American, 2 Japanese Share Nobel for Chemistry
They developed process for testing drugs, creating LED screens
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 6, 2010 6:21 AM CDT
Updated Oct 6, 2010 6:40 AM CDT
Portraits on overhead screen from left, show American Richard Heck and Japanese researchers Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki who won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday Oct. 6, 2010.   (AP Photo/Scanpix Sweden/Janerik Henriksson)

(Newser) – American Richard Heck and Japanese researchers Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki won the 2010 Nobel Prize in chemistry today for developing a chemical method that has allowed scientists to test cancer drugs and make thinner computer screens. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences called the process, known as palladium-catalyzed cross coupling in organic systems, one of the most sophisticated tools available to chemists today.

The method developed by the Nobel winners has been used to artificially produce cancer-killing substances first found in marine sponges, the academy said in its citation. While clinical testing has started, it's not yet clear whether they will turn out to be useful drugs. The electronics industry has used palladium-catalyzed cross coupling to make light-emitting diods used in the production of extremely thin monitors, the academy said.