The 2001 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, announced as Science News was going to press, recognizes the development of molecules for catalyzing fundamental reactions used
to make countless pharmaceuticals. Many molecules, like gloves, exist in distinct
left- and right-handed forms. The winners’ catalysts enable chemists to make only
the desired form of a product.
William S. Knowles, a chemist retired from Monsanto in St. Louis, Mo., shares half
of the prize with Ryoji Noyori of Nagoya University in Japan. The other half goes
to K. Barry Sharpless of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. Look
for more on their research in next week’s Science News, available at Nobel recognizes three for handy chemistry.