It´s once again that special time of the Year when scientist all around the world lie awake, waiting for that important phone call from Stockholm. It all starts now on Monday with the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine and tp be precise that call is made from the city of Solna, just outside Stockholm.
Who will be the lucky one this year, then? Well, a safe bet for some years now is the researchers of human stem cells. Sir John Gurdon who started the whole thing bye cloning those ugly frogs back in 1958, John Tills who actually discovered that humans carry around blood stem cells, a discovery that is among the few in this field that actually led to people being cured!
Maybe the process of selecting only three candidates is a bit easier now when Ernest McCullogh is gone?
Otherwise it would have been hard to celebrate Till and not McCullogh.
And last, but not least, Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese wizard who turned a skin cell back to a pluripotent stem cell. And then created a vital mouse from that cell!
Stem cells is a safe bet as there has been prestigious Nobel seminars arranged around the subject in Stockholm and they are considered as a sort of dress rehearsal for the Prize.
But, then again, we are quite a few that have guessed on these Laureates to be for some years now, and we have been proven completely wrong.
So, what other big discoveries can compete with “the mother of all cells”? The answer is of course, a long list of other brilliant works.
Thomson Reuter as usually list those who got the most citations as candidates. A method that has proven not totally wrong the last years. Among the would be Laureates according to this analysis is professor Erkki Ruoslahti.
If, he is among the lucky ones it would mean that a journey that I, and a Swedish colleague, made back in 2001 could be considered as slightly prophetic.
This, because it would mean that five of the persons we met on that interview tour no is awarded with “The Price”.
Another researcher on that list was, bye the way, Richard Zare , who is suggested to win the chemistry prize, awarded on Wednesday.
Who, we got the tips from? My lips are sealed!
Karin Bojs and Per Snaperud, both experienced Swedish science journalist, point to another favourite of mine, the almost unbelievable “brain switch”, or more scientific, optigentic.
In that case those who will get the famous phone call will, maybe, be Gero Misenböck, Susan Lima and Karl Deisseroth
Maybe, because I believe it´s to early still.
Finally, if the inventor himself, Alfred Nobel, had anything to do with his legacy he would probably award for example the invention of Cochlea-implantat, which has helped thousand of humans with their hearing, only in here in Sweden.
And talking about listening, don’t put your phone on silent tomorrow…