Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to DNA cell repair pioneers

Dawood Rehman 05:45 PM | 7 Oct, 2015
Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to DNA cell repair pioneers
STOCKHOLM (UPI) - The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded Wednesday to three scientists for their discoveries on how cells repair DNA and protect genetic information from complete chemical chaos.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Chemistry prize to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for their independent work on DNA that provided knowledge on how living cells function, which has led to the development of new cancer treatments.


The scientists will share a reward of nearly $1 million, the UPI reports.

Read more: Nobel Prize for medicine goes to three scientists

Human DNA is constantly damaged by external attacks such as ultraviolet radiation, free radicals and other carcinogenic substances.


DNA molecules are also inherently unstable, as thousands of spontaneous changes occur to a cell's genome daily and defects to DNA can materialise during the millions of times cell division takes place in the body every day.

Lindahl, Modrich and Sancar will share this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information," The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

"The reason our genetic material does not disintegrate into complete chemical chaos is that a host of molecular systems continuously monitor and repair DNA," the statement adds.

Although scientists in the 1970s believed DNA was an extremely stable molecule, Lindahl's work demonstrated that DNA decays at a rate that would make life impossible on Earth.

Lindahl, born in Sweden, discovered base excision repair, a molecular mechanism that constantly prevents the collapse of DNA.


Lindahl is currently an emeritus group leader at England's Francis Crick Institute and the emeritus director of Cancer Research UK.

Modrich, born in the United States, discovered mismatch repair, a cell mechanism that allows the cell to correct errors that occur when DNA is replicated during cell division. An inherited variant of colon cancer can be caused by hereditary defects to mismatch repair, which reduces error frequency during DNA replication by about a thousand times.


Modrich is a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute non-profit organization and a professor of biochemistry at the Duke University School of Medicine.

Sancar, a dual Turkish and US citizen, mapped out the nucleotide excision repair mechanism, which allows cells to repair UV damage to DNA. People with defects to the repair system will develop skin cancer if exposed to sunlight. Nucleotide excision repair also corrects defects caused by mutagens, such as from tobacco smoke.

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Sancar is a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

"Their systematic work has made a decisive contribution to the understanding of how the living cell functions, as well as providing knowledge about the molecular causes of several hereditary diseases and about mechanisms behind both cancer development and aging," The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a background report.

Dawood Rehman
Dawood Rehman

The writer is a member of the staff.


KARACHI - Following are the foreign currency exchange rates for US Dollar, Saudi Riyal, UK Pound Sterling, U.A.E. Dirham, European Euro, and other foreign currencies in Pakistan open market on February 03, 2023 (Friday).

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 272.25 273.25
Euro EUR 297.32 297.65
UK Pound Sterling GBP 333.31 333.61
U.A.E Dirham AED 73.03 73.33
Saudi Riyal SAR 71.49 71.80
Australian Dollar AUD 188.9 191.3
Bahrain Dinar BHD 712.73 720.73
Canadian Dollar CAD 200.95 203.15
China Yuan CNY 39.67 40.07
Danish Krone DKK 39.11 39.51
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 34.19 34.54
Indian Rupee INR 3.28 3.39
Japanese Yen JPY 2.5 2.54
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 877.76 886.76
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 62.83 63.43
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.25 175.25
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.76 27.09
Omani Riyal OMR 696.08 704.08
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 73.62 74.32
Singapore Dollar SGD 204 206
Swedish Korona SEK 25.61 25.91
Swiss Franc CHF 291.69 294.19
Thai Bhat THB 8.15 8.3

KARACHI – The price of a single tola of 24-karat gold in Pakistan is Rs 212,900 on Friday. The price of 10 grams of 24k gold was recorded at Rs182,530.

Likewise, 10 grams of 22k gold were being traded for Rs167,318 while a single tola of 22-karat gold was being sold at Rs 195,157.

Note: The gold rate in Pakistan is fluctuating according to the international market so the price is never been fixed. The below rates are provided by local gold markets and Sarafa Markets of different cities.

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Karachi PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Islamabad PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Peshawar PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Quetta PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Sialkot PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Attock PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Gujranwala PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Jehlum PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Multan PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Bahawalpur PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Gujrat PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Nawabshah PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Chakwal PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Hyderabad PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Nowshehra PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Sargodha PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Faisalabad PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420
Mirpur PKR 212,900 PKR 2,420


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