Nobel prize in medicine
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05-10-2015, 12:07 PM
Nobel prize in medicine
Awarded for better living through through natural products chemistry (natural products are compounds made by organisms).

Artemisinin a sesquiterpene lactone with the peroxide functional group (which is key to activity) isolated from Artemisia annua is active against malaria. Several mechanisms of action have been proposed.

The avermectins are glycosylated polyketides isolated from Streptomyces avermetilis is active against parasitic invertebrates including the parasite that causes river blindness. The avermectins target the glutamate-gated chloride ion channel which is present in invertebrates (hence the selectivity for parasitic invertebrates).

Congratulations and thanks to Youyou Tu, Satoshi Omura, and William C. Campbell.

The word of warning about destroying natural habitats and ecosystems is that likewise potentially useful natural products made by organisms in these ecosystems will be irretrievably lost to mankind.
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