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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

BREAKING NEWS: 2 Americans, German Win Nobel Prize In Chemistry

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The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2014 to three scientists – two American and a German – for their work in the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, the committee announced October 8, 2014.

The Nobel Prize winners are Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell, and William E. Moerner and are honoured for “surpassing the limitations of the light microscope”, the committee said in a press release this morning. “Due to their achievements the optical microscope can now peer into the nanoworld.”

William E. Moerner, 61, is a U.S. citizen who also obtained his Ph.D. from Cornell University, New York in 1982. He is the Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University, Stanford, California. Responding to the award, Moerner said, “Your heart races. Can this be?”

Eric Betzig, 54 is an American scientist. He holds a Ph.D (1988) from Cornell University, New York and currently is group leader at Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Virginia, USA.” On receiving the coveted prize, Betzig said, “Chemistry was always my weakest subject in school.”

Stefan W. Hell, 52, a German citizen who was born is Romania obtained his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is currently director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and division head at the German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany. “I love to be a scientist,” Hell told the organisation upon winning the prize.

For their individual and combined work which began in 2000 and ended in 2006, these scientists’ breakthrough in “nanoscopy is used world-wide and new knowledge of greatest benefit to mankind is produced on a daily basis”.

The award goes with a prize money of 8 million Swedish Krona ($1.1 million) and would be shared equally among the recipients.

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