Indian scientist co-wins Nobel for Chemistry

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Venkatraman Ramakrishnan
Stockholm, Oct 7: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a Tamil Nadu born, Thomas Steitz and Israeli Ada Yonath won the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry on Wednesday, Oct 7.

Profile: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan

India-born Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, a senior scientist at the MRC Laborartory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge co-won the Nobel Prize for mapping ribosomes, the protein-producing factories within cells, at the atomic level.

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Born in 1952, in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, Ramakrishnan would share the Nobel prize  for their 'studies of the structure and function of the ribosome'.

Fondly known as 'Venki' to friends, Ramakrishnan began his career as a theoretical physicist.

"This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry awards Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A Steitz and Ada E Yonath for having showed what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at the atomic level," the Nobel committee said in its citation.

"This year's three Laureates have all generated 3D models that show how different antibiotics bind to the ribosome.

These models are now used by scientists in order to develop new antibiotics, directly assisting the saving of lives and decreasing humanity's suffering."

The winner would receive 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) purse, a diploma, a gold medal and an invitation to the prize ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday, Dec 10.

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