Stem Scene: 2020 Nobel Prize winners

by Sabrina Zhu, Assistant STEM Editor

Physics

Michelle Liu

Roger Penrose received one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics for proving that black holes can exist and that they are direct results of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez jointly received the other half for providing evidence for a black hole or supermassive object at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Physiology or Medicine

Michelle Liu

Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the Hepatitis C virus. Their work has saved the lives of millions of people suffering with liver cancer and cirrhosis by making blood tests possible and developing new treatments.

Chemistry

Michelle Liu

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, a new technology that can modify the DNA of microorganisms, plants, and animals. Their work can greatly impact the discovery of new cures and treatments for cancer and inherited diseases.

Economic Sciences

Michelle Liu

Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson received the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for their extensive research on auctions. They also developed new auction structures for products that are not easily sold in traditional models, which have helped consumers, producers, and taxpayers.