Health Care

Nobel Prize 2017: Cryo-Electron Microscopy Developers Trio Honoured With Chemistry Award

Nobel Prize 2017: Cryo-Electron Microscopy Developers Trio Honoured With Chemistry Award

In this case, the winners are Jacques Dubochet from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, Joachim Frank from Columbia University in NY, and Richard Henderson from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, for "developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution".

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Jacques Dubochet from Switzerland, Joachim Frank from the US and Richard Henderson from Britain, during an announcement at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday.

"Frank developed an image processing method in which the electron microscope's fuzzy two-dimensional images are analyzed and merged to reveal a sharp three-dimensional structure", the Nobel announcement said.

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By freezing biomolecules mid-movement, scientists can unravel previously unseen processes - a major advance both for basic understanding and the potential development of new drugs. Henderson spent years traveling the world to take images of bacteriorhodopsin with best electron microscopes, and finally in 1990, presented a picture of the protein with atomic resolution. Using this technique, researchers have been able to study the structure of a variety of biological molecules, from proteins involved in circadian rhythms to the Zika virus.

The electron microscope has been around for a while-there were prototypes as early as 1931-but it had serious limitations for biologists. One of the applications of the three technology will be in medicine in health.

Dubochet, who is Swiss, is an honorary professor of biophysics at the University of Lausanne. It was a bit of a special case, because of the ordered arrangement of the proteins in the cell membrane, but in principle this approach could be used for any molecule found in cells.

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While the chemistry award has sometimes been overshadowed by the towering reputations of physics winners such as Albert Einstein, laureates include ground-breaking scientists such as radioactivity pioneers Ernest Rutherford and Marie Curie, though she also won the physics prize.

The electron microscope's every nut and bolt has been optimised since these discoveries. "Knowing this structure opens up the possibility of rational drug design in this area". "He said "I think they should give it to Jacques Dubochet".

The discovery of a way to see complex biological molecules in atomic resolution has won this year's Nobel prize in Chemistry. The benchmark for excellence in the domain of science is the Nobel Prize which is awarded for innovative ventures in Science and this time no exception.

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