Stockholm: British researcher John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan won this year`s Nobel Prize in medicine today for the discovery that mature, specialized cells of the body can be reprogrammed into blank slates that can become any kind of cell.The prize committee at Stockholm`s Karonlinska institute said the discovery has "revolutionized our understanding of how cells and organisms develop.""The discoveries of Gurdon and Yamanaka have shown that specialized cells can turn back the developmental clock under certain circumstances," the committee said. "These discoveries have also provided new tools for scientists around the world and led to remarkable progress in many areas of medicine."The medicine award was the first Nobel Prize to be announced this year. The physics award will be announced tomorrow, followed by chemistry on Wednesday, literature on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.The economics prize, which was not among the original awards, but was established by the Swedish central bank in 1968, will be announced on October 15. All prizes will be handed out on December 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel`s death in 1896.
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