Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine – Periodic Table of Videos

The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine – Periodic Table of Videos


For the first time since we started making these Nobel Prize videos, the Medicine Nobel Prize has got such a strong chemical content that we are going to make two: one about chemistry and this one, which is about medicine. And the reason why we are doing the medicine one is because it is recognizing people who have discovered fundamental molecules that can be used for treating disease. In fact, natural products, compounds nature makes, but people isolated them, they found their biological properties and it brought back a lot of memories for me. The prize was divided among three people, but half to two of them, the other half, to one person: Dr Youyou Tu, in China. And I’m going to talk about the Chinese prize winner, because, as you’ll see, her discovery is pretty close to my heart My colleague, Rob, our organic chemist, is going to talk about the other half of the Nobel Prize. Not so much about the people as about the chemical, because, as you’ll hear, it’s got a special meaning to him. [Rob] Back as an undergraduate, in 1992, my very first project was working on a compound related to Avermectin, which is one of the compounds which was discovered, and which was awarded… the discovery of which was awarded the Nobel Prize this year. [Brady] Avermectim? [Rob] Avermectin, yeah, yeah. So, people may have heard of Ivermectin, which is the… it’s used as a sheep dip. So, literally, you dip the sheep in it, and it gets rid of any parasites on the sheep and it works for, you know, a wide variety of things, human beings, even. But, the reason I was working on it is because it doesn’t work on collie dogs. So, actually there are certain types- breeds of dogs which if you give them Avermectin, they’ll have a heart attack and they die. [Professor] The chemical that Youyou Tu discovered- and, I should say that she is the first Chinese scientist to win the Nobel Prize for work done in China, and, also she is one of the relatively few women that have won Nobel Prizes in science. The molecule she discovered is called artemisinin, which is a very potent treatment for malaria. The reason why it has this rather strange name, ‘artemisinin’, is because it is made as an extract- or, one of the ways of obtaining it is an extract from a plant called ‘Artemisia annua’, which grows in China, and has grown in China for as long as anybody can remember, generations. It has been a traditional treatment for malaria. Now, it’s very important to say that the Nobel Prize Committee said that they were recognising the chemical achievement, not traditional medicine, though, traditional medicine, in this case, was what led to the discovery. [Rob] I was working on this compound here. Here’s Avermectin. So, you can see, It’s quite a complicated structure. It’s got this very unusual macrocyclic lactone here, and the milbermycins are the same compounds, but without this sugar side chain. [Brady] And that’s what you were working on. [Rob] Yeah, that’s what we were working on. So we were taking this fermentation product. So, these all come from streptomyces’ fermentation, and we were breaking it down and building it back up to make a molecule which would retain the anti-parisitic properties, but didn’t kill the collie dogs. [Professor] The real intellectual achievement of Dr Tu was that she realised that the modern traditional treatment, which was extracting the plant and then boiling the extract, seemed to produce something that was not very effective. So, she went back to the ancient texts and discovered that in the old days, people didn’t boil it, and this led her to looking at much lower temperature extracts to see what she could find. You can see the importance of this if you look at the structure of artemisinin which has an oxygen-oxygen single bond, and these bonds are notoriously weak. So, if you boil the solution of the molecule, it’ll decompose. So, people were extracting artemisinin, and then destroying it by boiling. It was a really simple but clever idea that led to the discovery. [Brady] That seems almost too simple for a Nobel Prize. [Professor] Well, very often, Nobel Prizes are based on simple ideas. Graphene was discovered by using sticky tape to remove layers of graphite. So, I think you have to be a real genius to have a really simple idea. [Rob] It’s like a great, big chess game. You’ve got to tweak and change and degrade a molecule and build it back up using the rules of chemistry- the chemical reactions that are available. It takes a real strategy and a real technique to understand how to do that and how to build it up. So, we scanned five or six different roots to make our particular drug molecule- completely different roots, but they all started from the same fermentation precursor, they all ended up with the same drug molecule. [Professor] In this case- and the reason why I feel such a personal empathy is because artemisinin is a molecule that I and my colleague Mike George have been working on for several years. So, you can see our video on greener ways of making artemisinin which we’ve developed here in Nottingham. And, in fact, on the day that the prize was announced, I was giving a lecture in Lisbon in which I was talking about artemisinin. And, after lunch at the conference, the chairman stood up and announced the Nobel prize for artemisinin and everybody burst into applause, and I felt a tiny bit of reflected glory. [Rob] This, actually was the first scientific document I ever wrote. So, this is 1992, I was just a third year undergraduate at the time. And, obviously when you work in a company, this is embargoed- a secret but, because that’s over twenty years ago now, I can disclose this compound here, although these are known in the literature anyway. But, actually it was written in Word 5.1. So, it’s taken me about twenty-five minutes to find something which would open this document. In fact, I’ve lost the front page. [Professor] I think there is a very important lesson in Dr Tu’s Nobel Prize. She is a scientist who has worked all her life in China. She has not gone to prestigious labs in other countries. And, she has published her work, but not in famous journals like Nature and Science, and these other journals. but it demonstrates that really original science can be recognised without looking at some of the parameters that younger scientists now worry about. What is the status of the journal?- and so on. So, if you are a young scientist, it is the quality of your ideas that are important, and if your ideas are really good, they will be recognised. So, don’t broadcast this till we get back. The question that I think you’ll all be wanting to know is how much does it weigh? What is the gold worth? And so, just to answer your question, I brought a balance. And that’s also in my pocket. It’s quite a nice little balance. So, here goes: weighing a Nobel Prize!

100 Replies to “The 2015 Nobel Prize in Medicine – Periodic Table of Videos”

  • I find the audio have lower then average volume on in general on your channels. Could you maybe up the volume by 25% in future videos?

  • The moment the professor said they boiled it, i thought … "then don't boil it" i did not even need to read through ancient texts ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Please don't fall into the feminist trap of celebrating female scientist for simply being female. It's derogatory.

  • You know how as you grow up, most struggle with what they wanted to be.

    Well with the wonder of hindsight and decades of discovering what kind of person I am and realising what I would not only enjoy, but excel at, I wish I had been a Chemist.

    It's so depressing coming to this conclusion so late. Stop wasting your precious youth kids, the day will come when it is all just too late…

  • In the next video I'd like the professor to have an afro comb in his hair, black shades on and a gold chain around his neck.

  • I loved the last bit of this video even more than I normally love them and had to post a comment. Im sure it's very inspiring for scientists that may not be collaborating with the "big names" that even though they may not be working with Harvard or anyone like that, and they may not have the fanciest degree, that their work can be just as recognised as anyone else's. Science is one of the very few fields out there that is completely about fact. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, or how much money you have. If your idea is truly great then the little guy can be just as great if not better than the big wigs. The only limit you have is yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

  • When he said, "it doesn't work on collie dogs", I was like, what mechanism within the dogs makes it ineffective against parasites. When he said it gives them a heart attack, I was like "oh"…

  • Is it just me or is the audio in this video kind of quiet? compared to some of my other subs, Brady's videos tend to be quieter than the rest.

  • Make that "If your ideas are really good, they might be recognized."

    I don't want to know how much really great research is buried in the insane amount of papers that are produced these days. Nobody can read all that stuff and great ideas have gone unrecognized for decades or even centuries way back in the days when people didn't have to restrict themselves to tiny subfields to be able to keep up.

  • Why did you have to cut between the discussion of the two different compounds so much? It made it a little tough to follow.

  • So are the two discoveries related in any way? Or is the prize split between an anti-malaria molecule and a molecule that kills parasites but not dogs? And if so why not two separate prizes?

  • It's annoying that this video keeps switching between two different tracks. Trust us to have an attention span of more than thirty seconds, please.

  • Ivermectin toxicity in collies (or rarely, in other breeds) happens due to the deletion of part of the mdr-1 gene that codes for a truncated P-glycoprotein causing an inability to actively transport (and therefore excrete) ivermectin across the blood brain barrier in CNS epithelium. The effect is severe neurologic dz (eg: seizures). Vets have a saying: "white feet, do not treat" because many collies and collie related breeds have white feet.

  • The Nobel Prize committee didnt want to recognise the benefits and knowledge contained in alternative medicine. Pharmaceutical corporations love that dont they.

  • If you structured your videos differently, they'd be far more interesting, the first minute told us very little and could've been shortened a lot.

  • If it is a really simple idea, but somehow the whole world has not thought of it in scientific history, then it is still an ingenious idea.

  • does anyone remember the video of periodic videos where they ask Neal where he got a material and he just nods and says I don't know

  • I have a question for you guys! I was working with some aqueous copper sulfate (which is a beautiful blue) and a thought popped into my head – would it be possible to paint (or create paints) with colorful solutions like copper sulfate, cobalt chloride, etc?

  • shocking, modern science turning to ancient science to get things done. scientific heresy!!!!! this could undo all the lies of modern science, about ancient people knowing nothing!

  • 4:59
    "You have to be a real genius to have a really simple idea"
    -Sir Martyn "The Professor" Poliakoff

    I think this may be my favorite Professor quote of all time.

  • Please stop finding cures for malaria. These cures cause unsustainable population growth. People breed like rabbits and dumping carbon and on and on.

    Let them die.

    Prize should be given for the methodology developed to decipher ancient Chinese texts , NOT for the cures this cures that.

  • Nobel prizes are useless except the Nobel physics prize.

    DDT discovery by an insect torturing specialist high school student also spawned a Nobel prize. What did DDT really do to earth?

  • We used the bovine version of ivemection on the farm when I was growing up. Very effective against all the little critters that attack livestock and diminish productivity.

  • So I just discovered this channel and it is wonderful. Btw I love the comical anecdotes you add, British humour is the best

  • poliakof was in my city lisbon and I didn't met him :'(((((((((((((((((((((((((((
    anyway, next year he will get the nobel prize

  • Younger scientists worry about those parameters because those parameters are what hiring committees care about. It's not enough to tell young researchers that their work will one day be recognised. Academic policies need to change.

  • I'm astounded that traditional medicine led to a legitimate scientific discovery. But this is why we must always keep an open mind.

  • I have so many ideas, but they are simple.. I just keep them for myself.. after sometime I see someone becoming famous with an idea that is not very different from mines.

  • How does the 'spell checker' know which base is wrong? Would this have an affect on the proteins produced?

  • ูู…ู† ูƒู†ุช ู…ูˆู„ุงู‡ ูุนู„ูŠ ู…ูˆู„ุงู‡ says:

    can you make a continuously beating cuff/a beating heart through a cycle of: explosssion and quick condensation and explosssion/gas expanding then condensation again and the cycle continues, the way it can be made is by having liquid reacting with a thin flexible layer/coating to give expanding gas then the gas touches a layer that changes it to liquid again which still react with the bottom layer to form a rapidly expanding gas, and a layer beneath the reactive layer in the bottom that forms the reactive layer again and layer that forms the top layer which rapidly changes the gas to liquid again. in other words a continuously pulsating cuff that beats forever/an engine that moves forever.

  • ูู…ู† ูƒู†ุช ู…ูˆู„ุงู‡ ูุนู„ูŠ ู…ูˆู„ุงู‡ says:

    can you make a continuously beating cuff/a beating heart through a cycle of: explosssion and quick condensation and explosssion/gas expanding then condensation again and the cycle continues, the way it can be made is by having liquid reacting with a thin flexible layer/coating to give expanding gas then the gas touches a layer that changes it to liquid again which still react with the bottom layer to form a rapidly expanding gas, and a layer beneath the reactive layer in the bottom that forms the reactive layer again and layer that forms the top layer which rapidly changes the gas to liquid again. in other words a continuously pulsating cuff that beats forever/an engine that moves forever.

  • When I go to the tropics, I always put a bit of artemisin and ivermectin in my vodka….knock all kinda parasites right out…you can also get an incredible high off of 'em….

  • I've discovered this channel recently, and well, it's a pleasure to hear prepared people talking about their fields of expertise. Unlike many (too many) other people on YouTube and Internet in general.

    Congratulations and thanks you!.

  • so it was tested on the poor canine, how unfortunate. on an empty stomach? ive seen dogs get high on Chocolate, but i am sure that was ruled out ?

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