James P. Allison, Tasuku Honjo jointly win 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute on October 1, 2018 awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”.

Cancer therapy: Releasing the brakes of immunity

Cancer kills millions of people every year and is one of humanity’s greatest health challenges. The laureates James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo successfully established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy by stimulating the ability of immune system to attack tumour cells.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been jointly conferred to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”.

The duo successfully established an entirely new principle for cancer therapy by stimulating the ability of immune system to attack tumour cells. It is called “Immune checkpoint therapy”. They showed how different strategies for slowing down the brakes on the immune system can be used in the treatment of cancer. Their discoveries are landmark in fight against cancer.

Nobel Physics Prize:

Three scientists Arthur Ashkin (USA), Gerard Mourou (France) and Donna Strickland (Canada) have won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. They were selected for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics.

Arthur Ashkin: He received prize for optical tweezers and their application to biological systems. His optical tweezers are able to grab particles, atoms, viruses and other living cells with their laser beam fingers, allowing use of radiation pressure of light to move physical objects.

Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland: They were jointly awarded for their method of generating high-intensity, ultra-short optical pulses. They have created ultrashort high-intensity laser pulses without destroying amplifying material, thus paving way towards shortest and most intense laser pulses ever created by mankind. Their innovative technique is known as ‘chirped pulse amplification’ (CPA), has now become standard for high-intensity lasers, including ultra-sharp beams used in corrective eye surgeries.

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