Unraveling the Ribosome: Chemistry Nobel Awarded to Modelers of Living Cells’ Protein-Maker: Scientific American

The 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry will be split among three researchers who, over the course of the past two decades, puzzled out—at the atomic level—the function of the ribosome in piecing together proteins.

The prize will be equally split between biophysicist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in the UK, biochemist Thomas Steitz of Yale University and molecular biologist Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, for their work in using X-ray crystallography to get a precise, atomic-scale map of the ribosome—the protein-making machine in all cells with nuclei that makes life possible.

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