Chemistry Nobel Goes to 2 US Scientists

Their work helps explain how the body's cells communicate
By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2012 6:30 AM CDT
Dr. Robert Lefkowitz along with American Brian Kobilka have won the 2012 Nobel Prize in chemistry, Oct. 10, 2012. The two researchers won for their "studies of G-protein-coupled receptors."   (AP Photo/Tim Roske, File)

(Newser) – Two American scientists won the Nobel prize for chemistry this morning for their work, which helps explain how the billions of cells in our bodies manage to reach through their otherwise impenetrable membranes to communicate with one another and sense their environment, reports the BBC. Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka will receive the $1.2 million prize for making groundbreaking discoveries about G-protein-coupled receptors.

To help explain their complex work, Sven Lidin of the Nobel committee shouted "boo" at the audience—the resulting rush of adrenaline is one way that these receptors communicate. Their work will hopefully help scientists create new and better drugs, as about half of all medications use these receptors, the AP reports. Click to read about the recent Nobel prizes for physics and medicine. (Read more Nobel Prize stories.)

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