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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday's Molecule #143: Winner

The creature is a nematode, specifically a Soybean cyst nematode. The relevant Nobel Prize was to Johannes Fibiger who got for it "discovering" that the nematode Spiroptera carcinoma causes cancer. This species is now called Gongylonema neoplasticum and it doesn't cause cancer. Oops!

The first person to get it right was Linda Zhang, a former student at the University of Toronto who will soon be on her way to graduate school at the University of Hong Kong. The undergraduate winner is Kirill Zaslavsky, a Neuroscience student at the University of Toronto.

Many others got the right answer. It was easier than I thought it would be.

Sometimes it's almost impossible to find an image of a specific molecule that honors a Nobel Laureate. This is another one of those times.

This spectacular photograph shows a particular kind of creature and its egg. You need to identify the phylum to which this species belongs and then use that as a clue to come up with an appropriate Nobel Laureate. Your answer should include the particular species that is associated with the Nobel Prize as well as the Nobel Laureate. Be careful, I want the modern name of the species—not the old name that was used when the Nobel Prize was announced.

Here's a clue. The Nobel Prize was awarded in the last century, not the current one. Here's another clue, outside of the Nobel Peace prize and the mini-Nobel Prize in Economics, this award is probably the biggest mistake that the prize committee has ever made.

The first person to identify the molecule and name the Nobel Laureate(s) wins a free lunch. Previous winners are ineligible for six weeks from the time they first won the prize.

There are six ineligible candidates for this week's reward: Joshua Johnson of Victoria University in Australia, Markus-Frederik Bohn of the Lehrstuhl für Biotechnik in Erlangen, Germany, Jason Oakley a biochemistry student at the University of Toronto, Dima Klenchin of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Alex Ling of the University of Toronto, and Bill Chaney of the University of Nebraska.

Joshua, Dima, and Bill have all agreed to donate their free lunch to an undergraduate. Consequently, I have three extra free lunches for deserving undergraduates. I'm going to award an additional prize to the first undergraduate student who can accept it. Please indicate in your email message whether you are an undergraduate and whether you can make it for lunch. If you can't make it for lunch then please consider donating it to someone who can in the next round.


Nobel Laureates
Send your guess to Sandwalk (sandwalk (at) and I'll pick the first email message that correctly identifies the molecule(s) and names the Nobel Laureate(s). Note that I'm not going to repeat Nobel Prizes so you might want to check the list of previous Sandwalk postings by clicking on the link in the theme box.

Correct responses will be posted tomorrow.

Comments will be blocked for 24 hours. Comments are now open.

[Photo Credit: Wikipedia]

1 comment :

  1. It must be said, I looked at the picture, thought, "Hmmmmm, nematode?", and then looked up nematodes on Wikipedia, where I was immediately confronted with that exact image.