07 30 2014
  6:14 am  
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(CNN) -- The announcement of the Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday opens the prestigious award season that shines a spotlight on the world's top scholars and peacemakers.


The Nobel Assembly's anticipated announcement at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm is the first in a series of prizes that will be announced this week.


The Norwegian Nobel committee will announce the most anticipated of the annual honors -- the Nobel Peace Prize -- on Friday in Oslo.


The prizes created in 1895 by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel honor work in physics, chemistry, literature, and peace. Economics was added as a category in 1968, and the first prize awarded for economic sciences was in 1969.


The monetary award that accompanies the Nobel Prize was lowered the foundation this year by 20 percent from 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million) to 8 million kronor ($1.2 million) because of turbulence that hit the financial markets.


On Tuesday, the committee will announce its award for achievement in physics. The next day, the winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry will be announced.


On October 15, the committee will announce its award for the prize for economics.


A date for the announcement of the literature prize has not been set.

Since 1901, the committee has handed out the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 101 times. The youngest recipient was Frederick G. Banting, who won in 1923 at the age of 32. The oldest medicine laureate was Peyton Rous, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the prize in 1966.


To date, no one has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine more than once.


One half of the prize in medicine went last year to Ralph Steinman, who died just days before the Nobel committee's announcement.


Steinman was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity.

Steinman, a Canadian immunologist, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 68. He used a kind of experimental dendritic cell-based immunotherapy he designed in his treatment, according to Rockefeller University, where he conducted his research.


The Nobel committee was unaware of his death. Had they known, their own rules would have precluded him being selected as a winner.


The other half of the prize went to Bruce Beutler and Jules A. Hoffman for discovering proteins that detect bacteria in the body and activate the immune system's first line of defense, a process known as innate immunity.


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