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Editorial: Nobel Week takes us to school — in a good way

David Winelis one two scientists awarded Nobel phsyics.  |  DanRomanoff~Getty  Images

David Wineland is one of two scientists awarded a Nobel in phsyics. | Dana Romanoff~Getty Images

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Updated: November 11, 2012 6:18AM

This is the week when the world goes back to school.

It’s time for the Nobel Prizes.

On Monday, the prize for medicine went to two scientists for the discovery “that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.” In other words, the two scientists, 44 years apart, laid the groundwork for cloning animals and generating stem cells.

On Tuesday, the physics prize went to two more scientists “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.” In other words, two scientists dreamed up ingenious laboratory methods to measure and control what was once considered unobservable. Their methods have opened the door to the possibility of a new type of super-fast computer based on quantum physics.

Next up on Wednesday is chemistry, followed by literature, peace and economics.

For a moment, drop back into the best the classroom has to offer:

A small window into the profound, painstaking and richly rewarding world of scientific inquiry and the drive for excellence.

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