A U.S. and two Japanese scientists won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday for revolutionary chemical research with uses that range from fighting cancer to producing thin computer screens.
Richard Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki shared the prize for the development of “palladium-catalysed cross-coupling,” the Nobel Committee for Chemistry at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.
“Palladium-catalysed cross-coupling is used in research worldwide, as well as in the commercial production of, for example, pharmaceuticals and molecules used in the electronics industry,” the committee said.
The tool allows scientists to build complex chemicals such as the carbon-based ones that are the basis of life.
Such chemicals include one that is naturally found in small quantities in a sea sponge, which scientists aim to use to fight cancer cells.
Thanks to the scientists’ chemical tool, researchers can now artificially produce this substance, called discodermolide.
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