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Two Americans and one Israeli share this year's Nobel Prize in
Chemistry for their work showing how the DNA code is translated into
Americans Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas
Steitz and Ada Yonath from Israel were all instrumental in showing how
proteins are made at the atomic level.
The chairman of the Nobel Chemistry Committee, Gunnar Von Heijne says the importance of their research cannot be overstated.
three laureates have accomplished what many scientists thought
impossible, namely to determine the three- dimensional structure of the
molecular machine that makes all the proteins in a cell, the so-called
ribosome," said Von Heijne. "Using x-ray crystallography to obtain
snapshots of the ribosome in action, they have been able to explain how
the ribosome selects and couples together amino acids to form proteins."
DNA molecules contain the blueprint for life inside each cell of every
organism, it is the ribosome that translates that information into life.
as professor Von Heijne says, their understanding of the mechanisms at
work has opened the door to others seeking new treatments.
have also shown how bacterial ribosomes can be stopped dead in their
tracks by various antibiotics, thereby providing insights that help
researchers design new drugs to be used in our never-ending fight
against bacterial infections," he explained.
recipients share the $1.4 million prize. The chemistry award is the
third in the 2009 Nobel series. Prizes for medicine were handed out
Monday and for physics on Tuesday.
Prizes for the sciences and for peace have been handed out annually since 1901.