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November 2019

2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Animals need oxygen for the conversion of food into useful energy. The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for centuries, but how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen has long been unknown. William G. Kaelin Jr., Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen

It takes a photon up to 40,000 years to travel from the core of the sun to its surface, but only 8 minutes to travel the rest of the way to Earth

A photon travels, on average, a particular distance before being briefly absorbed and released by an atom, which scatters it in a new random direction. To travel from the sun’s core to the sun’s surface (696,000 kilometres) so it can escape into space, a photon needs to make a huge number of drunken jumps.The calculation is a little tricky, but the…