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Nobel Prize In Chemistry Goes To American Researchers



STOCKHOLM – The 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to two American researchers for their studies on how body cells react to their environments.

Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka were recognized for their “groundbreaking discoveries that reveal the inner workings of an important family of receptors, known as G-protein-coupled receptors,” announced the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

“Your body is a fine-tuned system of interactions between billions of cells,” the Nobel Committee explained. “Each cell has tiny receptors that enable it to sense its environment, so it can adapt to new situations.”

For instance, you hear a loud bang. You are startled, your whole body jumps, your heart pounds. Your brain is sending nerve signals to warn your body. Your adrenal gland has been awakened and it is pumping cortisol, adrenalin and noradrenalin into your body. A multitude of cells have reacted at the same time - thanks to the sensors on the cell surface, they have sensed that something was happening.

These sensors are called receptors. For a long time, scientists have been trying to find these receptors, to understand what they look like and how they send their signals to our cells.

After decades of research, Lefkowitz and Kobilka were able, in 2011, to get an image of the receptor at the moment that it transfers its signal from the outside of the cell to the G-protein on the inside of the cell.

Read more about their groundbreaking research here.

Images courtesy of nobelprize.org.

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New Study Finds High Levels Of Anti-LGBTQ+ Discrimination In Buddhism

We tend to think of Buddhism as a religion devoid of commandments, and therefore generally more accepting than others. The author, an Australian researcher — and "genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist" themself — suggests that it is far from being the case.

Photo of a Buddhist monk in a Cambodia temple, walking away from the camera

Some Buddhist spaces can be highly heteronormative and show lack of understanding toward the LGBTQ+ community

Stephen Kerry

More than half of Australia’s LGBTQIA+ Buddhists feel reluctant to “come out” to their Buddhist communities and nearly one in six have been told directly that being LGBTQIA+ isn’t in keeping with the Buddha’s teachings.

These are some of the findings from my research looking at the experiences of LGBTQIA+ Buddhists in Australia.

✉️ You can receive our LGBTQ+ International roundup every week directly in your inbox. Subscribe here.

I’m a genderqueer, non-binary Buddhist myself and I was curious about others’ experiences in Australia since there has been no research done on our community before. So, in 2020, I surveyed 82 LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and have since followed this up with 29 face-to-face interviews.

Some people may think Buddhism would be quite accepting of LGBTQIA+ people. There are, after all, no religious laws, commandments or punishments in Buddhism. My research indicates, however, this is not always true.

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