Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ribosomes, Proteins and X-Ray Crystallography: Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been announced, and the intricacies of ribosomes as "protein-makers" in the cell are nicely explained in this Scientific American news article. Quoting from Scientific American news:"The prize will be equally split between biophysicist Venkatraman Ramakrishnan of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge in England, biochemist Thomas Steitz of Yale University and molecular biologist Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, for their work in using x-ray crystallography to get a precise, atomic-scale map of the ribosome—the protein-making machine in all cells with nuclei that makes life possible."

You are who you are because of ribosomes (yeah, ribosomes!) - and, of course, all of those other countless biochemical processes occurring in your body right this second. Learn more about the ribosome's role in this electronic book: Structural aspects of protein synthesis / Anders Liljas. It includes some lovely colored images, made possible by the work of this year's Nobel Prize winners.

A citation analysis of Thomas A. Steitz in the ISI Web of Science revealed that his papers have been cited an average of 680 times per year, with a total of 30,620 citations to his published work. The following paper from Science has been cited most often - 1,544 citations to date: Ban, N., P. Nissen, J. Hansen, P. B. Moore, and T. A. Steitz. 2000. The complete atomic structure of the large ribosomal subunit at 2.4 angstrom resolution. Science 289, (5481) (AUG 11): 905-20 [access in JSTOR, for JSTOR subscribers].

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