Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2017 Honors a Cool Revolution in Biochemistry

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Wetzlar, Germany. The 2017 Nobel Prize for Chemistry will be awarded to Jacques Dubochet (University of Lausanne, Switzerland), Joachim Frank (Columbia University, New York, USA) and Richard Henderson (MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK) for their contributions to the development of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM). Leica Microsystems sincerely congratulates the scientists for this recognition of their great scientific achievements which have moved biochemistry into a new era.

“We are pleased that this honor conferred by the Nobel Prize Committee once again highlights the enormous importance of microscopy for its contributions to scientific breakthroughs”, says Markus Lusser, President of Leica Microsystems. “This work on cryo-EM imaging and the associated sample preparation methods has created the basis for making a leap ahead in structural biology. Highly resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures help researchers investigate biological processes down to the sub-molecular level of detail which is imperative for understanding the chemistry of life and designing novel therapies.”

Leica Microsystems has been offering a wide range of highly sophisticated products for cryo-EM sample preparation and actively engaged in delivering solutions for the cryo-EM community for over 10 years. We are happy to be a supplier and partner to the winners. Leica remains committed to developing improved solutions to support diverse cryo-applications, such as, grid plunging, high pressure freezing, shuttle sample transfer, cryo-ultramicrotomy, and a cryo-CLEM system for identification of single particles.

Cryo-EM allows an extremely detailed visualization of complex biomolecules with atomic resolution. For example, it was key to unlocking the secrets of proteins that cause antibiotic resistance and identifying target sites on the surface of the Zika virus for drug treatment. The degree of resolution is made possible by the use of transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The main challenge in the development of cryo-EM was to find a way to preserve the original structure of a biological sample under investigation. The preparation of biological samples with cryogenic vitrification was crucial to solving this problem.

Leica Microsystems offers a highly comprehensive product portfolio for preparation of biological, medical, and industrial samples, thus forming a basis to achieve great results. Concentrating on workflow solutions, we provide a product range that is perfectly aligned to all the needs of precise sample preparation for TEM, SEM, and AFM investigations.

 

For further reading, find below selected reports in the area of cryo-electron microscopy showing results that were acquired using sample preparation solutions from Leica Microsystems:

Cryo CLEM – the Combination of Cryo Fluorescence Microscopy with Cryo Electron Microscopy

New Insights into Cilia and Flagella by Cryo-electron microscopy

Grid Plunging – Immersion Freezing of Suspended Particles and Cells for Cryo-Electron Microscopy

 

Additional Links

Press Release: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017, Nobel Foundation

Method of the Year 2015, Nature Methods