Nobel Prize Chemistry 2017 awarded imaging molecules life

Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2017 awarded for imaging molecules of life

9:48 AM, 4th October 2017
Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2017 awarded for imaging molecules of life
Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was jointly awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for the development of cryo-electron microscopy, which both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: The Nobel Prize 2017 in Chemistry is finally revealed. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly to 3 scientists i.e. Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for the development of cryo-electron microscopy, which both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules.

The announcement was done in Stockholm, Sweden through press-releases.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that cryo-electron microscopy method has moved biochemistry into a new era.

A bank cheque of 9 million Swedish kronor approximately $1.1 million will be divided among all the three.

Using this Cryo-electron microscopy method researchers can now freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualize processes they have never previously seen, which is key for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals.

Richard Henderson was born in 1945, Edinburgh, Scotland and works at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. Electron microscopes were long believed to only be suitable for imaging dead matter because the powerful electron beam destroys the biological material. But in 1990, Richard 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.

Joachim Frank was born in 1940 in Siegen, Germany and is from Columbia University, New York, USA. He 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.

Jacques Dubochet was born in Aigle, Switzerland in 1942 and is from the University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland. He added water to electron microscopy. Liquid water evaporates in the electron microscope’s vacuum, which makes the biomolecules collapse. In the early 1980s, Dubochet 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.

The development of cryo-electron microscopy has provided crucial for many areas of research, not least in looking at the surface of the Zika virus. Biochemistry is now facing an explosive development and is all set for an exciting future.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2016 was also awarded to 3 scientists Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir J. Fraser Stoddart and Bernard L. Feringa for the design & production of minuscule molecular machines with controllable movements that have the ability to convert Chemical energy into mechanical forces and motion.

In 2015 it was also awarded jointly for 3 scientists -Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for having mapped, at a molecular level, how cells repair damaged DNA and safeguard the genetic information. 

What Nobel Prize basically mean?

Nobel Prize is an annual honour given every year for the most prominent work done in various fields like Chemistry, Physics, Economics, Medicine, Literature & prominently for promoting the peace. It is considered as one of the most powerful & prestigious honours in the world. The first Noble Prize was given in the year 1901, though the idea of honouring with the Nobel Prize was initiated by Alfred B. Nobel, a Swedish Chemist & the one who introduced Dynamite to the world. Nobel Prize is presented every year in Sweden & is the responsibility of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to handle or govern the award in Chemistry.

Top 5 countries to bag number of Nobel Prizes:

United States of America (USA)

United Kingdom (UK)




The first person to get Nobel Prize in Chemistry was Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff of Netherlands for discovering the laws of Chemical Dynamics & Osmotic Pressure in solutions.

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