Microscope trailblazers win chemistry Nobel for 'freeze framing'STI life

This year's chemistry Nobel has gone to a trio of scientists who pioneered the use of electron microscopes to generate images of biomolecules.

STOCKHOLM (REUTERS) - A trio of Swiss, American and British scientists winning this year’s Chemistry Nobel on Wednesday (Oct 4) for developing cryo-electron microscopy.

They have revolutionised how scientists capture images of molecules to see them in action.

Sweden’s Nobel academy saying the work by Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson has moved biochemistry into a new era.

"Well it means that many structures of molecules in the cell can now be captured that could not be captured before and so the whole range of applications of structural biology will expand," Nobel Chemistry prize recipient Joachim Frank said.

The technology freezes a molecule mid-movement to take a picture of it, allowing scientists to freeze-frame how it is behaving and interacting with other molecules.

It helped scientists map the Zika virus, which was linked to an epidemic of brain-damaged babies in Brazil last year.

It jump-started the search for treatments, since most drugs now work within cells.

The 1.1 million-dollar Chemistry Nobel Prize is the third of this year’s crop to be announced, after medicine and physics earlier this week.