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NOBLE Nobel Winner Died Days Before Prize JONATHAN NACKSTRAND / Getty Images

Posthumous Nobel Still Stands

What's the "Nobel" thing to do? Three scientists won the 2011 award for medicine thanks to their research into the immune system that has led to improved vaccines and cancer treatments. Bruce Beutler of the U.S., Luxembourg-born Jules Hoffmann, and Canadian-born Ralph Steinman shared the prize. Sadly, though, Rockefeller University announced later on Monday that Steinman had died just days before, on Sept. 30. The Nobel committee was not aware he was dead when it declared the prize, and its rules stipulate that posthumous awards are not eligible. But in a big-hearted and fair-minded move following an emergency meeting, the committee said the award still stands.

October 3, 2011 1:35 PM