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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Nobel Prize For Chemistry 2013: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt And Arieh Warshel Honored With Prize

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel won the 2013
Nobel Prize For Chemistry on Wednesday "for the development of
multiscale models for complex chemical systems."
Because chemical reactions occur so quickly, they're often
difficult for scientists to see and understand. In the 1970s, the
Nobel laureates laid the foundation for programs that make it
possible to map the mysterious ways of chemistry by using
computers.
Karplus, an American and Austrian citizen, is affiliated with the
Universite de Strasbourg in France and Harvard University.
Levitt, an American, British and Israeli citizen, is a professor of
cancer research at Stanford. And Warshel, an American and
Israeli citizen, is a distinguished professor at the University of
Southern California in Los Angeles.
The prize, which is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences in Stockholm, is given to those "who shall have made the
most important chemical discovery or improvement."
More from the Associated Press:
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and
Arieh Warshel won this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry on
Wednesday for laying the foundation for the computer
models used to understand and predict chemical
processes.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said their research
in the 1970s has helped scientists develop programs that
unveil chemical processes such as the purification of
exhaust fumes or the photosynthesis in green leaves.
"The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-
breaking in that they managed to make Newton's classical
physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different
quantum physics," the academy said. "Previously, chemists
had to choose to use either/or."
Karplus, a U.S. and Austrian citizen, is affiliated with the
University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University.
The academy said Levitt is a British, U.S., and Israeli
citizen and a professor at the Stanford University School
of Medicine. Warshel is a U.S. and Israeli citizen affiliated
with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Warshel told a news conference in Stockholm by telephone
that he was "extremely happy" to be awakened in the
middle of the night in Los Angeles to find out he had won
the prize and looks forward to collecting the award in the
Swedish capital in December.
"In short what we developed is a way which requires
computers to look, to take the structure of the protein and
then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it
does," Warshel said.
Earlier this week, three Americans won the Nobel Prize in
medicine for discoveries about how key substances are
moved around within cells and the physics award went to
British and Belgian scientists whose theories help explain
how matter formed after the Big Bang.

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