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Does Prasher Deserve a Nobel?

Does Prasher Deserve a Nobel Prize?

Poll closed Oct 10, 2009.
  1. Yes , Tsien may have not found out about GFP without Prasher.

    2 vote(s)
  2. No , he did common genetic work and not the creative work for which the Nobel was awarded.

    0 vote(s)
  3. Yes , Tsien needs to give some of his money to Prasher since he had expedited Tsien's success.

    0 vote(s)
  4. No , Shimomura was awarded for the discovery and isolation of GFP , awarding Prasher is reduntant.

    1 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Oct 15, 2008 #1


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    On the front page of Yahoo

    With all of this controversy surrounding the prevalent opinions that Prasher deserved a Nobel , I'm going to make a few pointers here on why he does NOT deserve a Nobel. And yes , this is one of those polls where the original post is actually biased , however , I am certain that there are people out there who are going to fervently disagree.

    - The Nobel was awarded for the ingenious and creative use of GFP. Not for the genetic work of cloning it , which could have been done by any decently talented scientist.

    - The discovery of the GFP protein was rewarded to Shimomura who isolated it and worked on it way before Prasher. Awarding Prasher a Nobel is superfluous.

    - Prasher gave Tsien his lead to investigate the usefullness of GFP , Tsien being the genius that he is utilized it for greater purposes. He was going to find out about it eventually. Does Tsien need to give some of his Nobel earnings to Prasher for expediting this process? Has he vindicated Prasher's unfortunate case by acknowledging him in speeches?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2008 #2


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    I don't know about the specifics of the discipline involved, but I think the most important thing is that the discoveries have been made. Especially not in science, you can never say "I did all the work." We stand on the shoulders of giants. The Nobel Prize board most likely thought carefully about their decisions in the field of Chemistry.

    It is between Shimomura and Prasher as to what happens to the money.
  4. Oct 31, 2008 #3
    He DID deserve to share in the Nobel. He was *the* one to first conceptualize the use of GFP as a genetic label, which is the primary significance of the protein in biotechnology today. He didn't simply seek to clone its gene, as you suggest. He DID clone the gene and was trying to establish its usefulness as a label in bacteria. His loss of research funding kept him from overcoming some relatively minor technical hurdles involving his expression construct and doing just that. Tsien and Chalfie later did accomplish that task - *with* the gene that he cloned, gave to them, and of which originally pointed out the potential usefulness.

    It's simple - he was seriously shortchanged.
  5. Oct 31, 2008 #4
    lesson learned, hoard your data
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