Nobel Prize for Chemistry have finally been unveiled! The creation of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry earned scientists Carolyn Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, and Barry Sharpless the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The prize, which is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($915,072), was given out by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. $1 is equal to 10.9281 Swedish crowns.
Along with a variety of other health, agricultural, and industrial uses, the fields of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry have been utilised to enhance the targeting of cancer medications currently being tested in clinical trials.
In a statement, the award-giving group stated that “sometimes simple answers are the best” and added that “combining simple chemical building blocks makes it possible to generate an almost unlimited variety of compounds.”
Medal, a Danish winner, characterised click chemistry as a method for creating intricate structures and connecting them together like Lego blocks, a popular plastic building toy.
The technique is used all around the world to study cells in greater detail and monitor biological processes. Additionally, it enables stable molecules to be assembled in the lab without producing the unwanted byproducts that hindered earlier techniques.
Sharpless becomes one of a select group of scientists with two Nobel prizes. The other persons include Frederick Sanger, who received the Chemistry Prize twice, Linus Pauling, who won Chemistry and Peace, Marie Curie, who won Physics and Chemistry, and John Bardeen, who won the Physics Prize twice.
After learning she had won over the phone from the academy, Bertozzi said from California, “I’m utterly surprised, I’m sitting here and I can hardly breathe.”
She continued, saying that as a result of their study, she and her colleagues were able to visualise and comprehend the so-called glycans on cell surfaces, which gave rise to a novel concept in cancer immunotherapy
The academy said that far-reaching applications of the laureates’ findings went beyond oncology, resulting in the development of antimicrobials, herbicides, diagnostic tools, corrosion inhibitors, and brightening agents.
While Meldal is at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, Bertozzi works at Stanford University, Sharpless at the Scripps Research Institute, both in California.
Meldal informed that when the Nobel committee contacted, his body, even his legs, began to tremble with excitement.
It is unusual for a Dane to win the Nobel Prize, he said, adding that he had been making a teaching video when he learned of the honour and that he was quite pleased on behalf of his team and colleagues.
Legacy of the Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, announced this week, comes after those for medicine and physics, which were announced over six consecutive workdays.
German Benjamin List and Scottish-born David MacMillan received the 2021 Chemistry Award for their work in developing new methods for building molecules, which helped in the development of novel medications as well as in fields like plastics.
Since 1901, the prizes for accomplishments in science, literature, and peace have been given out thanks to the establishment of these awards in the will of Swedish chemist and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel. Later, economics was introduced.
The awards have been given out annually with just a few pauses, mostly because of world conflicts, and the COVID-19 epidemic was unaffected by this. However, a lot of the pomp and activities were briefly suspended or relocated online.
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