Three scientists who discovered how cells sense and adapt to oxygen levels have won the 2019 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine.

The award was shared by Britain’s Sir Peter Ratcliffe and two Americans, William Kaelin and Gregg Semenza.

Their findings affect our day-to-day life from exercise, to being at high altitudes to our early development in the womb.

Their work is leading to new treatments for anaemia and even cancer.

The Swedish Academy said: “The fundamental importance of oxygen has been understood for centuries, but how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen has long been unknown.”

Sir Peter Ratcliffe is based at the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Oxford in the UK, William Kaelin at Harvard in the US and Gregg Semenza at Johns

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