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Nobel Prizes and Laureates

Nobel Prizes and Laureates

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, Ada E. Yonath

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Ada E. Yonath - Facts

Ada E. Yonath

Ada E. Yonath

Born: 22 June 1939, Jerusalem, British Mandate of Palestine (now Israel)

Affiliation at the time of the award: Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel

Prize motivation: "for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome"

Field: biochemistry, structural chemistry

Prize share: 1/3

Mapped the Ribosome at the Atomic Level

An organism's vital functions are managed by large, complex protein molecules produced in cells' ribosomes. There, genetic information from "messenger RNA" is translated into chains of amino acids that then build proteins. In the 1970s, Ada Yonath began a project that culminated in 2000 in her successful mapping (together with other researchers) of the structure of ribosomes, which consist of hundreds of thousands of atoms, using x-ray crystallography. Among other applications, this has been important in the production of antibiotics.

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