Scientists Shinya Yamanaka of Japan and John Gurdon of Britain have won this year’s Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for breakthroughs in stem cell research.
The pair discovered that mature and specialized cells of the body can be reprogrammed into stem cells. The Nobel Prize winners hope the discovery can be used in treating diseases like Parkinson’s or diabetes.
The prize committee at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute said the discovery has “revolutionized our understanding of how cells and organisms develop.”
The Nobel Prize for medicine is the first to be announced this year. The prize, established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in his will in 1895, also recognizes achievements in chemistry, literature, peace and economics.