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About the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine

The 2007 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine was announced Monday, October 8, 2007. This year's prize will go to Mario R. Capecchi and Oliver Smithies of the U.S. and Sir Martin J. Evans of the U.K. They were honored for their work in developing gene targeting, a process that allows for the deactivation or "knockout" of single genes in laboratory mice.

The prize is awarded every year on December 10 in Stockholm, Sweden. Recipients are selected by the Karolinska Institute, a Swedish medical university.

Recent recipients:

Recent winners of the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine, and their research, according to the Nobel Foundation:

- 2006: Andrew Z. Fire and Craig C. Mello, of the United States, for their work in controlling the flow of genetic information.

- 2005: Barry J. Marshall and Robin Warren, of Australia, for their work in how the bacterium Helicobacter pylori plays a role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.

- 2004: Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck, both of the United States, for their work in studying odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system in human beings.

- 2003: Paul C. Lauterbur, United States, and Sir Peter Mansfield, Britain, for discoveries in magnetic resonance imaging, a technique that reveals the brain and inner organs in breathtaking detail.

- 2002: Sydney Brenner and John E. Sulston, Britain, and H. Robert Horvitz, United States, for discoveries concerning how genes regulate organ development and a process of programmed cell death.

- 2001: Leland H. Hartwell, United States, R. Timothy (Tim) Hunt and Sir Paul M. Nurse, Britain, for the discovery of key regulators of the process that lets cells divide, which is expected to lead to new cancer treatments.

- 2000: Arvid Carlsson, Sweden, Paul Greengard and Eric R. Kandel, United States, for research on how brain cells transmit signals to each other, thus increasing understanding on how the brain functions and how neurological and psychiatric disorders may be better treated.

- 1999: Guenter Blobel, United States, for protein research that shed new light on diseases, including cystic fibrosis and early development of kidney stones.

- 1998: Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro and Ferid Murad, United States, for the discovery of properties of nitric oxide, a common air pollutant but also a lifesaver because of its capacity to dilate blood vessels.

- 1997: Stanley B. Prusiner, United States, for the discovery of prions, an infectious agent at the heart of several forms of brain-wasting disease.

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