Prof. Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science is one of the three winners of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded this year's prize for research into the ribosome, which produces cell protein.
Yonath is the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Dr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the UK and Dr. Thomas Steitz of the US are the co-winners of this year's prize.
The prize is 10 million Swedish krona, worth about NIS 5.3 million, which will be divided equally by the three winners.
Yonath, 70, used X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome.
The announcement of the award stated, "This year's three Laureates have all generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome. These models are now used by scientists in order to develop new antibiotics, directly assisting the saving of lives and decreasing humanity's suffering."
The ribosome's translation of DNA information into life is one life's core processes. Ribosomes produce proteins, which in turn control the chemistry in all living organisms. As ribosomes are crucial to life, they are also a major target for new antibiotics.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 7, 2009
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