The 2008 Nobel season ended Monday with the announcement of the winner of the prize for Economics.
Here is a summary of this year’s laureates.
– Paul Krugman, professor of economics and international affairs at Princeton University and a critic of the Bush administration, won for work that integrates the previously disparate research fields of international trade and economic geography, helping to explain issues such as what drives worldwide urbanization.
– Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari won for a three decades-long career of peacemaking around the globe from Namibia to Kosovo.
– French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio took the Literature prize. The writer, whose early work in the 1960s was acclaimed for its wordplay and imagery, later delved into childhood themes. His breakthrough first novel, “Le proces-verbal” (”The Interrogation”), was published in 1963.
– Osamu Shimomura of Japan and Americans Martin Chalfie and Roger Tsien won for their discovery of the protein GFP. The green fluorescent protein was first observed in jellyfish and it helps scientists spot the onset of maladies such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
– Yoichiro Nambu, a Tokyo-born American citizen, and Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa of Japan won for separate work that helped explain why the universe is made up mostly of matter and not anti-matter via processes known as broken symmetries.
* PHYSIOLOGY OR MEDICINE:
– Luc Montagnier, director of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, and Francoise Barre-Sinoussi of the Institut Pasteur took half the prize for discovering the HIV virus that has killed 25 million people since it was identified in the 1980s.
– Dr. Harald zur Hausen of the University of Duesseldorf and a former director of the German Cancer Research Center shared the other half of the prize for work that went against the established opinion about the cause of cervical cancer.