2019 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine went to the discovery in to how cells detect oxygen availability to fuel daily activities. Vital in understanding how the human body works.
Winners of Nobel science prizes are sometimes big and obvious names. Although, the Nobel prize comity seem to have fun in shining the spotlight onto researchers little known outside their own fields, let alone to the general public. •
The laureates of this year’s Nobel prize in physiology or medicine went to Sir Peter Ratcliffe, Gregg Semenza & William Kaelin evenly splitting the $9million SEK prize money.
Dr Semenza from John Hopkins University discovered HIF during his research into the hormone EPO (erythropoietin hormone) and how it is regulated by oxygen. HIF is a complex protein found to match cell physiology with oxygen availability. Produced by the body when oxygen levels are low and become scarce in the body when oxygen is abundant.
This gives a great insight into the science behind why Professional athletes often train at high altitude, where the thin air means oxygen is scarce, in order to generate red blood cells that will assist their respiration when competing closer to sea level.
At the same time Semenza and Ratcliffe were studying the regulation of the EPO gene, cancer researcher William Kaelin, Jr. was researching an inherited syndrome, von Hippel-Lindau’s disease (VHL disease). Showing an increased risk of several types of cancers due to hypoxia (absence of oxygen).
It’s interesting to note this years nobel prize also references the 1931 Nobel prize in medicine awarded to Otto Warburg for showing glucose is the primary fuel source to tumour metabolism which I find myself referencing regularly. You might of noticed the breathing techniques I was concentrating on during the cryotherapy session.
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Media release at link tree www.linktr.ee/combatnutrition