NewsNobel Prize in Chemistry 2022: For pioneers of click...

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2022: For pioneers of click and bioorthogonal chemistry, essential for the future of medicine and industry

The 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded on Wednesday to Dane Morten Meldal , and to Americans Carolyn Bertozzi and Barry Sharpless – who already has an award – for laying the foundations for a more functional form of the scientific discipline.

The trio was recognized “for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry,” the jury said in its decision.

Sharpless, 81, is the second time he has won the award.

Only four other people have received a Nobel twice: the French of Polish origin Marie Curie (Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911), the American Linus Pauling (Chemistry in 1954 and Peace in 1962), his compatriot John Bardeen (Physics in 1956 and 1972) and the British Frederick Sanger (Chemistry in 1958 and 1980).

Sharpless, based in California, and Meldal, 58, from the University of Copenhagen, were recognized for their pioneering work with click chemistry, a new way of combining molecules.

Click chemistry “is an elegant and efficient chemical reaction that is currently widely used,” the jury noted.

Among many other uses, it is used in the development of pharmaceutical products, DNA mapping and the creation” of new materials.

The American Bertozzi, 55, was awarded for the development of bioorthogonal chemistry, a chemical reaction that is described as being able to start in a living organism but without disturbing or changing its chemical nature.

Their findings have paved the way for improving the efficacy of cancer treatments.

“The easy and simple”

“I am absolutely shocked. I am sitting here and I can barely breathe,” said Bertozzi, the eighth woman to win the Chemistry award.

“This year’s chemistry prize is about things that are not overly complicated, but use what is easy and simple,” said Johan Aqvist, a member of the Nobel Chemistry committee.

“Effective molecules can be built by taking an obvious route,” he said, referring to click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry.

The trio will share the sum of 10 million kronor ($917,500) and receive the award from Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death in 1896 of the scientist Alfred Nobel, who he created the awards in his will.

The academy last year honored German Benjamin List and British-American David MacMillan for developing a precise tool for molecular construction known as asymmetric catalysis.

On Monday, the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to the pioneer of paleogenetics, the Swedish Svante Pääbo, for the complete sequencing of the Neanderthal genome and the foundation of this discipline that analyzes DNA from remote times to decipher human genes.

On Tuesday, the Frenchman Alain Aspect, the American John Clauser and the Austrian Anton Zeilinger, three specialists in the revolutionary mechanisms of quantum physics, were assigned to Physics.

The Chemistry award will be followed by the highly anticipated Literature awards on Thursday, and the Peace award on Friday.

This year’s Peace Prize aroused special interest due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The day of the Nobel concludes on Monday with the allocation of the economics prize, the only one that was not provided for in Alfred Nobel’s will.

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The jury awarded his contribution to humanity for the discovery of 'quantum entanglement' and its applications in computing and communication.

Nobel Prize in Medicine to Swedish Svante Pääbo, explorer of prehistoric DNA

His contribution was to reveal the genetic differences that distinguish all living humans from the extinct hominins.