, Volume 396, Issue 5, pp 1623-1626
Date: 02 Feb 2010

Enabling technologies in discovery: the 2009 Nobel Prize and its implications in antibiotic design

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Every year in early October the announcement of the winners of the Nobel Prize in different disciplines, including those awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is greeted with expectation and often surprise by the scientific community. Despite its many detractors claiming unjust and even political choices of the awardees, the Nobel Prize still carries an aura of scientific glamour that no other prized award in science or medicine does. The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognized three researchers for elucidation of the structure and function of the ribosome, the protein production machinery that translates the DNA blueprint of life into life itself. The laureates, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK), Thomas A. Steitz (Yale University, CT, USA), and Ada E. Yonath (Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel) exemplify the spirit of scientific devotion that has long resulted in breakthrough discoveries. The road leading to the atomic resolutio