Arriving a year after the brutal coup against the elected socialist government, GRAHAM HOLTON experienced first hand the all-encompassing oppression of the military dictatorship as he travelled — until he too was arrested as a leftist
IT has been nearly 50 years since the infamous coup in Chile on September 11, 1973. The world became aware of the heinous birth of Augusto Pinochet’s coup d’etat when the international television networks showed the Chilean air force’s Harrier jets attacking the Palace de La Moneda, the seat of government.
Truckloads of soldiers across the country arrested thousands of people, who wound up in 13 concentration camps where many were tortured and killed. Some supporters of the Popular Unity (UP) government sought refuge in embassies. Others went into exile.
The life of president Salvador Allende, the world’s first democratically elected socialist president, ended that day. The Pinochet regime tore the fabric of Chilean society asunder, wrenching out the heart of the left. A sinister veil had fallen upon the country, like a plague of locusts devouring everything in its path.
This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded for pioneering studies of human evolution that harnessed precious snippets of DNA found in fossils that are tens of thousands of years old.
The work of Svante Pääbo, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, Germany, led to the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome and the discovery of a new group of hominins called the Denisovans, and also spawned the fiercely competitive field of palaeogenomics.
By tracing how genes flowed between ancient hominin populations, researchers have been able to trace these groups’ migrations, as well as the origins of some aspects of modern human physiology, including features of the immune system and mechanisms of adaptation to life at high altitudes.
Three quantum physicists have won the 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for their experiments with entangled photons, in which particles of light become inextricably linked. Such experiments have laid the foundations for an abundance of quantum technologies, including quantum computers and communications.
Alain Aspect, John Clauser and Anton Zeilinger will each share one-third of the 10-million-kronor (US$915,000) prize.
“I was actually very surprised to get the call,” said Zeilinger, a physicist at the University of Vienna, at the press conference announcing the award. “This prize would not be possible without the work of more than 100 young people over the years.”
Three chemists who pioneered a useful technique called click chemistry to join molecules together efficiently have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Barry Sharpless at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, and Morten Meldal at the University of Copenhagen laid the foundation for click chemistry, and both independently discovered a pivotal reaction that could link two molecules — an azide and an alkyne — with relative ease1,2,3. This reaction has been used to develop a host of molecules, including plastics and potential pharmaceuticals.
The third winner, Carolyn Bertozzi at Stanford University in California, used click chemistry to map the complex sugar-based polymers called glycans on the surface of living cells without disturbing cell function4. To do this, she developed processes called bioorthogonal reactions, which are now being used to aid the development of cancer drugs.