26 posts categorized "Science"

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2023

-Karthik Gurumurthy 

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year was awarded jointly to three scientists who revolutionized the field by discovering and developing quantum dots:

  • Moungi G. Bawendi: American, received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1993. He currently serves as the Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Louis E. Brus: American, earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1972. He continues to work as the Samuel Ruben and Dorothy P. Ruben Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University.
  • Aleksey Yekimov: Russian, obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from the A.F. Ioffe Physical Technical Institute in 1980. He is currently the Head of the Laboratory of Semiconductor Nanostructures at the St. Petersburg State University.

Their Contributions:

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their pioneering work on quantum dots, tiny semiconductor particles with unique optical and electronic properties. Their independent discoveries and subsequent advancements in synthesizing and manipulating these particles opened up a wide range of potential applications across various fields.

  • Bawendi revolutionized the chemical production of quantum dots, making them brighter, more stable, and easier to control, paving the way for their widespread use.
  • Brus was one of the first researchers to synthesize quantum dots and played a crucial role in understanding their physical and chemical properties.
  • Yekimov independently discovered quantum dots and made significant contributions to elucidating their unique optical behavior.

Their collective work on quantum dots has had a profound impact on diverse fields, and their ongoing research holds immense promise for future advancements in various technologies, from energy generation and healthcare to electronics and communications.

Annie L' Huillier-Nobel Prize Physics 2023

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Annie L'Huillier was unreachable on the morning of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences tried reaching L'Huillier to tell her she was one of the 2023 physics laureates. However, her phone kept going to voicemail.

Luckily, they were able to reach L'Huillier's husband. He explained that she was teaching a class on atomic physics, but she would have only a very short break just before the announcement.

During the break, L'Huillier picked up her phone and received the news about the physics prize, but she cut the call short to return to her students. Before going back to class, she turned her phone off again.

When she returned to the class, she told the students she would have to finish a few minutes early but did not give a reason.

L'Huillier ended the lecture only five minutes before the 11:45 physics announcement and left the room. Suspicious, her students decided to stay and watch the physics livestream in the lecture hall.

When L'Huillier's name was announced, her students broke into cheers. Annie L'Huillier's dedication to her students and her passion for teaching atomic physics is truly admirable. Her students must have been thrilled to witness their teacher's moment of recognition during the Nobel Prize announcement. It's a testament to her commitment to education and her contributions to the field of physics.

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Courtesy Photos: Nobel Prize.org 

Anne L'Huillier teaching her atomic physics class on 3 October; Anne L'Huillier taking a call with Nobel Prize Outreach on 3 October; Anne L'Huillier's atomic physics class cheering as her name is announced during the 2023 physics announcement.

Career in Science

-Karthik Gurumurthy

This is a personal message from 2022 chemistry laureate Carolyn Bertozzi to all young researchers on why to aspire for a career in science:

”I would want to share with them how a life in science is incredibly rewarding. It is rewarding because it is creating. You are discovering knowledge and gifting that to humanity for all of prosperity. Because once you learn something no one can take that way. It is not an object. It is in intellectual currency that will be shared throughout the generations. And you created that. It has a permanency that ironically a physical object doesn’t have. You can paint a painting, but eventually it will fade. But knowledge doesn’t fade. Knowledge stays with us forever and it becomes the foundation for the next generations.”


Courtesy: Nobelprize.org

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2022

-Karthik Gurumurthy

This year, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was once again awarded to three scientists, all of whom contributed significantly to the field of "click chemistry" and bioorthogonal chemistry:

  • Carolyn R. Bertozzi: American, received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1993. Currently, she holds the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professorship at Stanford University and is an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  • Morten Meldal: Danish, earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Technical University of Denmark in 1986. He is presently a Professor at the University of Copenhagen.
  • K. Barry Sharpless: American, obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Stanford University in 1968. He continues to serve as the W. M. Keck Professor at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California. Interestingly, this was Sharpless' second Nobel Prize in Chemistry, making him only the fifth person to achieve this feat.

These three individuals were jointly recognized for their groundbreaking work on "click chemistry," a concept developed by Sharpless that involves creating simple and reliable chemical reactions for joining molecules together. Bertozzi further expanded this concept by developing "bioorthogonal reactions" that can occur inside living organisms, paving the way for studying biological processes at the molecular level. Their combined efforts revolutionized chemical synthesis and offered powerful tools for drug discovery, diagnostics, and other applications.

  • Sharpless laid the foundation for click chemistry by identifying key principles for fast and efficient reactions with minimal side-products.
  • Meldal independently discovered an essential click reaction involving cycloaddition, demonstrating its versatility and expanding its potential applications.
  • Bertozzi took click chemistry from the lab to living organisms by developing bioorthogonal reactions that work specifically within biological systems. This enabled her to map important molecules on cell surfaces and develop tools for targeting cancer cells.


Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2021

-Karthik Gurumurthy

For this year, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to two scientists who independently developed asymmetric organocatalysis, a powerful tool for building molecules:

  • Benjamin List: German, received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Frankfurt in 1997. He currently serves as Director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cologne.
  • David W.C. MacMillan: Scottish-American, earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Caltech in 1996. He is currently the James Irvine Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University.

Their Contributions:

Traditionally, organic molecules were created using metal catalysts. However, List and MacMillan independently discovered and developed a new method called asymmetric organocatalysis, which utilizes small organic molecules as catalysts instead of metals. This opened up exciting possibilities for more sustainable and efficient synthesis of complex molecules.

  • List's discovery revolved around using proline derivatives as organocatalysts, demonstrating their effectiveness in various reactions.
  • MacMillan's work focused on developing amine-based catalysts and applying them to diverse transformations, including the production of pharmaceuticals and bioactive molecules.

Their groundbreaking work on asymmetric organocatalysis has revolutionized organic chemistry, offering a greener and more efficient approach to molecule construction. Their ongoing research holds immense promise for further advancements in drug development, materials science, and sustainable chemical technologies.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2020

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year was awarded to two scientists who developed a revolutionary tool for genome editing:

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier: French, received her Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Pasteur Institute in 1995. She currently serves as Director and Max Planck Unit Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and Professor at Humboldt University of Berlin.
  • Jennifer A. Doudna: American, earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University in 1984. She continues to work as the Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical Science and Professor of Chemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology at the University of California, Berkeley.

These two laureates were jointly recognized for their development of the CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful gene editing tool that allows scientists to precisely modify DNA in living organisms. This revolutionary technology has opened up entirely new avenues in various fields, including medicine, agriculture, and biotechnology.

  • Charpentier discovered the potential of CRISPR in bacteria while studying their immune systems.
  • Doudna collaborated with Charpentier to demonstrate the potential of CRISPR-Cas9 for genome editing in human cells, making it a widely accessible tool.

The impact of their work on CRISPR-Cas9 cannot be overstated. It has revolutionized genome editing, offering immense potential for medical treatments, crop improvement, and other fields.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2019

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists who revolutionized the field of lithium-ion batteries:

  • John B. Goodenough: American, received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1952. He is currently working as Emeritus Professor of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • M. Stanley Whittingham: British-American, earned his Ph.D. in Solid State Chemistry from Oxford University in 1978. He continues his research as Professor at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
  • Akira Yoshino: Japanese, obtained his Ph.D. in Macromolecular Science from Osaka University in 1982. He is currently a Fellow Emeritus at Asahi Kasei Corporation.

Their Contributions:

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their development of the lithium-ion battery, a rechargeable battery that has revolutionized portable electronics and sustainable energy technologies. Their work laid the foundation for modern lithium-ion batteries, which are now essential for powering devices like laptops, smartphones, and electric vehicles.

  • Goodenough discovered a key cathode material, lithium cobalt oxide, with high energy density, paving the way for longer-lasting batteries.
  • Whittingham developed the first functional lithium battery using lithium-titanium disulphide as the anode, demonstrating the potential of lithium-ion technology.
  • Yoshino successfully replaced lithium metal with a safer, polymer-based lithium-ion electrode, making the technology commercially viable.

Their collective work on lithium-ion batteries has had a profound impact on our daily lives and the future of sustainable energy. Their ongoing research holds immense promise for further advancements in battery technology, leading to improved performance, safety, and sustainability.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2018

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2018 was actually awarded to three scientists, all recognized for their groundbreaking work in the field of directed evolution:

  • Frances H. Arnold: American, earned her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 1972. Back in 2002, I had reached out to her to see if there are any openings in her lab.
  • George P. Smith: American, received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Harvard University in 1970. He currently continues his research as the Curators' Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  • Sir Gregory P. Winter: British, obtained his Ph.D. in Protein Biochemistry from Cambridge University in 1974. He remains actively involved in research as the Regius Professor Emeritus of Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge.

Their collective work on directed evolution has had a transformative impact on numerous scientific disciplines, and their ongoing research holds immense promise for future advancements in medicine, biotechnology, and beyond.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2017

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year was awarded to three scientists for their work on cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM):

  • Jacques Dubochet, Swiss, received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Geneva in 1973. He currently holds emeritus positions at the University of Lausanne and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL).
  • Joachim Frank, German-American, earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Columbia University in 1976. He remains Director Emeritus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus and Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University.
  • Richard Henderson, British, obtained his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Cambridge University in 1967. He continues to serve as Emeritus Fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their development of cryo-EM, a groundbreaking technique that revolutionized the field of structural biology. Cryo-EM allows scientists to visualize biological molecules in their near-native states, providing unprecedented insights into their structure and function.

  • Dubochet developed a crucial method for vitrifying biological samples, rapidly freezing them in liquid ethane to create amorphous ice, preserving their natural conformation for imaging.
  • Frank played a central role in developing image processing algorithms to reconstruct high-resolution 3D structures from noisy cryo-EM images.
  • Henderson contributed significantly to improving the resolution and applicability of cryo-EM by designing specialized microscopes and optimizing imaging protocols.

Their collective work on cryo-EM has had a transformative impact on various areas of biology, medicine, and drug discovery. It continues to pave the way for further advancements in understanding the molecular basis of life and developing new therapies for various diseases.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2016

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was  awarded to three scientists who all made significant contributions to the field of molecular machines:

  • Jean-Pierre Sauvage: French, earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg in 1971. He continues to work as Emeritus Professor at the University of Strasbourg.
  • Sir J. Fraser Stoddart: British, obtained his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Cambridge in 1970. He currently serves as Professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University.
  • Bernard L. Feringa: Dutch, received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Groningen in 1978. He continues to hold his position as Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Groningen.

Their Contributions:

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their groundbreaking work on designing and synthesizing molecular machines, the smallest machines ever created. These machines, built from molecules, can perform specific tasks when triggered by light or other stimuli. Their research opened a new frontier in nanoscience and holds immense potential for future applications in various fields.

  • Sauvage pioneered the synthesis of interlocked molecules, forming the structural basis for molecular machines.
  • Stoddart focused on building and controlling the movement of molecular machines, demonstrating their potential for performing useful tasks.
  • Feringa developed light-driven molecular motors, adding a new dimension of control and functionality to these miniature machines.

Their collective work on molecular machines has laid the foundation for a new era of nanotechnology and holds immense promise for developing revolutionary technologies in medicine, materials science, and beyond.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2015

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2015 wasn't awarded to a single individual, but rather jointly to three scientists who all made crucial contributions to understanding DNA repair mechanisms:

  • Tomas Lindahl: Swedish, received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Karolinska Institute in 1967. He currently serves as Emeritus Senior Scientist at the Francis Crick Institute and Honorary Professor at the University of Oxford.
  • Paul Modrich: American, earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University in 1976. He continues to work as the James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry at Duke University School of Medicine.
  • Aziz Sancar: Turkish-American, obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Rochester in 1977. He is currently a James B. Duke Professor of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Duke University School of Medicine.

Their Contributions:

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their groundbreaking work on how cells repair damaged DNA, a crucial process for maintaining genomic stability and preventing cancer and other diseases. Their research sheds light on the intricate mechanisms involved in identifying and correcting DNA errors, providing valuable insights into human health and disease.

  • Lindahl focused on understanding the mechanisms by which cells identify and remove damaged bases from DNA, playing a key role in establishing the concept of base excision repair.
  • Modrich discovered and characterized mismatch repair, a process that corrects errors incorporated during DNA replication, significantly impacting our understanding of genetic mutations and cancer development.
  • Sancar elucidated the complex pathway of nucleotide excision repair, which repairs DNA damage caused by UV radiation and other environmental factors, contributing to our knowledge of skin cancer and aging.

Their collective work on DNA repair has significantly impacted various fields, including cancer research, aging studies, and understanding human health and disease.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2014

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry  for this year was actually awarded to three scientists, all of whom made significant contributions to the field of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy:

  • Eric Betzig: American, received his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Cornell University in 1988. He currently serves as HHMI Investigator and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus.
  • Stefan W. Hell: German, earned his Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of Heidelberg in 1991. He is presently the Director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Göttingen.
  • William E. Moerner: American, obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1982. He continues to work as the Harry Gray Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University.

These three laureates were jointly recognized for their groundbreaking advancements in super-resolved fluorescence microscopy, a technique that allows scientists to visualize biological structures with much greater resolution than conventional optical microscopes. This technology allows for unprecedented insights into cellular processes and has revolutionized our understanding of biology at the nanoscale.

Betzig developed a method called Photoactivated Localization Microscopy (PALM) that involves repeatedly activating and localizing single fluorescent molecules to build up a high-resolution image.

Hell invented Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy, which utilizes a doughnut-shaped laser beam to confine fluorescence to a tiny area, enabling super-resolution imaging.

Moerner played a crucial role in single-molecule spectroscopy, allowing for the individual tracking and localization of fluorescent molecules, which proved fundamental for super-resolution microscopy techniques like PALM.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2013

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year will be awarded to a trio of scientists: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel. They received the prestigious award "for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems."

  • Martin Karplus:
    • Education: Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1962)
    • Contribution: Pioneered the development of theoretical models simulating chemical reactions using classical mechanics and quantum mechanics.
  • Michael Levitt:
    • Education: Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University (1967)
    • Contribution: Developed computational methods for simulating large biological molecules like proteins and enzymes, using simplified models.
  • Arieh Warshel:
    • Education: Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science (1976)
    • Contribution: Bridged the gap between classical and quantum mechanics, creating a unified framework for simulating complex chemical processes in enzymes.

Their combined work:

  • Revolutionized the field of computational chemistry, enabling scientists to simulate and understand complex chemical reactions at the atomic and molecular level.
  • Paved the way for the development of new drugs, materials, and other technologies by providing valuable insights into chemical processes.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2012

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2012 was jointly awarded to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka for their groundbreaking work on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

Here's a brief breakdown:

  • Robert J. Lefkowitz:
    • Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Duke University (1964)
    • Contribution: Pioneered research on GPCRs, identified their structure and function.
  • Brian K. Kobilka:
    • Education: Ph.D. in Molecular Physiology and Biophysics from Vanderbilt University (1988)
    • Contribution: Determined the first 3D structure of a GPCR, providing crucial insights into their mechanism.

Together, their work:

  • Revealed the inner workings of GPCRs, a vast family of cell surface receptors crucial for diverse physiological processes like vision, hormone signaling, and neurotransmission.
  • Revolutionized drug development by providing targets for numerous medicines treating various diseases like asthma, allergies, and heart conditions.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2011

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Nobel prize for Chemistry for this year will be given to Dan Shechtman, an Israeli scientist born in 1941. His groundbreaking discovery involved quasicrystals, a type of material that defied the existing understanding of crystalline structures.

Here's a brief breakdown:

  • Education: Ph.D. in Materials Science from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology (1972)
  • Discovery: Quasicrystals, materials with long-range atomic order but lacking the periodic repetition of conventional crystals. Initially met with skepticism due to their challenging established scientific beliefs.

With their diverse properties, quasicrystals hold promise in various fields:

  • Materials science: Quasicrystalline alloys are being explored for strengthening materials like turbine blades and cutting tools due to their hardness and wear resistance. Additionally, their low friction and heat conductivity make them suitable for coatings and thermal management applications.
  • Optics: The unique electronic structure of some quasicrystals makes them potentially useful for developing photonic devices like LEDs and solar cells. Their ability to diffract light in unique ways might lead to novel optical applications.
  • Electronics: Research is ongoing to explore the use of quasicrystals in transistors and other electronic components due to their tunable electronic properties. They could pave the way for new, more efficient electronic devices.
  • Biomedical applications: Some quasicrystals exhibit biocompatibility, making them potentially suitable for implants and medical devices. Their unique surface properties could also be beneficial for designing drug delivery systems.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2010

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Nobel Prize was awarded to a single individual, but rather jointly awarded to three scientists:

  • Richard F. Heck (American): Born in Long Beach, California, on August 15, 1931. He completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware.
  • Ei-ichi Negishi (Japanese): Born in Gunma, Japan, on July 14, 1935. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tokyo and later received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in the United States.
  • Akira Suzuki (Japanese): Born in Mukawa, Japan, on September 12, 1930. He completed his education entirely in Japan, with an undergraduate degree from Hokkaido University and a Ph.D. from Tohoku University.

These three researchers were recognized for their independent development of palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis. This innovative technique revolutionized the way chemists can create complex molecules, significantly impacting fields like medicine, electronics, and material science.

While each scientist had independent research paths, their discoveries ultimately converged and contributed to the field in complementary ways. So, in this case, the Nobel Committee chose to share the honor in recognition of their collective contribution.


Pay the price to get the prize

by Karthik Gurumurthy

One of the scientists whose work I adore and admire the most is that of  Late Dr. Richard P. Feynman (RPF). For those of you who are wondering who RPF is, Dr. Feynman got the Nobel prize in 1965 for his work in Quantum Electrodynamics. I heard about RPF from my uncle (L.M. Krishnan Athimber) who attended Thermodynamics class with him in MIT back in the 30s. My uncle was one of the first south Indian to graduate from MIT. He was a tremendous source of inspiration to me. He referred me to a book called "Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman". I strongly recommend it to anyone who likes Science. In Grad School, I  have also used his book "Feynman's lectures in Physics" written while he was teaching undergrad students at Caltech.


Anyways going back to story of RPF is a powerful one.

After winning the Nobel prize for his work, he visited his old high school. While there, he decided to look up his records. He was surprised to find that his performance were not as good as he had remembered them. And he got a kick out of the fact that his IQ was 124, not much above average.

Dr. Feynman saw that winning the Nobel prize was one thing, but to win it with an IQ of only 124 was really something. Most of us would agree because we all assume that the winners of Nobel prizes have exceptionally high IQs. Feynman confided that he always assumed that he had.

If Feynman had known he was really just a bit above average in the IQ department, we wonder if he would have had the audacity to launch the unique and creative research experiments that would eventually win him the greatest recognition the scientific community can give.

Perhaps not. Maybe the knowledge that he was a cut above average, but not in the genius category, would have influenced what he tried to achieve. After all, from childhood most of us have been led to believe that ordinary people don't accomplish extraordinary feats.

Most of us fall short of our potential because of little things we know or assume about ourselves. And the most self-defeating assumption of all is that we are just like everyone else.

We have to have the belief that we can move from ordinary to extraordinary by following the lead of your heart. While Feynman’s performance in high school may not have been a forecast of his future, his heart led him where his marksheet couldn’t.

Your success as a leader is not dependent on the outward measurements that others use to quantify. Pursuing the passions of the heart as you seek out your goals and ambitions is where you discover the talents and skills that you have.

Louisa May Alcott said, “Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations, I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” As you pursue your dreams chase them with your heart. Your head will catch up.

We have to have a belief that nothing is out of your reach. The fact that Feynman didn’t make great grades in high school did not deter him from chasing after his dream. He is credited for his work in quantum mechanics, assisted in the development of the atomic bomb, and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Oprah Winfrey said, “The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance- and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.” From bad grades in high school to quantum mechanics is not an overnight step. Your success will come as you relentlessly pursue the dreams you have and not give up. The leadership seeds that are in you are not lying dormant, they are growing and developing and are ready to spring forth.

To move forward in life we have to take the first step. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Don’t be too timid or squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” Leaders fail not for a lack of vision or ideas, but for never taking the first steps toward achieving them.

One can sit on the sidelines and ponder a dream or get in the game and make it happen. Denis Diderot said, “Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.” You will fulfil your life’s dreams and passions when you decide to take the first steps in making it a reality.

As a leader with the seeds of potential inside you, never settle for anything less than the belief that you can achieve your dreams. Don’t allow the report card to dictate your future. Don’t quit in the middle of the fight. Thomas Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close to success they were when they gave up.”


Moving forward in life is not as far as you think.

Josh Billings says "Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there".

Keep your eye on the prize and your heart in the hunt. Your days of triumph is waiting for you.

Story of the Net

by Karthik Gurumurthy

How much time do we spend everyday (fritter) time surfing the net? Do you know how it evolved over the period of time? Do you care to know? Check this video out. Thanks to the contributors.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2009

-Karthik Gurumurthy


The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2009 wasn't awarded to a single person, but rather to three scientists jointly:

  • Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, born in India in 1952, completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of California, Riverside in 1976.
  • Thomas A. Steitz, born in the United States in 1940, earned his PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University in 1967.
  • Ada E. Yonath, born in Israel in 1939, received her PhD in Crystallography from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1968.

They were awarded the prize today for their groundbreaking work on "studies of the structure and function of the ribosome". The ribosome is a tiny cellular machine responsible for translating genetic information into proteins, essential for all living things. Their research provided detailed 3D structures of the ribosome, unlocking crucial insights into its function and paving the way for new antibiotic development.


Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2008

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year is awarded to three scientists jointly:

  • Osamu Shimomura, a Japanese marine biologist who discovered the green fluorescent protein (GFP) while studying jellyfish in 1962.
  • Martin Chalfie, an American biologist who successfully expressed GFP in living organisms in 1994, pioneering its use in biological research.
  • Roger Y. Tsien, an American chemist who developed methods to modify GFP into different colors, greatly expanding its applications in studying various cellular processes.

Shimomura's education: He received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Nagoya University in Japan in 1960.

Chalfie's education: He obtained his Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University in 1969.

Tsien's education: He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from Harvard University in 1972.

It's important to note that each of these individuals played a crucial role in the development of GFP as a revolutionary tool in biological research. Their combined efforts, spanning from discovery to application, were recognized by the Nobel committee.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2007

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Today Nobel Prize in Chemistry was announced and will be awarded to Gerhard Ertl "for his studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces." His work laid the foundation for modern surface chemistry, offering a detailed description of how chemical reactions occur on surfaces. This has had broad implications for various fields, from developing catalytic converters to understanding how catalysts work in the Haber-Bosch process for fertilizer production.

Ertl's Education:

  • Born in 1936 in Germany.
  • Earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1965 from the Technische Universität München.
  • Became Professor Emeritus at the Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2006

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this year will be awarded to Roger D. Kornberg "for his studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription". This was announced today. His groundbreaking work provided the first ever detailed images of the process by which genetic information is copied from DNA into RNA, a crucial step in the production of proteins.

Education and early career:

  • Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1947.
  • Son of Arthur Kornberg, who himself won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1959.
  • Studied chemistry at Harvard University, earning his Ph.D. in 1973.
  • Conducted postdoctoral research at Stanford University.
  • Joined the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine in 1978.

The Prize-winning work:

  • Focused on understanding the process of transcription, in which the genetic information encoded in DNA is copied into RNA molecules.
  • Developed innovative techniques for crystallizing the complex molecular machinery involved in transcription.
  • Obtained the first high-resolution images of RNA polymerase II, the enzyme responsible for transcription in eukaryotes.
  • These images revealed the intricate mechanisms by which RNA polymerase II reads the DNA code and synthesizes RNA.

Impact and significance:

  • Kornberg's work has had a profound impact on our understanding of gene expression and its regulation.
  • His findings have provided insights into various diseases, including cancer and developmental disorders.
  • They have also opened up new avenues for the development of therapeutic drugs

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2005

-Karthik Gurumurthy

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005 will be awarded today to three scientists: Yves Chauvin, Robert H. Grubbs, and Richard R. Schrock. They were jointly recognized "for the development of the metathesis method in organic synthesis."

Yves Chauvin was a French chemist who was born in Louvain, Belgium, in 1930. He studied chemistry at the École Supérieure de Chimie Industrielle de Lyon and received his Ph.D. from the University of Strasbourg in 1965. Chauvin spent his entire career at the French oil company Institut Français du Pétrole (IFP).

Robert H. Grubbs was an American chemist who was born in Winchester, Kentucky, in 1942. He studied chemistry at Florida State University and received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968. Grubbs is a professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology from 1978.

Richard R. Schrock was an American chemist who was born in Berne, Indiana, in 1945. He studied chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, and received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1972. Schrock is a professor of chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1980.

The metathesis reaction is a powerful tool for organic synthesis that allows for the controlled formation and cleavage of carbon-carbon bonds. The development of this method has had a major impact on the pharmaceutical, materials, and agrochemical industries.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2004

-Karthik Gurumurthy

There are actually three Nobel Laureates in Chemistry for this year: Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, and Irwin Rose. They were jointly awarded the prize for their discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation, a fundamental process in cells that helps regulate many important functions.

Aaron Ciechanover was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1949. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1974. After completing his postdoctoral research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he returned to the Technion as a faculty member, where he remains today.

Avram Hershko was born in Karcag, Hungary, in 1937. He emigrated to Israel with his family in 1950 and earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1965. After postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, he joined the Technion faculty in 1969.

Irwin Rose was born in New York City, USA, in 1926. He earned his Ph.D. in biology from the University of Chicago in 1952. After postdoctoral research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, he joined the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1963. He retired from Fox Chase in 2002 but continues to do research as a professor emeritus at the University of California, Irvine.

Ciechanover, Hershko, and Rose made their seminal discovery in the early 1980s. They found that cells use a small protein called ubiquitin to tag proteins for degradation. This process is essential for many cellular functions, including cell cycle control, DNA repair, and immunity.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Ciechanover, Hershko, and Rose will be awarded today. Their work has had a profound impact on our understanding of cell biology and has led to the development of new drugs for cancer and other diseases.

Nobel Prize award Chemistry-2003

-Karthik Gurumurthy

Today for this year , Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon  jointly will be awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Here's a brief overview of their achievements:

Peter Agre:

  • Education: M.D. from my alma mater Johns Hopkins University (1982)
  • Discovery: Identified and characterized aquaporins, a type of protein channel that allows water molecules to pass through cell membranes. This was a groundbreaking discovery as it helped explain how water, essential for life, is transported within cells.

Roderick MacKinnon:

  • Education: Ph.D. in Biophysics from Harvard University (1982)
  • Discovery: Determined the three-dimensional structure of potassium channels, which are ion channels crucial for transmitting nerve impulses and maintaining muscle function. His work provided insights into the mechanisms of ion channel function and paved the way for the development of new drugs.

Both Agre and MacKinnon will receive half of the prize money for their independent, yet complementary, contributions to our understanding of cell membrane channels. Their discoveries have had a significant impact on various fields, including cell biology, physiology, and medicine.