The Nobel Prize 2020

How much do you know about the 2020 Nobel Prizes?
Nobel Medal
© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Bernhard Ludewig
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Which one of the prize categories - physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, peace and economic sciences - were not originally listed in Alfred Nobel’s will?
Photo: Pi Frisk

The Economic Sciences Prize was not listed in Alfred Nobel’s will. In the late 1960s, Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden's central bank) established the Economic Sciences Prize in memory of Alfred Nobel.

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One half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded for the discovery of a black hole in our galaxy. What is the name of our galaxy?
Photo: NASA Goddard
One half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded for contributions to the discovery of an invisible but incredibly heavy object at the centre of our galaxy, the Milky Way – an object that must be a black hole.
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How big would our planet Earth be if it was as compact as a black hole?
Photo: NASA

Black holes are incredibly heavy and compact objects. If the planet Earth was as compact as a black hole, it would be just 9 millimetres in diameter.

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The 2020 Chemistry Laureates discovered that a little organism had a clever way of fighting viruses using genetic scissors. Which organism?
Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Just like people, bacteria can be infected by viruses, so they need a way to defend themselves. The 2020 Chemistry Laureates realised that the bacteria's clever genetic scissors could be used to make changes to the genetic code - that is, the genome - of other living organisms besides bacteria.

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The only limit to how the genetic scissors can be used is our imagination. But there are also risks that the technology could be misused. What is forbidden?
Photo: UC Berkeley/Stephen McNally

For many years now there have been laws and regulations that determine how gene technology may be used, such as forbidding changes to the human genome that can be inherited by following generations.

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The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awards the discovery of a virus. What is the name of the disease that this virus causes?

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded for the discovery of a completely new virus that causes the disease hepatitis C. More than a million people die of hepatitis every year, which is about as many as die of tuberculosis and HIV infection.

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The 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awards the discovery of a virus. What symptoms does the virus cause?
Photo: Public domain

The 2020 Medicine Laureates discovered the hepatitis C virus which causes inflammation of the liver. This inflammation could lead to chronic liver damage and cancer in people all over the world.

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The 2020 Literature Laureate Louise Glück is…
Photo: Katherine Wolkoff

Louise Glück is considered by many to be one of the most important poets in American Literature today.

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Who was awarded with the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize?
The 2020 Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP). The organisation is a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

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The awarded research by the 2020 Economic Sciences Laureates is about what?
The 2020 Economic Sciences Laureates have clarified how auctions work and why bidders act as they do.
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© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Bernhard Ludewig