The 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Joachim Frank (Columbia University, New York, USA) and Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK) "for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution," the academy said in a statement on Wednesday.
"We may soon have detailed images of life’s complex machinery in atomic resolution. This method has moved biochemistry into a new era," the academy said in a statement, explaining that scientists can now use the new tech to freeze biomolecules "mid-movement" and visualize processes they had never observed before.
Cryo-electron microscopy is decisive for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals, the academy added.
Nobel Committee Chairman Sara Snogerup Linse has explained that the discovery helps us understand how biomolecules are built and how they act, adding that it will revolutionize biochemistry.
The Nobel prize in Chemistry is the third of those being announced this year. The Royal Swedish Academy has already awarded prizes in physics and medicine.
Three US scientists won the Nobel Physics Prize on Tuesday for the discovery of gravitational waves. A day before that three American scientists received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their research on the work of internal biological clocks in organisms.
The Nobel Prize Award Ceremony will be held traditionally on December 10. In 2017, each Nobel Prize winner gets nine million Swedish crowns, (approximately $1 million).