Three scientists get Nobel Prize in chemistry for creating nano-sized machines

Three scientists get Nobel Prize in chemistry for creating nano-sized machines

Three European scientists were awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in chemistry for creating tiny molecular machines by energizing and steering molecules, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced.

Sir J. Fraser Stoddart, Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Bernard L. Feringa found ways to combine atoms to create nanoscale machines capable of acting like motors, elevators and even a rudimentary vehicle wiith four wheels. The creations are so small that they are nearly one thousand times narrower than a human hair.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences praised the three scientists, calling their work a breakthrough that can eventually transform and revolutionize the treatment of disease as well as pave way for the development of faster and more powerful computers.

Sara Snogerup Linse, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said it was the start of a new molecular era; while Heiner Linke, a member of the committee, expressed hope that it might massively decrease the use of antibiotics.

Sauvage works at the University of Strasbourg in France; while Stoddart and Feringa are working at Northwestern University in Illinois and the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, respectively. The three scientists will share the $930,000 prize money equally.

The Nobel Prizes are scheduled to be handed out at ceremonies to be held in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10 -- the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

Last year, the Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to three scientists who described how cells can repair damaged DNA, a breakthrough that helped guide the development of new drugs to treat various forms of deadly disease of cancer.


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