Japan based physician and researcher, Shinya Yamanaka has won the 2012 Nobel Prize in ‘Physiology or Medicine’. The announcement was made by the  Swedish Karolinska Institute on October 8, 2012. Yamanaka has been credited for developing induced pluripotent stem cells.

The Nobel prize was shared with a British scientist Sir John Gurdon. 50-year-old Yamanaka won the prize for developing and establishing reprogramming technology which can revert somatic cells to their undifferentiated or embryonic state. 79-year-old John Gurdon is known for successfully cloning frogs in the year 1962.

According to our sources, Yamanaka will be receiving half of the 8 million Swedish kronor prize money, in a ceremony which will be held in Stockholm on December 10, 2012. The Japanese researcher had used a method of introducing certain types of genes into mouse skin cells.

In the year 2006, Yamanaka had developed iPS cells which rejuvenated to a state close to that of fertilized ova from mature adult cells. He had successfully generated human iPS in the year 2007. The iPS cells are considered as highly versatile and able to replenish every type of body cell except those cells which are found in the placenta. Scientists hope that the iPS cells will help in the development of regenerative medicines.

On Tuesday, the Nobel laureate warned of unproven stem cell therapies being carried out in a growing number of countries, saying that it could be risky.


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