0337 GMT February 25, 2020
Thanks to their team's new "cool method", involving electron beams to photograph bits of cells, "researchers can now routinely produce three-dimensional structures of biomolecules", the Nobel chemistry committee said, AFP reported.
"Researchers can now freeze biomolecules mid-movement and visualize processes they have never previously seen, which is decisive for both the basic understanding of life's chemistry and for the development of pharmaceuticals," the committee added.
This method allows bio-molecules to be kept frozen in their natural state without the need for dyes or fixatives.
It is used study the tiniest details of cell structures, viruses and proteins.
"When researchers began to suspect that the Zika virus was causing the epidemic of brain-damaged newborns in Brazil, they turned to cryo-EM (electron microscopy) to visualize the virus," the committee said.
The prize comes with nine million Swedish kronor (around $1.1 million or 943,100 euros).