American, Danish scientists take Nobel Prize in Chemistry for advancing study of molecules

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Three scientists from the United States and Denmark had been collectively awarded this yr’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for creating a approach of “snapping molecules collectively” that can be utilized to design higher medicines.

Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and Ok. Barry Sharpless had been cited for their work on click on chemistry and bioorthogonal reactions, that are used to make most cancers medication, map DNA and create supplies which can be tailor-made to a selected function.

“It’s all about snapping molecules collectively,” mentioned Johan Aqvist, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences that introduced the winners on Wednesday on the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sharpless, who beforehand gained a Nobel Prize in 2001 and is now the fifth individual to obtain the award twice, proposed the concept for connecting molecules utilizing chemical “buckles” across the flip of the millennium, mentioned Aqvist.

“The drawback was to search out good chemical buckles,” he mentioned. “They need to react with one another simply and particularly.”

‘Absolutely shocked’

Meldal, based mostly on the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Sharpless, who’s affiliated with Scripps Research, California, independently discovered the primary such candidates that will simply snap along with one another however not with different molecules, resulting in purposes in the manufacture of medicines and polymers.

Bertozzi, who is predicated at Stanford University in California, “took click on chemistry to a brand new degree,” the Nobel panel mentioned.

She discovered a method to make click on chemistry work inside dwelling organisms with out disrupting them, establishing a brand new technique referred to as bioorthogonal reactions. Such reactions are actually used to discover cells, observe organic processes and design experimental most cancers medication that work in a extra focused vogue.

Bertozzi mentioned she was “completely shocked” to obtain the prize.

“I’m nonetheless not completely constructive that it is actual, but it surely’s getting realer by the minute,” she mentioned.

The prizes carry a money award of 10 million Swedish kronor (equal to only over $1.2 million Cdn) and shall be handed out on Dec. 10. The cash comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

Every week of Nobel Prize bulletins kicked off on Monday with the award in medication honouring a scientist who unlocked the secrets and techniques of Neanderthal DNA. Three scientists collectively gained the prize in physics on Tuesday for displaying that tiny particles can retain a reference to one another even when separated.

The awards proceed with the literature prize to be introduced on Thursday at 7 a.m. ET. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize shall be introduced on Friday at 5 a.m. ET, and the economics award on Oct. 10.

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