Three scientists were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday. The three scientists, hailing from the United States, Sweden, and Turkey, won their prize for their research on how cells repair damaged DNA, providing new information in the battle against cancer.
Understanding DNA damage is the key to revolutionizing cancer treatment. Researchers can develop new drugs, armed with this knowledge, that target the tumor cells and their pathways in the body.
Tomas Lindhal, Paul Modrich, and Aziz Sancar won the prize for “mechanistic studies of DNA repair,” reports Reuters.
Their research mapped out how cells repair DNA to prevent errors from appearing in genetic information. In many cases of cancer, these repair systems are broken.
Every day, a cell’s genome undergoes thousands of alterations due to spontaneous changes and damage from carcinogens, free radicals, and radiation – however, the DNA always remains intact.
To keep genetic materials from disappearing, a range of molecular systems monitor DNA and make needed repairs. Lindhal, Modrich, and Sancar mapped out this process.
Their research is important for “cancer prevention and cancer treatment,” said Sancar, a professor at the University of North Carolina who has both U.S. and Turkish citizenship.
It’s important for cancer prevention and cancer treatment. That is what I received it for.
As Gizmodo reports, the work of these three award-winning scientists is built on the work of previous scientists, as all scientific discoveries are. Their work in DNA repair lays a foundation for future scientists and discoveries in the war on cancer.
In other news about the battle against cancer, researchers have discovered a breakthrough drug that allows terminal patients to live longer.