History has shown us that often the difference between a useful tool and a deadly weapon lies not in the object itself, but the manner in which it is used. This was the case of Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist and engineer who figured out a way to turn nitroglycerin, an unstable and unpredictable explosive, into a safe and controllable compound: dynamite. While revolutionizing the mining, oil and railway industries, it also boosted the armament business into a new, more powerful era. In his last days, regretting the consequences of his invention and his own profit from it, Nobel decided to devote his fortune to a set of prizes for those people who “have conferred the greatest benefit to mankind”. That is how the Nobel Foundation was created, which, together with renown scientific institutions, nominate and award every year outstanding people from all over the world. In this article, we will take a look at the Nobel Laureates of 2016 and the work for which they are recognized.
On October 5th, 2015 the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura for “their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites” and awarded to Youyou Tu for “her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria”. These three scientists were instrumental in identifying the compounds now used as standard of care for many parasitic diseases.