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Cell-Receptor Work Wins Nobel In Chemistry

2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate Brian Kobilka
The 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry has gone to two U.S. researchers for studies of proteins that let body cells respond to signals from the outside.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on October 10 that it had decided to award the prize to Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for their “groundbreaking discoveries” that reveal the inner workings of G-protein–coupled receptors, which are proteins that reach through cell walls.

About half of all medications achieve their effect through such receptors, so learning about them will likely help scientists to come up with better drugs.

Lefkowitz, 69, is a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, while Kobilka 57, is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

Chemistry was the third of this year's Nobel prizes after announcements for medicine and physics earlier this week.

Prizes for achievements in science, literature, and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.