The 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Roger Kornberg, professor of structural biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The Nobel Foundation honors his 2001 papers showing the crystal structure of RNA Polymerase II at atomic resolution, which greatly improved the understanding of eukaryotic transcription. The award marks the second Nobel Prize to be given this week to researchers focused on RNA, as well as the second to go to a Stanford researcher. On Monday, Andrew Z. Fire, professor in Stanford's Department of Pathology and Genetics, and Craig C. Mello, professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, won the prize in physiology or medicine for uncovering the mechanism of RNA interference."Unlike the prize earlier this week for RNA interference, which was really a discovery, [Kornberg's work] is a case where it took decades of persistent work and developing methods along the...

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