Nobel Prize in Medicine 2011
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011, was divided—one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler (of the United States) and Jules A. Hoffmann (of Luxembourg and France) "for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity" and the other half to Canadian-born Ralph M. Steinman "for his discovery of the dendritic cell and its role in adaptive immunity." Sadly, cell biologist Steinman died before he was informed he was going to receive the prize, and the Nobel Prize Committee was not aware of his death. They spent the morning calling Steinman to offer the traditional congratulations only to discover they faced a unique situation. After anguished consultations on the fate of the prize, and money worth three quarters of a million dollars, they decided it would go to Steinman's heirs. Steinman’s research contributed to the launch last year of the first approved vaccine to kill tumors, and he was working until his final days, colleagues said. Find out more about the inventor and founder of the Nobel Foundation, Alfred Nobel: Nobel by name, noble by nature

Nobel Prize in Physics 2011
Two American scientists and one Australian are the winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics. Half of the award went to Saul Perlmutter from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley. The other half went to Brian P. Schmidt of Australian National University and Adam G. Riess of Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute. The prize in physics is worth 10 million SEK ($1.44 million). Scientists had known for a while that the universe is expanding because of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. However, the two teams that won this year's prize discovered that the universe's expansion was accelerating. They did so by studying a type of exploding star, called supernova. The acceleration is believed to be caused by dark energy, but what that is remains perhaps physics greatest enigma today. The Physics Prize is the second of six Nobel Prizes to be announced during the month of October.

Israeli wins 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
An Israeli scientist who was once so out of line with his work that he was being ridiculed for it, has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry. The work of Daniel Shechtman has opened the doors for experiments in the use of quasicrystals, which he discovered, in everything from diesel engines to frying pans. What Shechtman found in 1982 was that atoms in crystals could be packed in a pattern which did not repeat itself - recalling the intricate mosaics of Arab art and flying in the face of the accepted view that patterns had to be repetitious. "His discovery was extremely controversial. In the course of defending his findings, he was asked to leave his research group," said the Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Tel Aviv-born Shechtman, 70, is based at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, in the northern city of Haifa.

Adonis for literature?
The Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced on Thursday, October 6. The Literature prize is usually the most difficult of the Nobel prizes to predict. Writers typically considered among the favorites for the literature prize include Syrian poet Adonis, Canadians Margaret Atwood and Alice Munroe, South Korea’s Ko Un and American authors Philip Roth, Joyce Carol Oates and Thomas Pynchon. Bet-loving England seems to favor Adonis; bookmaker Ladbrokes has the Syrian-born but France-based poet leading the pack at 4-1. Why that is? According to those in the know, it’s because Adonis writes in Arabic, a language underrepresented among Nobelists. Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer is another favorite, and Tranströmer comes in second at 6-1 followed by Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami at 8-1. Odds on last year’s winner, Mario Vargas Llosa, closed at 40-1.