In light of recent Nobel prizes awarded to Roger Kornberg and Andrew Fire & Craig Mello for their work on RNAi and mRNA, respectively, I would like to poll scientists on the justification of awarding Nobels to such recent research.
Fire & Mello were awarded the Medical Nobel for their work on interference RNA (RNAi) for their 1998 discovery. See related post: http://www.scientistsolutions.com/t2808-Gene+Silencers+Get+Something+to+Shout+About.html
Even more amazing is that Kornberg, the son of a 1959 Nobel winner, was awarded the Chemistry Nobel for his 2001 detailing of how messenger RNA (mRNA) operates during transcription. See related post: http://www.scientistsolutions.com/index.php?a=topic&t=2811#p0
These early Nobel award remind me of when Stanely Prusiner was awarded the Nobel for his work on transmissible spongiform encephalitis (TSE) or commonly referred to as prions (the cause of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, CJD or human version of mad cow disease). There has been recent mounting evidence that the transmissible component within this disease is not the prion protein (as concluded by Prusiners work), but in fact a diverse class of wall-less bacteria called Spiroplasma. Ever since, the Nobel committee has been criticized for awarding Prusiner so early (and his work began in the 70s). Therefore, I am very surprised that the mRNA and RNAi discoveries have been awarded the Nobel, especially in light of some recent clinical trial that produced miserable results for RNAi. Additionally, awarding a Nobel for work performed only 5 years earlier (in the case of mRNA) is almost unheard of.
Historically, Nobels have not been awarded so prematurely and I would like to see what other scientist think about these current awards for both mRNA (Kornberg) and RNAi (Fire & Mello).
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