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Famous chemists and milestones



Notable chemists

Chemists have shaped the modern world in many important ways. Some notable modern chemists are:

Photo of Marie Curie

Chemistry milestones

  • Discovery of fullerenes - Professor Robert F. Curl, Harold W. Kroto and Richard E. Smalley won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1996 for the discovery of fullerenes. A fullerene is a form of the element carbon. It has applications in several fields such as medicine, electronics, polymer industry.
  • Discovery of gene-editing tool CRISPR - Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna won the Nobel Prize in chemistry 2020 for the development of a tool to edit the genome, CRISPR. CRISPR has numerous applications, specially in precision medicine, immunology, and agriculture.
  • Synthesis of ammonia – Fritz Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for the synthesis of ammonia using elements nitrogen and hydrogen. Ammonia is used as a fertiliser to provide nitrogen to plants.
  • Discovery of macromolecules or polymers - Hermann Staudinger won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953 for his work on macromolecular chemistry which we called polymers. Polymers are giant molecules composed of smaller repeating units. Polymers can be natural such as cellulose, proteins, carbohydrates and synthetic nylon, polyethylene.
  • Discovery of Vitamin B12 – Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1964 for the molecular structural elucidation of Vitamin B12. Deficiency of vitamin B12 causes anaemia (means that the body lacks red blood cells), leading to weakness in the body, nerve damage, and adverse effects on memory.