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Look to Nature for Solutions

Nobel laureate in chemistry, Prof. Roger D. Kornberg, feels that the future of science is to go back to the basics

PGI Chandigarh’s Bhargava Auditorium was packed to capacity on Wednesday evening. The authorities, not expecting such a rush, had erected temporary curtains to cut down on the capacity of the auditorium, but these had to be dismantled to accommodate the surge of people.

Look to Nature for Solutions, Lifeinchd

Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

It was one of those special honours for even the prestigious Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research – hosting Nobel laureate in Chemistry, Prof. Roger D. Kornberg, for his talk on ‘Basic Science : Back to the Future’.

A genial looking Prof.  Kornberg (70), who is currently professor of medicine in the department of structural biology, at the Stanford School of Medicine in the US, had a simple mantra to offer : “Solutions to some of the most challenging and complex medical problems lie in Nature. Have curiosity towards Nature and solutions to the most challenging questions will follow,” he said.

Look to Nature for Solutions, Lifeinchd

Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

“Not many in the audience would know that what we call as modern medicine is actually 100 years old. As a brash 25-year-old I also erroneously thought that the findings of people who came before me were irrelevant. But no, after 45 years in research I realised that those are as relevant today as they were then. The basics never change,” he averred.

Look to Nature for Solutions, Lifeinchd

Photo By: Life in Chandigarh

Prof. Kornberg felt that knowledge is limiting. “We might have acquired just a fraction of the information that is there to be had. If we have acquired 0.01 percent of the knowledge, we still have 99.99 percent still to be acquired. So, you can well imagine the enormous opportunities which still lie ahead. Most of the pioneering research which has been done has not been to find solutions to particular medical problems, but because of the yearning to acquire more and more knowledge for knowledge sake, he added.

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