06 October 2009

Blackburn's revenge

Elizabeth Blackburn, an Australian-American biochemist at the University of California in San Francisco, was once fired by George W. Bush. A member of his council on bioethics, she was axed for criticizing his opposition to embryonic stem cell research. She later observed that his administration seemed to have the "strange impression that science was the enemy of morality."

Blackburn, who is included on Time Magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people, was informed early Monday morning that she had won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for her contribution to the discovery of a biological gatekeeper that prevents genetic code from fraying with age. She shared the award with two geneticists: Carol Greider, of Johns Hopkins University, and Jack Szostak, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

One wonders which is the biggest honour, winning a Nobel or being fired by George W. Bush.

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