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Nobel Prize awarded to two American Jews and an Israeli-American prof

(JNS.org) Two American Jews, along with their German partner, have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine. The three scientists, Yale University professor James E. Rothman, 64, University of California, Berkeley professor Randy W. Schekman, 64, and German-born Stanford University professor Thomas C. Südhof, 57, were awarded for their “discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells,” according to the Nobel prize committee. “Disturbances in this system have deleterious effects and contribute to conditions such as neurological diseases, diabetes, and immunological disorders,” the committee said.

Arieh Warshel, an Israeli-American professor at the University of Southern California, will share the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work that made it possible “to map the mysterious ways of chemistry by using computers,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced.

Warshel shares the honor with Martin Karplus, a researcher at the University of Strasbourg and Harvard University, and Michael Levitt, who works at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton’s classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics,” the Swedish academy said in a statement. “Previously, chemists had to choose to use either/or.”

“In short, what we developed is a way which requires computers to look, to take the structure of the protein and then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it does,” Warshel told reporters.

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