Gurdon, Yamanaka Win Medicine Nobel

Kyodo / Reuters-Landov

Kyoto University Professor Shinya Yamanaka (L) and John Gurdon of the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge are seen at a symposium on induced pluripotent stem cell in Tokyo, in this photo taken by Kyodo on April 2008.

Two scientists who discovered that mature cells can be turned back into stem cells won the Nobel Prize in Medicine on Monday. John Gurdon of Britain and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan made the revolutionary find that cells could be reprogrammed, groundbreaking research that may make radical new treatments possible. The Nobel committee said the pair’s work has “revolutionized our understanding of how cells and organisms develop.” Gurdon, a 79-year-old professor at Cambridge University, made the first crucial breakthroughs in his research in 1962.