Three scientists share 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Updated 2017-10-05 08:31:52 Xinhua
Winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson (from L to R) are shown on a screen at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, on Oct. 4, 2017. Three scientists shared 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Wednesday. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.

Winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson (from L to R) are shown on a screen at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, on Oct. 4, 2017. Three scientists shared 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Wednesday. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".

Three scientists have shared 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Wednesday.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".

Dubochet, born 1942 in Aigle, Switzerland, is Honorary Professor of Biophysics at University of Lausanne, Switzerland; Frank, born 1940 in Siegen, Germany, is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, USA; Richard Henderson, born 1945 in Edinburgh, Scotland, is Programme Leader at MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, Britain.

In 1990, Henderson succeeded in using an electron microscope to generate a three-dimensional image of a protein at atomic resolution. This breakthrough proved the technology's potential.

Frank made the technology generally applicable. Between 1975 and 1986 he developed an image processing method in which the electron microscope's fuzzy two-dimensional images are analysed and merged to reveal a sharp three-dimensional structure.

Dubochet added water to electron microscopy. In the early 1980s, he succeeded in vitrifying water -- he cooled water so rapidly that it solidified in its liquid form around a biological sample, allowing the biomolecules to retain their natural shape even in a vacuum.

Researchers can now freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualise processes they have never previously seen, which is decisive for both the basic understanding of life's chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals, according to a statement released by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

"The development of cryo-electron microscopy, which both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules, has moved biochemistry into a new era," added the statement.

Explaining the scientific achievement, Peter Brzezinski, Member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said that this year's scientific invention "enables us to see the molecules inside the cells and how they interact", and "in future, we are able to see the processes of how the molecules structures move."

Answering the question by Xinhua at the press conference on the inter-disciplinary researches in physics and chemistry for this year's invention, Brzezinski said this year's achievement is a "good example" of inter-disciplinary researches, in which, technologies play crucial roles to scientific discoveries.

Speaking through a telephone interview at the press conference, Frank said he was "never mind being woken up early" for the news of the Prize. "I was pretty overwhelmed. it's wonderful news."

This year's prize is 9 million SEK (1.1 million U.S. dollars), and will be shared by the three laureates.

Also in the News

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time
Showbiz2016/06/16 13:58December 16 2017 11:16:48

Nicole Kidman Recalls Oscar Glory: Loneliest Time

Attending Shanghai International Film Festival, Nicole Kidman talks about her role in "Grace of Monaco".

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts
Also in the News2014/05/01 12:16December 16 2017 11:16:48

Labor Day Travel Peak Starts

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'
Also in the News2014/04/18 13:18December 16 2017 11:16:48

Johnny Depp Delivers a Speech 'Evolve the Future' in 'Transcendence'

Hollywood star Johnny Depp's speech in the upcoming new film "Transcendence" has been disclosed on Friday, April 11th.

Most Watched

News:
China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
Video:
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
Photos:
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Travel:
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Lifestyle:
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords