Nobel Prize in Medicine, the disappointment and controversy of those who expected the prize to the messenger RNA scientists

Nobel Prize in Medicine, the disappointment and controversy of those who expected the prize to the messenger RNA scientists
Nobel Prize in Medicine, the disappointment and controversy of those who expected the prize to the messenger RNA scientists

When the names of the winners of the Nobel Prize in Medicine were announced at 11.30 sharp by the Swedish Academy, many were disappointed. There are those who speculated that they would win Ugur Sahin e Oezlem Tuereci, the two scientists of Turkish origin, who in Mainz in Germany developed the anti Covid messenger RNA vaccine with Biontech that Pfizer markets. The two researchers, both university professors, could seem to be in pole position. Although a little less than Katalin Karikó, Hungarian biochemist of the same company, e Drew Weissman, a biochemist, an immunologist at the University of Pennsylvania, considered the parents of RNA, who only won the Breakthrough Prize Foundation “For having engineered the RNA technology that has allowed the rapid development of effective vaccines against the Covid-19 pandemic”. Instead the valuable recognition went to David Julius e Ardem Patapoutian. Two researchers and professors who with their research have contributed in a “revolutionary” way to the understanding of what the Italian geneticist Giuseppe Novelli he calls the “ways of pain”. And with which the whole scientific community congratulates.

After the announcement on the Twitter account of the Nobel Prize, some users – among the many congratulatory messages to the two winning scientists – protested: “According to the last wishes of the creator, Alfred Nobel, the prize must be awarded to those who have contributed most of all, in the previous year, to the well-being of humanity, ”he tweeted Anders Huitfeldt, associate professor of applied medicine at the University of Southern Denmark. “We are in a global pandemic and the new discoveries on messenger RNA, achieved in the last year, have made an effective vaccine possible. Are we sure that this year’s decision is consistent with Nobel’s last wishes?“. Someone replied to the Scandinavian researcher that there is still the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to be awarded and that it can take years before a great discovery can be awarded. Another anonymous user writes: “This is a great Nobel Prize, very deserving, for any year BUT this year. It should have been mRNA vaccines that actually saved humanity in a tangible way. TRP channels could have waited ”.

There are those who give a technical explanation: “They could still get the award for Chemistry or be awarded next year in Physiology and Medicine …” this is because the names would have been evaluated in early January-February when Rna vaccines messenger were used for very little. The controversy is also a bit Italian: “It is a great disappointment. The scientists who developed mRNA technology should have won. Perhaps the Nobel is now anachronistic, ”he said Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases clinic of the Policlinico di Genova. “It seemed to me more than deserved” a Nobel Prize linked “to the Covid theme, but the Academy has its own rhythms and rituals, and the Swedes are rather cold even in the face of the pandemic” he told Adnkronos Salute Walter Ricciardi, advisor to the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza and full professor of General and Applied Hygiene at the Catholic University of Rome

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