2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
“This year’s prize is about how the optical microscope became a nanoscope.” Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Permanent Secretary Staffan Normark.
“The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Dr. Eric Betzig at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, U.S.A.; Professor Stefan Hell at Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany; and Professor William Moerner at Stanford University, Stanford, U.S.A., for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.”
After the formal announcement, Sven Lidin, chair of the Nobel Chemistry Committee, explained the
importance of the new microscopy in chemistry.
“Because we can see individual macromolecules moving about in a living cell, we can study chemistry at a single-molecule level and in real life. And this is very, very important to chemistry because chemistry has traditionally been about studying a large number of molecules and the effect that they have. Here we can look at a single molecule as it is active in a chemical system. That means that rare events can be studied in a very different way. Reactions can be studied as they happen, not as the end result but actually as they take place. It opens entirely new possibilities for chemistry and for biochemistry.”
For a more in-depth listen about the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, look for the Scientific American Science Talk podcast later this morning.
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]