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Medical News & Perspectives
November 18, 1998

1998 NObel Prize Winners Are Announced: Three Discoverers of Nitric Oxide Activity

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JAMA. 1998;280(19):1648. doi:10.1001/jama.280.19.1648-JMN1118-4-1

COMEDIANS on late-night television got laughs when they noted that a bunch of old men in Sweden awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine to three researchers whose work resulted in the creation of Viagra. But there's more to the story.

US pharmacologists Robert F. Furchgott, PhD, Ferid Murad, MD, PhD, and Louis J. Ignarro, PhD, didn't set out to make bedrooms exciting again for aging men, and that's not why they won the award. The Nobel assembly at the Karolinska Institute awarded the prize for their independent discoveries concerning "nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system."

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