Health: Genetic Discovery Sweeps Nobel
The achievements of Dr Andrew Fire and Dr Craig Mello could lead to new treatments for a range of illnesses, including viral infections and cancer.
They discovered a phenomenon called RNA interference, which regulates the expression of genes. The breakthrough has also given scientists the ability to systematically test the functions of all human genes.
The process is already being widely used in science as a method to study the function of genes. It has the potential to help researchers shut down genes, which cause harm in the body.
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