Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nobel Prize 2009

Physics -

The 2009 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to some of those whose work with light laid the foundations of the modern digital age.

The first half of the prize went to Charles Kao, formerly vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, who in the 1960s made it possible for the world to talk via the light inside optical fibres.

The second half was awarded to Willard Boyle and George Smith at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, for the invention of the charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensor chip – a crucial component in today's digital cameras.

Chemistry -

The 2009 Nobel prize in Chemistry has been awarded to some of those whose work with ribosomes laid the foundations to scientific understanding of life and has helped researchers develop antibiotics.

Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Israeli Ada Yonath were working on ribosomes.They used a method called X-ray crystallography to pinpoint the positions of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosomes.

Indian-born Ramakrishnan, 57, is the senior scientist and group leader at the Structural Studies Division of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. Steitz, a 69-year-old born in Milwaukee, is a professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University and attached to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, both in New Haven, Connecticut. Yonath is a professor of structural biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and the ninth Israeli to win a Nobel prize.


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