Great Science takes time - a lot of it.

Great Science takes time - a lot of it.

10.08.12 | By

This morning, British scientist John Gurdon shared one of two Nobel Prizes awarded this year in physiology and medicine. Dr. Gurdon and a younger colleague, the Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka, are credited with research that has led to the discovery that that mature, specialized cells of the body can be reprogrammed into stem cells - a discovery that scientists hope to turn into new treatments.

This is hard-core basic research. It is the kind of stuff that generally takes a long time to understand and then more time to figure out whether there is real potential for a new treatment or even a cure for a particular condition. In fact, the point I want to make is that Dr. Gurdon's critical contributions occurred around 50 years ago.

More often than not, this is how science works when it works. Innovation, advancement and ultimate success are rarely clear at the outset of a research project and in the vast majority of cases long, complex and costly research leads nowhere. But, sometimes it does go somewhere and has the potential to dramatically improve science and health. So congratulations to Dr. Gurdon and Dr. Yamanaka. Their work is opening new doors - and probably in ways that Dr. Gurdon had no idea existed when he set out on this long, long journey.

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