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Pair wins Nobel Medicine prize

STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Katalin Kariko of Hungary and Drew Weissman of the United States won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday for work on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology that paved the way for COVID-19 vaccines.

The pair, who had been tipped as favorites, were honored “for their discoveries concerning nucleoside base modifications that enabled the development of effective mRNA vaccines against COVID-19,” the jury said.

NOBEL WINNERS. A screen at the Karolinska Institute shows this year’s laureates Katalin Kariko of Hungary (left) and Drew Weissman of the US during the announcement of the winners of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on October 2. AFP

“The laureates contributed to the unprecedented rate of vaccine development during one of the greatest threats to human health in modern times,” it added.

The pair will receive their prize, consisting of a diploma, a gold medal, and a $1 million cheque, from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.

Last year, the Medicine Prize went to Swedish paleogeneticist Svante Paabo, who sequenced the genome of the Neanderthal and discovered the previously unknown hominin Denisova.

The Nobel season continues this week with the announcement of the winners of the Physics Prize on Tuesday and the Chemistry Prize on Wednesday.

They will be followed by the much-anticipated prizes for Literature on Thursday and Peace on Friday.

The Economics Prize winds things up on Monday, October 9.

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