3 chemists win Nobel prizes for “sticking molecules together”

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists from the United States and Denmark have been jointly awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a method of “sticking molecules together” that can be used to design better drugs.

Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal, and K. Barry Sharpless were recognized for their work on click chemistry and bioorthogonal reactions used to make anticancer drugs, map DNA, and create tailor-made materials are.

“It’s all about putting molecules together,” said Johan Aqvist, a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, who announced the winners on Wednesday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sharpless, who previously received a Nobel Prize in 2001 and is now the fifth person to win the award twice, first proposed the idea of ​​connecting molecules with chemical “buckles” around the turn of the millennium, Aqvist said.

“The problem was finding good chemical buckles,” he said. “You have to react to each other simply and purposefully.”

Meldal, based at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Sharpless, which is affiliated with Scripps Research, California, independently found the first such candidates that would readily snap together but not with other molecules, leading to manufacturing applications of led drugs and polymers.

Bertozzi, who is based at Stanford University in California, “has taken click chemistry to a new level,” said the Nobel panel.

She found a way to make click chemistry work in living organisms without disturbing them and established a new method known as bioorthogonal reactions. Such reactions are now being used to study cells, follow biological processes and develop experimental anti-cancer drugs that have a more targeted effect.

Bertozzi said she was “absolutely stunned” to receive the award.

“I’m still not entirely sure if it’s real, but it’s getting more real by the minute,” she said.

Last year, the prize went to scientists Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan for discovering a sophisticated and greener way of building molecules that the Nobel panel said is “already bringing great benefits to mankind.”

A week of Nobel Prize announcements began on Monday when Swedish scientist Svante Paabo received the Medicine Prize for unlocking the mysteries of Neanderthal DNA, which provided important insights into our immune system.

Three scientists jointly won the prize in physics on Tuesday. Frenchman Alain Aspect, American John F. Clauser and Austrian Anton Zeilinger had shown that tiny particles can remain connected to each other even when separated, a phenomenon known as quantum entanglement and used in specialized computers and encryption of information can be used.

The awards will continue with literature on Thursday. The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the Economics Prize on Monday.

The prizes are worth 10 million Swedish kronor (almost US$900,000) and will be presented on December 10th. The money comes from a legacy left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, in 1895.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/international/3-chemists-win-nobel-prize-for-snapping-molecules-together%EF%BF%BC/ 3 chemists win Nobel prizes for "sticking molecules together"

Dais Johnston

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