COPENHAGEN – The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Wednesday that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry had been awarded to three scientists for their breakthrough research into cryo-electron microscopy.
The Swedish Academy stated that the prize had been awarded to Swiss Jacques Dubochet, German-born Joachim Frank, and British Richard Henderson.
“We may soon have detailed images of life’s complex machineries in atomic resolution,” the academy said in a statement.
The academy said the development of cryo-electron microscopy simplified and improved the imaging of biomolecules and pointed out that this breakthrough “moved biochemistry into a new era.”
Researchers can now freeze biomolecules in mid-motion and visualize processes never previously seen, which is essential for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals, the statement added.
The Noble prize includes a monetary award of 943,784 euros ($1.1 million) after the foundation increased the amount this year for the first time in five years.
The Noble prizes are annually awarded on Dec. 10 to mark the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.