Doubts cast on Nobel for Medicine

Angered at being ignored for this year's Nobel Prize for Medicine, a prominent US scientist has accused the award body of disgracing itself.

    Paul Lauterbur shared this year's prize with Peter Mansfield

    Raymond Damadian on Friday took out expensive newspaper advertisements and claimed that the prize awarded to American scientist Paul Lauterbur and Briton Peter Mansfield for their work on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should have gone to him instead.

    MRI uses magnetic resonance to distinguish damaged cells in the body.

    Damadian first discovered the revolutionary technology in 1970.

    However, the Nobel foundation earlier this week awarded its prize for MRI work to Lauterbur and Mansfield, ignoring Damadian's pioneering work.

    "The committee that awards the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine did one thing it has not right to do: it ignored the truth," Damadian's adverts in The New York Times and The Washington Post said.

    The disgruntled scientist forked out $200,000 to publicise his grievances.

    Disgrace

    His advertisement said the prestigious body "has disgraced itself" and said "eminent scientists, leading medical textbooks and the historical facts are in disagreement with the decision of the committee."

    "The committee that awards the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine did one thing it has not right to do: it ignored the truth"

    Raymond Damadian

    Prominent scientists were quoted in the advertisement, stating that Damadian made the original discovery in 1970 that led to the development of MRI cameras used in thousands of hospitals around the world.

    It also cites Damadian's March 1973 US Patent Office filing for the first MR scanning patent, seven months before Lauterbur invented a method enabling two-dimensional MR scanning.

    Damadian also publicized support he has received from the scientific community.

    John Watson of the Michigan State University said "being stunned to learn that the Nobel Committee has apparently become so political that it is willing to overlook documented evidence."

    Lauterbur and Mansfield developed technology that permitted advances to be made from original MR technology.

    "The prizes were bestowed "to people who were second and third in developing MRI," said Daniel Culver, a spokesman for Fonar Corp, Damadian's MRI manufacturing group.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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