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Scots scientist David MacMillian has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in Stockholm

Mr MacMillian, originally from Bellshill, moved to the United States in 1991 to pursue his career in chemistry after studying at the University of Glasgow.

He has been awarded 10 million krona, the equivalent to £842,611, which will be split with his partner Mr List, for their work on the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.

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The chemical toolkit they developed has been used to make molecules that can capture light in solar cells and to discover new drugs.

It has been reported by the BBC that their work has made it easier to produce asymmetric molecules, chemicals which exist as two versions, with one being the mirror image of the other.

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Their work has “taken molecular construction to an entirely new level” according to the Nobel Committee.

Committee member, Professor Peter Somfai from Sweden’s Lund University, described it as a “game-changer” which will be of “great benefit to humankind.”

David MacMillan, James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Speaking at a news conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Prof Somfai said that the mirror image molecules behave in different ways, with one smelling like lemons, while the other has an orange scent.

He said: “That means that our bodies can differentiate between the two mirror images. And the take-home message here is that… the same will probably be true for drugs that we take for diseases.

“Then it becomes important to be able to make only the mirror image of a drug that has the desired physiological effect.”

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A Nobel medal is held up during a ceremony in New York. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP, File)

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Scottish-born David MacMillian has been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with Benjamin list, for their work on building mirror image molecules. (Picture credit: Jonathan Nackstrand)

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The Scotsman

The Scotsman is a Scottish compact newspaper and daily news website headquartered in Edinburgh. First established as a radical political paper in 1817, it began daily publication in 1855 and remained a broadsheet until August 2004. Its parent company, JPIMedia, also publishes the Edinburgh Evening News.

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