October 1, 2008 / 7:56 PM / 10 years ago

FACTBOX: Thomson Reuters forecasts 21 Nobel winners

(Reuters) - The Nobel Prizes for chemistry, physics, medicine and economics will be announced next week in Stockholm, and an analysis by Thomson Reuters predicts the winners to include scientists who helped prove the existence of dark matter and used the power of jellyfish to glow green in experiments.

The analysis makes use of the way scientists credit one another for their work to find out who has done the most influential basic research.

Here is a list of the 21 predicted winners:

*Chemistry - Charles Lieber of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who figured out how to build and use tiny, molecular-scale nanowires.

- Krzysztof Matyjaszewski of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh who used electric charges to make artificial materials called polymers.

- Roger Tsien at the University of California San Diego, La Jolla, who figured out how to use the chemical that makes jellyfish glow green to track biological reactions in the lab.

*Physics - Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov from the University of Manchester for their work on graphene, the thinnest material ever discovered.

- Astronomer Vera Rubin at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, whose work measuring the rotation of galaxies shed light on so-called dark matter in the universe.

- Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford and Dan Shechtman at Iowa State University for their related discoveries of Penrose-tilings — complex geometric models — and a new kind of structure called a quasicrystal.

*Medicine - Shizuo Akira of Osaka University in Japan, Bruce Beutler of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California and the President of the French Academy of Sciences Jules Hoffman for their research on toll-like receptors — the chemical doorways that alert the immune system to germs.

- Victor Ambros at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Gary Ruvkun of Harvard Medical School were cited for their discovery and analysis of the role of microRNAs, tiny strands of genetic material that help control genes.

- Rory Collins and Richard Peto, who mastered the widely used technique called meta-analysis — pooling many different research studies together to make the findings more powerful.

*Economics - Lars Hansen of the University of Chicago, Thomas Sargent at New York University and Princeton University’s Christopher Sims for helping translate arcane economic theory to real-world markets in predicting risky securities, for instance — a field called econometrics.

- Armen Alchian and Harold Demsetz of the University of California Los Angeles’ work on property rights, which stresses in part that common ownership can be inefficient.

- Martin Feldstein of Harvard University, a former adviser to U.S. president Ronald Reagan and expert on public pensions who champions Social Security reform.

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