See article: "Reprogramming of gene expression following nuclear transfer to the Xenopus oocyte",
Jérôme Jullien and John Gurdon Biologie Aujourd'hui, Volume 205, Number 2, 2011, pp 105 - 110

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The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to the biologist John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent".

The Nobel Prize recognizes two scientists who discovered that mature, specialised cells can be reprogrammed to become immature cells capable of developing into all tissues of the body. Their findings have revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop.

John B. Gurdon discovered in 1962 that the specialisation of cells is reversible. In a classic experiment, he replaced the immature cell nucleus in an egg cell of a frog with the nucleus from a mature intestinal cell. This modified egg cell developed into a normal tadpole. The DNA of the mature cell still had all the information needed to develop all cells in the frog.

Sir John B. Gurdon was born in 1933 in Dippenhall, UK. He joined Cambridge University, UK, in 1972 and has served as Professor of Cell Biology and Master of Magdalene College. Gurdon is currently at the Gurdon Institute in Cambridge.