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5 Recent Nobel Prize Winners Aged 65 and Over

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

In 2016, the Nobel Laureates for physics, medicine, and chemistry were all age 65 or over, with most over 72. However, these are not the only categories featuring older laureates, proving people in their senior years have much to offer the world. Placer County, Folsom, and Granite Bay elderly care experts have put together a list of 5 of the amazing older adults who were awarded the Nobel Prize this year.

1. Yoshinori Ohsumi

Biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi, age 71, won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Ohsumi’s award derived from brilliant experiments begun in the 1990s in autophagy, the process by which automatic mechanisms inside cells clean out debris, which can contribute to understanding and curing diseases like cancer.

2. David James Thouless

David James Thouless, 82, won the award for physics for his work in exotic states of matter, which has impacted many fields, including superconductivity. Physics is one of the fields where the average age of winners has grown steadily since the 1950s, when many winners were under 40. According to the BBC, 100 years ago there were 1,000 physicists. Today, there are over 1,000,000.

3. Sir James Fraser Stoddart

Chemist Sir James Fraser Stoddart, 74, was recognized for work done in 1991, when he built a molecular ring able to wrap around a thin molecular axle, which moved the ring along the axle, thus performing work. This research has wide reaching impacts in other fields, including the development of microcomputer chips.

4. Oliver Hart

68-year-old Hart provided new tools to study economic questions on contract theory, including analyzing successful mergers and privatization of schools and prisons. His work over a 30-year period influenced many branches of economics. 

5. Juan Manuel Santos

Santos, age 65, is the president of Columbia and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Santos brokered a peace deal to end 52 years of war with leftist rebels. Although voters rejected the treaty, Santos continues to fight for peace.

Though only a select few win the Nobel Prize each year, all older adults can take measures to keep their brains active and healthy. If your senior loved one needs more opportunities to participate in mentally stimulating activities, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care Granite Bay, CA, seniors can count on, and our caregivers are available around the clock to provide mental and social stimulation and assist with a wide array of everyday tasks. For more information on our elder care services, please call 916.226.3737 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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