We tend to say that information security is a small world. Conferences quickly become real-life demonstrations of the principle of six-degrees-of-separation. After a few years working in this industry, you either meet all or are within one hop of all the major players in the space; there just aren't enough practitioners otherwise. Every so often, however, a connection between a real-world event and someone from the information security community comes to light, as we saw in the 2008 Nobel Prize awards. This year, Osamu Shimomura was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and isolation of GFP, the source of fluorescence in several organisms. His co-awardees isolated the genetic basis for the creation of the protein. Their work has created a "test vector" for genetic manipulation, where researchers can visually determine if their gene therapy techniques work by looking for indications of fluorescence.
Osamu Shimomura is also the father of Tsutomu Shimomura, the physicist and information security researcher who worked to identify Kevin Mitnick, the infamous computer hacker, as the source of a break in at San Diego Supercomputer Centre almost 13 years ago.
While it is not really a computer security story, it is definitely interesting to see how many facets of our world are touched by our community.