Prize for medicine goes to discoverers of brainís inner GPS system
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[October 06, 2014]
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -
American-British scientist John O'Keefe and Norwegians May-Britt Moser
and Edvard Moser won the 2014 Nobel Prize for medicine for discovering
the brain's "inner GPS" that makes it possible to orient ourselves in
space and help understand diseases like Alzheimer's, the award-giving
body said on Monday.
"The discoveries...have solved a problem that has occupied
philosophers and scientists for centuries," the Nobel Assembly at
Sweden's Karolinska Institute said in a statement when awarding the
prize of 8 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million).
"How does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how
can we navigate our way through a complex environment?" the body
The Mosers join an exclusive club of married couples to win a Nobel
Prize that includes scientific greats Pierre Curie and Marie Curie.
"Knowledge about the brain's positioning system may, therefore, help
us understand the mechanism underpinning the devastating spatial
loss that affects people with this (Alzheimer's) disease," the body
O'Keefe is director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Center in Neural
Circuits and Behavior at University College London. The Mosers are
both based in scientific institutes in the Norwegian town of
Medicine is the first of the Nobel prizes awarded each year.
Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first
awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and
businessman Alfred Nobel.
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(Reporting by Mia Shanley and Niklas Pollard,; Editing by Alistair
Scrutton and Angus MacSwan)
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