2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – is being awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to Roger D. Kornberg from Stanford University for his: “studies of the molecular basis of eukaryotic transcription”.

Roger Kornberg has been selected for his detailed crystallographic pictures at the molecular level of the transcription apparatus, which essentially transmits the message encoded in DNA to so-called messenger RNA, in full action in the cell of a eukaryote (an organism whose cells have a well-defined nucleus, including organisms from yeast to humans). His images (all of which were created since 2000) depict the nascent RNA-strand gradually developing and reveal the role of several other molecules necessary for the transcription process. The pictures are so detailed that separate atoms can be distinguished and this makes it possible to understand the mechanisms of transcription and how it is regulated.