Three biology researchers, two from California, won the Nobel Prize today for Physiology and Medicine. I’m particularly excited because some of this stuff is what I had researched in undergrad and grad school. Those of you in my Anatomy classes remember back when we studied the cell in Chapter 2 (of most books), I pointed out some videos that showed how cells moved vesicles within it.
Randy Schekman (UC Berkeley) discovered a set of genes that were required for vesicle traffic. James Rothman (Yale) unravelled protein machinery that allows vesicles to fuse with their targets to permit transfer of cargo. Thomas Südhof (Stanford) revealed how signals instruct vesicles to release their cargo with precision.
Through their discoveries, Rothman, Schekman and Südhof have revealed the exquisitely precise control system for the transport and delivery of cellular cargo. Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders.
Enough of this, go study your muscles!