Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Gurdon and Yamanaka
The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent. John B. Gurdon discovered in 1962 that the specialization of cells is reversible. In a classic experiment, he replaced the immature cell nucleus in an egg cell of a frog with the nucleus from a mature intestinal cell. This modified egg cell developed into a normal tadpole. The DNA of the mature cell still had all the information needed to develop all cells in the frog. Shinya Yamanaka discovered more than 40 years later, in 2006, how intact mature cells in mice could be reprogrammed to become immature stem cells. Surprisingly, by introducing only a few genes, he could reprogram mature cells to become pluripotent stem cells, i.e. immature cells that are able to develop into all types of cells in the body. Sir John B. Gurdon was born in 1933 in Dippenhall, UK. He received his Doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1960 and was a postdoctoral fellow at California Institute of Technology. He joined Cambridge University, UK, in 1972 and has served as Professor of Cell Biology and Master of Magdalene College. Gurdon is currently at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge. Shinya Yamanaka was born in Osaka, Japan in 1962. He obtained his MD in 1987 at Kobe University and trained as an orthopaedic surgeon before switching to basic research. Yamanaka received his PhD at Osaka University in 1993, after which he worked at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco and Nara Institute of Science and Technology in Japan. Yamanaka is currently Professor at Kyoto University and also affiliated with the Gladstone Institute.

2012 Nobel Prize in Physics to French American duo
A French American duo gets to share the 2012 Nobel Prize in physics. It is for inventing methods to observe the bizarre properties of the quantum world, research that has led to the construction of extremely precise clocks and helped scientist take the first steps towards building super fast computers. Serge Haroche of France and David Wineland of the US have together opened the door to new experiments in quantum physics by showing to observe individual quantum particles while preserving their quantum properties. A quantum particle is one that is isolated from everything else. In this situation, an atom or electron or photon takes on strange properties. It can be in two places at once, for example. It behaves in some ways like a wave. But these properties are instantly changed when it interacts with something else, such as when somebody observes it. The Swedish Academy said the following in a statement: "Their ground-breaking methods have enabled this field of research to take the very first steps towards building a new type of superfast computer based on quantum physics. The research has also led to the construction of extremely precise clocks that could become the future basis for a new standard of time."

Juice worse than soda
Regular fruit juice is worse for your teeth than say Coca Cola. This according to an experiment that daily Svenska Daglbladet and Karolinska Institutet conducted in order to see which of the two drinks is more corroding on the teeth. Milk-teeth were put in different sour drinks, and worst of the drinks was the energy drink Red Bull, but the vitamin drink Vitamin Well was also bad, as was regular grapefruit juice. The corrosion of teeth is quickly becoming a widespread disease in Sweden, according to research. Corroded teeth can lead to pain.

Royal names for pets
Forget the usual Swedish names for pets, names like Fido (for a dog) or Misse (for a cat). It's 2012, and the trend for pet names is decidedly royal. Sweden’s newest princess, Estelle, has created a boom for our four-legged friends. “There’s a clear influence from the choice of name by Victoria and Daniel,” says Cecilia Winter, Communications Officer at Agria Djurförsäkringar (a pet insurance agency). “There’s been an increase in the name Estelle since the princess was born in February. Perhaps many feel their pets are as cute as our little princess.” In total 60% of puppies and 47% of kittens have been registered as Estelle, though the name doesn’t beat Molly and Smulan, the absolute most popular names for dogs and cats. “Many get their inspiration from friends and names that are already popular. They aren’t as creative as one would think, and the most popular names aren’t as sensational as you’d think,” Winter continues.

Fewer organ donors in Sweden
The number of dead donors in Sweden has decreased to 102, compared to 111 during the same period last year, according to Socialstyrelsen (the National Board of Health and Welfare). Even organ donations from living donors are decreasing, which is a trend breach after years of consistent increase. Why this is, is difficult to say, according to Anette Richardsson, adviser at Socialstyrelsen. One explanation might be that the people responsible for donations at the hospitals, haven’t received enough time to work with the issues and that the hospitals are systematically working with clear routines when it comes to organ donations.