In recent years, technology has come about to play a huge role in all sciences, ranging from physics to chemistry, biology, genetics and more. This was manifest in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year which went to three US scientists Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel for developing computer-based models of certain chemical processes.
Scientists have worked on discerning the details of chemical processes for decades now. Although most of the information about different chemical processes has long been known, scientists can now see these processes take place through computer simulations.
The three US scientists who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year have been able to aid in the creation of such computer programs which can accurately show the structures of proteins and their interactions with the human body. Typically, scientists have to decide between Newtonian physics and quantum physics when developing such models.
However, the three aforementioned scientists were able to overcome this limitation. According to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, “The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton’s classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics. Previously, chemists had to choose to use either/or.”
Thanks to the research of these individuals, such computer programs have now been developed which let the scientists accurately gauge complex chemical processes. This improves our understanding of chemical processes and in turn, allows us to explore new possible uses of different chemicals. Such improved understanding can also lead to the creation of such medical drugs which are far more effective and carry lesser side effects.
Courtesy: Daily Mail