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2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded for cutting-edge method development

October 04, 16:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet (Switzerland), Joachim Frank (US) and Richard Henderson (UK)

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© EPA-EFE/Claudio Bresciani

MOSCOW, October 4. /TASS/. Cryo-electron microscopy that won its creators the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is one of the most rapidly developing scientific methods, head of the electronic laboratory at the Kurchatov Institute National Research Center Alexander Vasilyev told TASS.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Jacques Dubochet (Switzerland), Joachim Frank (US) and Richard Henderson (UK) for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high resolution structure determination of biomolecules in a solution.

"This is one of the most rapidly developing methods that makes it possible to visualize proteins, viruses and other biological structures on the molecular level. It’s a cutting-edge method," Vasilyev emphasized.

He explained that cryo-electron microscopy emerged back in the 1980s, and has been actively developing over the recent years due to the improvement in tool and computing platforms, including supercomputers.

"[This method] makes it possible to restore the structure of proteins at a resolution higher than 2.2 angstroms (0.2 nanometers - TASS), and this is what’s called full-atom models… This provides the means for studying even certain states, or conformations, of ribosomes and receive data not averaged, as in X-rays, namely about the peculiarities of the state. You can capture some reactions that occur in proteins," Vasilyev said.

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