The prestigious Nobel Prizes are awarded annually on Dec. 10 in twin ceremonies in Stockholm and Oslo. Here is a look at this year's winners and their work:
_ Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine: Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak for discovering how chromosomes protect themselves as cells divide, work that has inspired experimental cancer therapies and may offer insights into aging.
_ Nobel Prize in physics: Americans Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith. Kao was honored for discovering how to transmit light signals long distance through hair-thin glass fibers. Boyle and Smith received the prize for opening the door to digital cameras by inventing a sensor that turns light into electrical signals.
_ Nobel Prize in chemistry: Americans Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz and Israel's Ada Yonath _ the first woman to receive it since 1964 _ for creating detailed blueprints of ribosomes, the protein-making machinery within cells. Their research is being used to develop new antibiotics.
_ Nobel Prize in literature: Germany's Herta Mueller, a Romanian-born writer honored for work depicting life under the Iron Curtain.
_ Nobel Peace Prize: President Barack Obama for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."
_ The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences: Americans Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson for their work in economic governance. Ostrom was the first woman to win this prize since it was founded in 1968.
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