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2009 Noble Prize Winners - Noble Prizes 2009

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009

  1. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan (USA)
  2. Thomas A. Steitz (USA)
  3. Ada E. Yonath (Israel)

For their landmark studies of one of life’s core processes: the ribosome’s translation of DNA information into life. Ribosomes produce proteins, which in turn control the chemistry in all living organisms. All the three Nobel laureates used a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009

  1. Charles K. Kao (USA)
  2. Willard S. Boyle (USA)
  3. George E. Smith (USA)

Charles K. Kao has been awarded for his groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication. He calculated how to transmit light over long distances via optical glass fibers. Kao’s enthusiasm inspired researchers to share his vision of the future potential of fiber optics. Boyle (USA) and Smith (USA) invented an imaging semiconductor circuit, the CCD sensor. The CCD is the digital camera’s electronic eye. It revolutionized photography, as light could now be captured electronically instead of on film.

The Nobel Prize in Medicine 2009

  1. Elizabeth H. Blackburn (USA)
  2. Carol W. Greider (USA)
  3. Jack W. Szostak (USA)

For the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase. The three scientists together have solved a major problem in biology: how the chromosomes can be copied in a complete way during cell divisions and how they are protected against degradation. They have shown that the solution is to be found in the ends of the chromosomes - the telomeres - and in an enzyme that forms them - telomerase.

The Nobel Prize in Economics 2009

  1. Elinor Ostrom (USA)
  2. Oliver E. Williamson (USA)

Ostrom has been awarded for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons and Oliver E. Williamson (USA) for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm. Elinor Ostrom is the first woman to be awarded the Prize in Economic Sciences in its forty year history.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2009

  1. Herta Mller (Germany)

Romanian-born German novelist, poet and essayist noted for her works depicting the harsh conditions of life in Communist Romania under the repressive Nicolae Ceausescu regime, the history of the Germans in Banat, and the persecution of Romanian ethnic Germans by Stalinist Soviet occupying forces in Romania.

The Nobel Prize in Peace 2009

  1. President Barack Obama (USA)

For his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people. Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future. His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.

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