One American and Two Japanese Share 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded jointly to three scientists, one American and two Japanese.
Richard Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki were awarded for their individual development of paladium-catalized cross coupling in organic synthesis.
The three laureates have been independently devising a chemical tool which uses the metal palladium as a catalyst for linking carbon molecules into larger, more complex structures.
This new technique can be used for creating new medicine and agriculture products. It’s also useful in the plastic and electronics industry.
[Professor Per Ahlberg, Former Chemistry Nobel Committee Member]:
“The achievements of the three laureates make it possible to make complicated molecules, which are important medical components. You can make new materials, electronic materials which you couldn’t do before.”
The research was inspired by a Caribbean sea sponge that produces a chemical to fend off its predators. The chemical, called discodermolide, has potential as a cancer treatment. For decades scientists have tried to recreate the chemical in the lab.
The chemistry laureates have been complementing each other’s discoveries since the 70’s.
NTD News, Stockholm, Sweden