The Nobel that came with the Sidrón and stayed in the heart of Infiesto

Covadonga Fernandez, director of the IES of Infiesto, learned on Monday that something important was happening in the world due to the number of wasaps she received when all her contacts knew that she had to be teaching. Messages from those who wanted to share the good news with her: the Swedish geneticist Svante Pääbo He had just received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. “It was as if we were family,” Fernandez says with a laugh.

Signing in the IES honor book.

And to a certain extent, this is how the recently risen to the Olympus of scientists feels in Infiesto, linked to the area for his research on the Sidrón site and, above all, because on a day in October 2018 the Swedish researcher, who was in Asturias to receive her “Princess of Asturias” award, she dedicated the entire morning to the school community: she gave them a lecture, took photos and was applauded by the students, toured the facilities, visited the laboratory and signed the book of honor of the center “He showed himself to be a very close person and for us that visit continues to be an exceptional event that we will remember all our lives and that will remain in the history of the center. So much so that we continue to keep the ‘corner of Svante’ in an important place, with your life-size photo, your signature and a plaque,” says the director.

The scientist poses with the school community, during his visit 4 years ago.

Sergio Tolivia, professor of Biology, admits the pride he felt knowing that one of the most important international figures in his scientific field had been received in his center. “When he came it was somewhat surprising because he had made a very important discovery to advance the study of the Sidrón cave, among many other worldwide studies of human remains following a technique that was unthinkable until then.” And his visit made a deep impression on the students at the time: “The kids got very involved and were delighted. Thanks to him and the research they did as a result of his visit, many began to have more interest in genetics and discovered a way That they didn’t have in mind anyway.” And all framed in a close and humble personality: “he entered the center’s laboratory and was surprised by anything we taught him,” he recalls.

Hugo Naredo, 16, had just arrived at the institute in 2018 and lived the impact in the distance; now, if she had Pääbo in front of her “I would ask her how she feels about receiving such an important award”. The Nobel.

Chemistry Award for simplifying the construction of molecules

Turning a difficult and cumbersome job into something fast, easy and efficient is quite a challenge, but even more so if it is achieved in a discipline such as chemistry. Then it reaches the rank of a work worthy of a Nobel. The Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and Karl Barry Sharpless for the development of click chemistry, a “simple, reliable and elegant” technique for performing more precise chemical reactions . The award marks Sharpless as the fifth person to receive two Nobel Prizes, the previous one in 2001.

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The Nobel that came with the Sidrón and stayed in the heart of Infiesto