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Canadian born scientist James Peebles wins Nobel Prize in physics

US researchers William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza and Britain’s Peter Ratcliffe on Monday shared the Nobel Medicine Prize for discoveries on how cells sense and adapt to oxygen

Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite, decided the physics, chemistry, medicine and literature prizes should be awarded in Stockholm, and the peace prize in Oslo. The ability to switch from one mode to the other is what these three Nobel laureates and their collaborators discovered.

This year's double-header Literature Prizes - one each for 2018 and 2019 - will be awarded on Thursday and the Peace Prize will be announced on Friday. The Nobel committee said Monday that several trials were underway developing drugs to interrupt this process, potentially short-circuiting tumour growth.

In Baltimore, Semenza said it was when he and colleagues were studying a gene in a rare cell type in the kidney and they did an experiment that showed the factor they discovered - which was linked to oxygen - that suggested it had widespread physiological importance.

Past physics prize laureates include Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and James Chadwick, the discoverer of the neutron.

Randall Johnson, prize committee member, said in a video interview that though some of these discoveries were made in the mid 1990s, the trio is receiving the award now because further research has illuminated the oxygen-sensing process.

Members of the Nobel Committee for Physics sit in front of a screen displaying the names of the winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on October 8, 2019. His field of expertise is oncology Gregg L Semenza, 63 Semenza received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania and trained at Johns Hopkins University, where he became a professor and started a research unit. Previous research had demonstrated that low oxygen levels lead the body to release more erythropoietin, which leads to the production of red blood cells. The protein enables cancer cells to live in the low-oxygen conditions found within tumors, and helps the body respond to cardiovascular events that limit oxygen flow to parts of the body.

Kaelin and Ratcliffe then uncovered the cellular mechanisms behind the regulation of HIF-1.

"You should enter science because you are fascinated by it ... that's what I did".

The prize comes with a 9-million kronor ($134,800) cash award to be shared, a gold medal and a diploma.

"This discovery is the most exciting of our entire career, and to be awarded a Nobel Prize is simply extraordinary", Mayor and Queloz said in a statement on Tuesday.

The economics prize will be awarded next Monday.

Semenza, whose first breakthrough came in 1995, told AFP that the Nobel prize created the false impression that great science was done by older people, when the opposite was in fact true.