Marjetka Podobnik: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 for developing cryo-electron microscopy to image biological molecules at high resolution
Source: Monday physics colloquium
Assist. Prof. Dr. Marjetka Podobnik
Head of Department of Molecular Biology and Nanobiotechnology
National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana
To understand the workings of biological systems we need a high-resolution insight into molecular interactions, assembly of molecular complexes and mechanism of action, optimally close to atomic level. For this purposes, methodological approaches in structural biology like x-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance have been in use with high success for a long time, however, they do show serious limitations when studying complex macromolecular systems. Recently, there has been a revolutionary progress in yet another structural approach, electron microscopy. Indeed, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for the development of cryo-electron microscopy. Their work has enabled both simplification and improvement of the imaging of biomolecules, which has moved biochemistry into a new era.
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