even when separated by great distances.

Clauser developed the quantum theories first posited in the 1960s into a practical experiment. Aspect closed a loophole in those theories, and Zeilinger demonstrated a phenomenon called quantum teleportation that effectively allows information to be transmitted across distances.

His research has laid the foundation for many practical applications of quantum science, in particular encryption.

Clauser said that the Nobel had been awarded to him for work he did more than fifty years ago, when he was just a graduate student.

“I wrote an article in 1969 proposing to do an original experiment that would test the fundamentals of quantum mechanics (…) everyone told me that I was crazy, that it would ruin my career. Everyone knew what the result would be: losing time and money and ruin my career.

Zeilinger also made reference to how his work had been despised in the past.

“During the first experiments, the press would ask me: ‘What is all this for?’ And I would tell them, proudly: ‘This is absolutely useless. I’m just doing it out of curiosity, because quantum physics has excited me since the beginning. first time I heard of it. Because of the mathematical beauty of its description.”

Zeilinger, who works at the University of Vienna, said he was grateful to Austrian and European taxpayers, who have allowed him to carry out his work regardless of any possible benefits.

Alain Aspect, the third physicist to win the Nobel Prize for Physics, believes that quantum “is fantastic”.

“[La cuántica] it’s been here on the agenda for more than a century and there are still a lot of mysteries, of stranger things to discover in the quantum. This shows that quantum is still alive. Because, in my opinion, this award today is anticipated to one day be about quantum technologies.”

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature

The highest literary prize was awarded to the French writer Annie Ernaux. She is the first French woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and only the seventeenth woman among the 119 Nobel Prize winners for Literature.

Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, said that Ernaux’s writing was “subordinate to the whole process of time,” adding that “nowhere else does the power of social conventions over our lives play such an important role.” as in his work ‘Les Années'”.

Published in English in 2008, ‘The years’ has been described as the first collective autobiography.

Ernaux gave an emotional speech at the Nobel academy: “It is extremely fortunate that I have been able to achieve this,” he said, “The Nobel Prize does not yet seem part of reality to me, but it is true that I feel that it brings with it a new responsibility.”

“I will fight until my last breath so that women can choose to be mothers or not to be. It is a fundamental right.”

The Nobel Peace Prize 2022

The Peace Prize, considered the most significant of all, awarded to those who “have conferred the greatest benefit on humanity”, was awarded in equal parts to Ales Bialiatski, a Belarusian defender of human rights; the Russian human rights organization Memorial; and the Ukrainian human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, which has worked to document Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians.

Oleksandra Romantsova, executive director of the Center for Civil Liberties, took the podium at the award ceremony to strongly condemn the war in Ukraine and the oppressive government in Belarus:

“The lack of respect for human rights sooner or later led to war. We must punish [el presidente bielorruso Alexander] Lukashenko already [el presidente ruso Vladimir] Putin, the entire regime and all the people who commit war crimes with their own hands against humanity,” he said.

Ales Bialiatski, for his part, is currently in prison, but his acknowledgment was nonetheless applauded.

“I am really honored and delighted that this award has been given to Ales Bialiatski (…) He is a wonderful person, and since 1995 he established the Viasna Center for Human Rights in Belarus. He, many times, was in jail for his opinions, for his purpose of protecting people and human rights in our country. And of course he deserves to be the winner of the Peace prize,” said Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the Belarusian opposition.

Tsikhanouskaya said the award to Ales Bialiatski would help draw more attention to the humanitarian situation in Belarus.

“Ales Bialiatski has been in prison for more than a year now, and he is suffering a lot in the punishment cells of the prison. But there are thousands of other people who are also detained for their political views.”

Tatyana Glushkova, a board member of the Russian Memorial human rights center, the third recipient of the award, said that after everything that had happened in recent months, the award was a sign that her work, whether or not it was recognized by the authorities. Russians, it’s important: “It’s important to the world. It’s important to the people of Russia.”

If you have been inspired by these extraordinary and passionate people, please share this episode with your friends.

Until next time, and remember, some news can be good news.

We wish to give thanks to the author of this short article for this outstanding content

Good news: who are they, what have they done? These are the 2022 Nobels