Danish and American chemists share 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded Carolyn R. Bertozzi, Morten Meldal and K. Berry Sharpless for the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry. Photo: the Nobel Prize on Twitter.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in equal parts to Carolyn R. Bertozzi (USA), Morten Meldal (Denmark) and K. Barry Sharpless (USA) for “the development of click chemistry and bioorthogonal chemistry”. This was announced by Hans Ellegren, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, on Wednesday at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Whether you are ready or not for some heavy technical terms, the following is attempted explained as easily digestible as possible.

“Click chemistry”, is a way of “snapping molecules together” and is often practiced in the process of designing medicines.

According to Yahoo News, Bertozzi-, Meldal- and Sharpless’ work, click chemistry and bioorthogonal reactions, is utilized in designing cancer drugs, mapping DNA and creating materials that are tailored to a specific purpose.

On Monday, Swedish scientist Svante Pääbo received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA providing key insights into our immune system. The award was the starting point of a whole week of Nobel Prize announcements taking place throughout this week and was followed by the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Physics won by Alain Aspect (France), John F. Clauser (USA) and Anton Zeilinger (Austria). The chemists had shown that tiny particles can uphold a connection with each other, even when separated, which can be used for specialized computing and encryption of information.

The awards continue Thursday with the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize being announced on Friday.

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men and women from around the world for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for work in peace. Alfred Nobel was an inventor, entrepreneur, scientist and businessman who also wrote poetry and drama. He introduced the prize in 1895 when writing his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the prize.


About Jeannette Hinrup

Jeannette Sophie Hinrup is a Danish environmental geographer traveling South East Asia while writing for ScandAsia.

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