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Karplus, Levitt and Warshel win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel have been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The trio were recognized for their development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

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Nobel chemistry prize awarded

The 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel, the Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

"(The scientists) laid the foundation for the powerful programs that are used to understand and predict chemical processes," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

"Computer models mirroring real life have become crucial for most advances made in chemistry today."

Kurplus is an Austrian and US citizen affiliated with the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University. Levitt, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, is a British and US citizen. Warshel is an Israeli and US citizen affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Chemistry was the third of this year's Nobel prizes. The Nobel season will end on October 14 with the presentation of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, a prize not originally established by the will of the award's founder, Alfred Nobel. This prize was introduced in 1968 by the Swedish central bank, the Sveriges Riksbank, in memory of Nobel, an industrialist who invented dynamite.

All the prizes are traditionally presented to the winners in a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel (1833-1896). Laureates receive a diploma, medal and around eight million Swedish kronor (920,000 euros, $1.25 million).

The Nobel Prizes were established in Nobel's will in 1895 and are widely seen as his attempt to be remembered by posterity for something more than an invention that has caused so much destruction. The prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901.

Nobel highlight

The season culminates in the awarding of the Nobel Peace Price on Friday, October 11, in Oslo, Norway. A record 259 nominations have been submitted for this year's prize.

Among the people widely mentioned as possible laureates is Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived being shot in the head last year by the Taliban for championing education for girls.

Last year's winner was not a person, but an entity: the European Union, which received the prize in recognition of its achievements in bringing about reconciliation and integration in Europe.

hc/rc (AFP, AP)

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