A decades-long battle to discover a virus wins the Nobel

Enlarge / This {photograph} of a bust of Alfred Nobel was taken simply previous to the announcement of the winners of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Drugs on the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 5, 2020. (credit score: JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / Getty Pictures)
The primary recognized human instances of COVID-19 occurred in December 2019. A couple of month glided by earlier than the virus was recognized and its full genome sequence was recognized. This yr’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Drugs honors a 25-year-long battle to establish the virus we now know as hepatitis C.
The ABCs
The hepatitis viruses are a bit complicated. There are actually 5 of them recognized, and whereas they’re united by their potential to assault the liver, they’re very totally different in most different methods. Essentially the most vital of the viruses are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, they usually’re attributable to three largely unrelated viruses—some even differ of their genetic materials, utilizing DNA versus RNA—with very totally different properties.
One of many first variations acknowledged by the medical analysis neighborhood was how the viruses unfold. Hepatitis A infections can begin attributable to contaminated water or meals; in distinction, B and C are sometimes unfold via contaminated blood or needles, making them a menace to the blood provide. The hepatitis A virus was the primary recognized, leaving researchers centered on the bloodborne B and C. B was the subsequent recognized, which is when this yr’s Nobel Laureates enter the image.Learn 9 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

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