Chemistry Nobel Prize goes to 3-D snapshots of life’s atomic details | Science News

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Chemistry Nobel Prize goes to 3-D snapshots of life’s atomic details

Winners are recognized for their roles in developing cryo-electron microscopy

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6:08pm, October 4, 2017
2017 chemistry Nobel winners

SMALL WORLD  For their contributions to the development of cryo-electron microscopy, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson (from left to right) won the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

An imaging technique that freezes tiny biological objects such as proteins and viruses in place so that scientists can peer into their structures at the scale of atoms has won its developers the 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

Jacques Dubochet of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, Joachim Frank of Columbia University and Richard Henderson of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, won for their contributions to the development of the technique, called cryo-electron microscopy, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced October 4. The three will share the 9-million-Swedish-kronor (about $1.1 million) prize.

“Now that we can see the intricate details of every drop of our body fluids, we can understand how they are built and how they act and how they work together,” Sara Snogerup Linse, chair of the 2017 chemistry Nobel committee, said at

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