Israelis Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko and American Irwin Rose won the Nobel Prize in chemistry on Tuesday for their work in discovering a process that lets cells destroy unwanted proteins. \nCiechanover, 57, Hershko, 67, and Rose, 78, were honored by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for their work in the 1980s that discovered one of the cell's most important cyclical processes, regulated protein degradation. \nThe marked proteins are then chopped to pieces. When such degradation fails to work correctly, the result can be diseases like cervical cancer and cystic fibrosis. So research in this area may lead to new drugs for those diseases and others, the academy said. \n"Thanks to the work of the three laureates it is now possible to understand at molecular level how the cell controls a number of central processes by breaking down certain proteins and not others," the academy said in its citation. "Examples of processes governed by ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation are cell division, DNA repair, quality control of newly produced proteins, and important parts of the immune defense." \nCiechanover is director of the Rappaport Family Institute for Research in Medical Sciences at the Technion, in Haifa, Israel, while Hershko, originally from Hungary, is a professor there. \nRose is a specialist at the department of physiology and biophysics at the college of medicine at the University of California-Irvine.
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific might seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic, but residents on Palau said that life right now is far from idyllic. The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere. The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica. A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific Ocean, which has acted as a buffer against the
Dutch scientists have found the coronavirus in a city’s wastewater before COVID-19 cases were reported, demonstrating a novel early warning system for the disease. SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — is often excreted in an infected person’s stool. Although it is unlikely that sewage will become an important route of transmission, the pathogen’s increasing circulation in communities would increase the amount of it flowing into sewer systems, Gertjan Medema and colleagues at the KWR Water Research Institute in Nieuwegein said on Monday. They detected genetic material from the coronavirus at a wastewater treatment plant in Amersfoort on March 5, before
TRUE TOLL? Some Chinese are skeptical about official data, particularly given the overwhelmed medical system and initial attempts to cover up the outbreak The long lines and stacks of urns greeting family members of the dead at funeral homes in Wuhan, China, are spurring questions about the true scale of casualties at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, renewing pressure on a Chinese government struggling to control its containment narrative. The families of those who succumbed to the coronavirus in the city, where the disease first emerged, were allowed to pick up their cremated ashes at eight funeral homes last week. As they did, photographs circulated on Chinese social media of thousands of urns being ferried in. Outside one funeral home, trucks shipped in about 2,500
KEEN INTEREST: India is trying to procure medical gear from domestic producers and abroad, and China has emerged as a possible supplier as its factories reopen India is to buy ventilators and masks from China to help it deal with COVID-19, a government official said yesterday, even though some countries in Europe had complained about the quality of the equipment. India has recorded 1,251 cases of the coronavirus, with 32 deaths, but health experts said the country of 1.3 billion people could see a major surge in cases that could overwhelm its weak public health system. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government said that it was trying to procure medical gear, including masks and body coveralls, both from domestic firms and from countries such as South Korea and