Medicina 2015

Médecins Sans Frontières per Ebola era chiedere troppo, comunque il premio Nobel per la Medicina ricompensa la scoperta di farmaci contro malattie dei paesi poveri:

one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi ?mura for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and the other half to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria.
(link aggiunti)
William C. Campbell and Satoshi ?mura discovered a new drug, Avermectin, the derivatives of which have radically lowered the incidence of River Blindness and Lymphatic Filariasis, as well as showing efficacy against an expanding number of other parasitic diseases. Youyou Tu – prima volta per una ricerca cinese in medicina – discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria.

Tutti sugli 80 e passa anni, e per scoperte fatte negli anni ’70 e ’80. Lei ha avuto una carriera straordinaria, ma non è mai stata accettata dall’accademia cinese delle scienze. Semmai è un po’ paradossale, trovo, che siano stati premiati dopo che i parassiti-bersaglio abbiano evoluto una resistenza a entrambi i farmaci, forse più diffusa per le artemisinine.

Aggiorn. Se ne parla alle 18 a radio pop, rif. anche Nature sui premi di oggi, sull’ivermectina (del 2004), uno di Youyou Tu che racconta la sua scoperta (2011), e uno sulla resistenza del plasmodio all’artemisinina in Africa (2013).

In questo caso, l’articolo di  Vinay Prasad sul NY Times The folly of Big Science Awards” è proprio smentito. La sua premessa era:

On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine will go to a few scientists for work that untangles the intricacies of the human body and may advance treatments for cancer, heart disease or other major illnesses. The prize comes with a sizable check and virtually ensures that the winners’ research will be well funded for the rest of their careers.


Forse non proprio da premio Nobel per la fisica, ma un gruppo di fotonisti tedeschi

report direct detection of the vacuum fluctuations of electromagnetic radiation in free space. The ground-state electric field variance is found to be inversely proportional to the four-dimensional space-time volume sampled electro-optically with tightly focused few-femtosecond laser pulses. Sub-cycle temporal readout and nonlinear coupling far from resonance provide signals from purely virtual photons without amplification. Our findings enable an extreme time-domain approach to quantum physics with nondestructive access to the quantum state of light.

Paper anticipato da Science Express e com. stampa.


Aerei elettrici/ibridi: anche l’Economist crede che esistano e parla pure delle ricerche per migliorarli…