Thompson Reuters predicts 2nd Nobel nomination for Sharpless

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For his work on click-chemistry.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/25/thomson-reuters-idUSnPNNY85976+1e0+PRN20130925 [Broken]

I think it would be a crime if Sharpless didn't get it for click chemistry. It's amazing how much one reaction can revolutionize the way we understand biology, applications in materials science, and nanotechnology in such a short amount of time.
 
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  • #2
atyy
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Do you think the importance is in the particular reaction, or in the click chemistry concept?
 
  • #3
DrDu
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I must confess I never heard before of click chemistry. It seems to be basically a set of desirable properties of reactions to be used in drug research. Ok, I think anyone working in that field can set up such a list.
Then there is this azide alkyne Huisgen reaction. Nice, but there are lot's of nice reactions out there.
So he's certainly not the only candidate I would consider for the Noblel prize.
 
  • #4
Borek
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Each time I hear about click chemistry I check what it is and I fail to see what the fuss is about.
 
  • #5
rollingstein
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Each time I hear about click chemistry I check what it is and I fail to see what the fuss is about.
+1

Overhyped.
 
  • #6
Ygggdrasil
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Although I don't know much about the utility of the azide alkyne Huisgen reaction and other click chemistry reactions in organic synthesis, I'm not so convinced of its utility in biology. While it is certainly a useful tool for some labs, it comes nowhere near having the impact of some of the more recent nobel prizes in chemistry for biology research tools (GFP, soft ionization mass spectrometry, protein NMR). I am not aware of many groundbreaking experiments that have been enabled by click chemistry, and indeed, its applicability to many of the experiments where it would be most useful (e.g. live cell imaging) is hindered by the relatively slow kinetics of many of the click reactions.

If we're looking for a tool in biology research that's worthy of a Nobel prize, I'd put my money on channelrhodopsin and the concept of optogenetics developed by Deisseroth and Boyden. Although it's too recent for a prize this year, I'd be surprised if they didn't win in the next ten years. Another emerging technique that's worthy of a Nobel is genome editing with targeted nucleases (e.g. zinc-finger nucleases, TAL effector nucleases, or CRISPR/cas nucleases). However, in addition to being too new for a prize (these tools still need rigorous validation by the research community before we know how useful they are), it's a crowded field that will be difficult to pick only three names from.
 
  • #7
atyy
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Although I don't know much about the utility of the azide alkyne Huisgen reaction and other click chemistry reactions in organic synthesis, I'm not so convinced of its utility in biology. While it is certainly a useful tool for some labs, it comes nowhere near having the impact of some of the more recent nobel prizes in chemistry for biology research tools (GFP, soft ionization mass spectrometry, protein NMR). I am not aware of many groundbreaking experiments that have been enabled by click chemistry, and indeed, its applicability to many of the experiments where it would be most useful (e.g. live cell imaging) is hindered by the relatively slow kinetics of many of the click reactions.

If we're looking for a tool in biology research that's worthy of a Nobel prize, I'd put my money on channelrhodopsin and the concept of optogenetics developed by Deisseroth and Boyden. Although it's too recent for a prize this year, I'd be surprised if they didn't win in the next ten years. Another emerging technique that's worthy of a Nobel is genome editing with targeted nucleases (e.g. zinc-finger nucleases, TAL effector nucleases, or CRISPR/cas nucleases). However, in addition to being too new for a prize (these tools still need rigorous validation by the research community before we know how useful they are), it's a crowded field that will be difficult to pick only three names from.
The concept of optogenetics has a history before Deisseroth and Boyden. Channelrhodopsin was discovered by Nagel, Ollig, Fuhrmann, Kateriya Musti, Bamberg and Hegemann, who explicitly wrote "Moreover, the ability of ChR1 to mediate a large light-switched H+ conductance in oocytes holds promise for the use of ChR1 as a tool for measuring and/or manipulating electrical and proton gradients across cell membranes, simply by illumination. " The concept of optogenetics was pioneered by Miesenbock, among others. For example, Zemelman, Lee, Ng and Miesenbock demonstrated an optogenetic system in tissue of the mammalian central nervous system several years before Deisseroth and Boyden. (There might be fly work too, but I don't know it off the top of my head.) Optogenetics was also preceded by things like caged neurotransmitters that could be activated by light.
 
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  • #8
Borek
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No way :wink:

Karplus, Levitt and Warshel for Development of Multiscale Models for Complex Chemical Systems.
 
  • #9
rollingstein
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No way :wink:

Karplus, Levitt and Warshel for Development of Multiscale Models for Complex Chemical Systems.

Better choice or worse? :)
 
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DrDu
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  • #11
Ygggdrasil
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At least no biochemistry!
Until you look at the current research interests of all of the three laureates. Just more evidence that many of the fundamentally important and interesting questions in chemistry are biological in nature.

Definitely a well deserved prize for all three (Karplus, in particular, who is the godfather of the molecular dynamics field). Of course, the rule of three for Nobel prizes strikes again and many other worthy candidates (Allinger, Houk, Carr, Parrinello, Goddard, to name a few) got left out. However, most computational people I've spoken with seem to think that the committee got the right three people.
 
  • #12
rollingstein
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Until you look at the current research interests of all of the three laureates. Just more evidence that many of the fundamentally important and interesting questions in chemistry are biological in nature.
While that may be so, partly it's also got to do with what's fashionable at the moment. It's no longer fashionable to say you are doing anything in the conventional "dirty" areas like refining, petro-, commodity-chemicals etc.
 
  • #13
Ygggdrasil
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While it's true that part of the reason many chemists are studying biological problems because there's much more funding for biological research, there are many important question in biology where chemistry and chemists can have an important impact. The application of computational modeling to studying protein structure and function by Karplus, Warshel, Levitt and others is a perfect example of the importance of chemistry to biology.
 
  • #14
DrDu
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Well, maybe I should have said wet biochemistry.
 

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