Nobelprize for Chemistry 2017: A tool for Nanobiologists

The Nobel prize for chemistry 2017 is awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Richard Henderson and Joachim Frank for their work on the cryo-electron microscope. Cryo-electron microscopy is an important technique for anyone interested in life at the smallest scale. CryoEM made the visualisation of biomolecules in high resolution much easier.

The technique is an enormous improvement. Before cryoEM, X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy were the most used techniques. X-ray crystallography requires the crystallization of proteins. This time-consuming process is not possible for all proteins. Electron microscopy was thought to be non-applicable for biological matter.

With cryoEM biological molecules can be studied at high resolution. Biomolecules can be frozen in their natural state and a high resolution can be obtained by combining many copies of the same molecule. In short, cryoEM makes the life of a nanobiologist much easier.