Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to three molecular researchers from the US and Denmark | life & knowledge

They developed click chemistry |

Nobel Prize goes to three molecular researchers

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to researchers Carolyn Bertozzi (US), Morten Meldal (Denmark) and Barry Sharpless (US).

This was announced by the jury members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Wednesday. The three scientists laid the foundation for the development of so-called click chemistry. They can be used to obtain the smallest molecules, for example from cells, DNA or materials. The technology is used, among other things, in the development of medicines.

What does click chemistry mean?

Prof. dr. Dennis Schade, pharmacist at the University of Kiel, on BILD: “This click chemistry, as we call it, is a very important tool for our research. It is a chemical reaction that joins molecules together extremely quickly and efficiently. Here at the university, for example, we can use this reaction to clarify the mechanism of action of medicines. This allows us to determine exactly where an active substance molecule is located in a cell and to which biological structures it binds.”

Prof. dr. Damage further: “The three researchers received the Nobel Prize because the application possibilities of click chemistry are extremely wide.” You can use it not only for the development of new drugs, such as targeted cancer drugs, but also for materials science in the chemical industry. But the method is also already being used to map DNA.”

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry is often a German affair: 33 Germans have already won this important prize in the past. Last year the German chemist Benjamin List received the Nobel Prize together with the American David MacMillan (54).

The two researchers had discovered that chemical reactions can also be accelerated and intensified by small organic molecules (for example, amino acids). Until now, scientists worldwide had assumed that only enzymes could be used as a catalyst.

Chemistry Nobel laureate Benjamin List

Photo: Federico Gambarini/dpa

The scientific Nobel Prizes often honor up to three scientists at the same time if they have researched a subject together.

The winners of the Nobel Prize will each receive ten million Swedish crowns in prize money (equivalent to approximately 926,000 euros). The ceremonial award traditionally takes place on December 10 in Stockholm. The Nobel Peace Prize, on the other hand, will be awarded the same day in Oslo.

Already on Monday, the Swedish evolutionary researcher Svante Pääbo (67) won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research into the evolution of humans and their extinct ancestors.

Tuesday it was Quantum Mechanical Threesome Alain Aspect (75, France), John F. Clauser (79, USA) and Anton Zeilinger (77, Austria) won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics. They had shown that two atomic particles can behave as one, even though they are separated from each other.

The winners in the categories literature, peace and economics will be announced in the coming days.

The Nobel Prize is considered one of the highest honors for scientists

The Nobel Prize is considered one of the highest honors for scientists

Photo: Steffen Trumpf/dpa

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