Cool way to peer into molecules' inner workings wins chemistry Nobel Prize

Nobel chemistry prize awarded for molecular machines which repair damaged DNA

Nobel chemistry prize awarded for molecular machines which repair damaged DNA

Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank, and Richard Henderson were awarded the 2017 Nobel prize in chemistry Wednesday for developing cryo-electron microscopy.

What real-implications does the Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson's work have?

The question was whether the method could be generalised: would it be possible to use an electron microscope to generate high-resolution 3D images of proteins that were randomly scattered in the sample and oriented in different directions? The trio will share the prize money of 9mn Swedish kronor ($1.1mn).

"We are facing a revolution in biochemistry", said Nobel Committee Chairman Sara Snogerup Linse during the announcement.

Being able to capture images of these biological molecules at atomic resolution not only helps scientists to understand their structures, but has opened up the possibility of exploring biological processes by stitching together images taken at different points in time.

"There are so many other discoveries every day, I was in a way speechless", said Frank, a biochemistry professor at Columbia University in NY.

Chemistry is the third of this year's Nobel Prizes after the winners of the medicine and physics prizes were announced earlier this week.

Scientists who produced molecular machines have been awarded the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry/ These machines are molecules with controllable motions and the scientists who outlined the ways to fix a damaged DNA, directing to enhanced cancer treatments.

For instance, the academy said the technique was used when scientists began suspecting the Zika virus was causing the epidemic of brain-damaged children in Brazil.

Juha Saarinen: Social media subversion on Facebook and Twitter attracts political fury
Reach and exposure: 44% of the ads were seen before the election on November 8, 2016 and 56% were seen after. Facebook estimates the ads, in total, were seen by 10 million people .

Joachim Frank of Columbia University in NY developed an image-processing method that merges many two-dimensional images of a biomolecules to create a sharp three-dimensional picture.

The technique, called cryo-electron microsopy, allows scientists to freeze biomolecules mid-movement and "visualize processes they have never previously seen", according to the prize committee.

It is used study the tiniest details of cell structures, viruses and proteins.

Until now, scientists have been unable to produce detailed images of many biological molecules that are the building blocks of life.

Richard Henderson abandoned X-ray crystallography and resorted to imaging proteins using transmission electron microscopy - in which, instead of light, a thin beam of electrons is sent through the specimen. So, he turned to electron microscopy, a method that had then been unable to resolve atomic details.

Meanwhile Prof Dubochet introduced his method of vitrifying water - cooling water so rapidly that it solidifies around a biological sample, allowing the molecules to retain their natural shape even in a vacuum.

Speaking to reporters in Cambridge, England, Henderson also said he felt "the three of us have been awarded the prize acting on behalf of the entire field".

Joachim Frank's strategy built upon having a computer discriminate between the traces of randomly positioned proteins and their background in a fuzzy electron microscope image. "Cyro-electron microscopy changes all of this", the Nobel statement says.

From 1901 to 2016 was awarded to 108 Nobel prize in chemistry.

Recommended News

  • Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku struggling with ankle injury

    Manchester United star Romelu Lukaku struggling with ankle injury

    Belgium , who have already qualified for Russian Federation 2018, are without captain Vincent Kompany for their upcoming fixtures. The striker has sat out of training for the last three days with the injury.
    Las Vegas Gunman's Girlfriend Arrives In Los Angeles From Philippines

    Las Vegas Gunman's Girlfriend Arrives In Los Angeles From Philippines

    A source with knowledge of Danley's whereabouts said that Danley was visiting family in the Philippines, according to USA Today . She went on to describe her sister as "a good person and gentle soul", and said she "seemed madly in love with Steve".
    Marcus Mariota has minor hamstring strain, is day-to-day

    Marcus Mariota has minor hamstring strain, is day-to-day

    He later played in two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys while his last action came in 2015 while he was with the Houston Texans . At Chattanooga, Board played in 51 games, with 47 starts, and caught 146 passes for 2,032 yards and 10 touchdowns.
  • Filipina 'person of interest' in Las Vegas shooting cleared by police

    Filipina 'person of interest' in Las Vegas shooting cleared by police

    Patrick was also caught in Las Vegas after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found his getaway vehicle at a hotel. It was not clear whether he had won or lost money during his betting sessions, the report added.

    Google Pixelbook Reseller Listing Reveals Specifications, New "Google Clips" Product

    The Pixelbook itself is rumored to have a huge price tag that starts at $1,199 and ranges up to $1,749 for the 512GB model. This version is expected to be a successor to the Google Home with better features like stereo speakers.
    AUD GBP Strengthens as UK Manufacturing Sector Slows More than Expected

    AUD GBP Strengthens as UK Manufacturing Sector Slows More than Expected

    Italy's manufacturing growth held steady at a six-and-a-half year peak in September, data from IHS Markit showed Monday. Malaysian manufacturers continued to raise their staffing levels despite the ongoing decline in new work.
  • Late-Term Abortion Ban Would Trump Coloradans' Access

    Late-Term Abortion Ban Would Trump Coloradans' Access

    Steve Cohen, D-Tennessee. "We love it until it's born, then it's somebody else's problem". "So I see it a little bit like that". He said the law shouldn't treat children differently based on if they're in the womb or not. "That is painful", Moore said.

    Vettel: Ferrari has problems under control

    Sebastian Vettel is listed with +1800 odds to win this race after having problems in qualifying that will have him starting 20. It was an unhappy Valtteri Bottas who finished fifth for Mercedes , ending the race 50 seconds after Verstappen.
    Kim Jong-un brother's murder trial begins as suspects plead not guilty

    Kim Jong-un brother's murder trial begins as suspects plead not guilty

    He had, however, spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the reclusive, nuclear-armed nation. Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korea's leader, was killed by a nerve agent as he waited for a flight.
  • German Actress Accuses Roman Polanski of Rape

    German Actress Accuses Roman Polanski of Rape

    Police in Switzerland say they are investigating new rape allegations against the French-Polish film-maker Roman Polanski . It's the fourth time that a woman has publicly accused Polanski of sexual assault, the first being Samantha Geimer .
    Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull team must grow wings next year

    Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull team must grow wings next year

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen ended his birthday weekend in triumphant style with a dominant victory in yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix .
    Trump's Tweets on Puerto Rico Are a National Disgrace

    Trump's Tweets on Puerto Rico Are a National Disgrace

    Please visit us, because we're going to give more and more thanks to all of you", she said. ". not a good news story ". But it is a process in place to help rebuild the infrastructure and the power grids are shut down".

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.