German scientist Benjamin List and Scotland-born David MacMillan were awarded for their work on «asymmetric organocatalysis.» A screen displays the co-winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Germany’s Benjamin List (L) and David MacMillan of the United States, in Stockholm, Sweden, on October 6, 2021. (AFP) Germany's Benjamin List and David MacMillan of the United States won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction, the jury said.
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The duo was awarded «for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction: organocatalysis. This has had a great impact on pharmaceutical research, and has made chemistry greener,» the Nobel Committee said.
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List and MacMillan, both 53, will share the $1.1 million prize.
MacMillan is a professor at Princeton University in the US, while List is a director at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.
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«Many research areas and industries are dependent on chemists' ability to construct molecules that can form elastic and durable materials, store energy in batteries or inhibit the progression of disease,» the Nobel Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement
«This work requires catalysts, which are substances that control and accelerate chemical reactions, without becoming part of the final product,» it added, noting that prior to the work of the laureates, scientists believed there were only two types of catalysts, metals and enzymes
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The 2021 #NobelPrize in Chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan «for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.» pic.twitter.com/SzTJ2Chtge
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 6, 2021 In 2000, the researchers, working independently of each other, developed a third type, called «asymmetric organocatalysis», which relies on small organic molecules
Ahead of this year's announcement, analysts said the field was wide open
The Nobel season continues on Thursday with the much-anticipated prize for literature and with peace on Friday before the economics prize winds things up on Monday, October 11
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Researchers long believed that there were just two types of catalysts available: metals and enzymes. Independently of each other #NobelPrize laureates Benjamin List and David MacMillan developed a third type – asymmetric organocatalysis – which builds upon small organic molecules
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 6, 2021 Source: TRTWorld and agencies