Nobel Medal Scientific insight sometimes comes from the unanticipated convergence of ideas and findings. This is certainly the case for nitric oxide (NO), a molecule whose simplicity belies its profound impact on organisms as diverse as humans and Arabidopsis.

On December 10, the Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine will be awarded to three men who, working independently, characterized NO's effect on the cardiovascular system¬ Robert Furchgott, distinguished professor of pharmacology at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn; Louis Ignarro, professor of pharmacology at the University of California at Los Angeles; and Ferid Murad, professor and chair of the department of integrative biology, pharmacology, and physiology at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Theirs was an exciting journey that incorporated various facets of the scientific process--serendipity, inexplicable results, disparate discoveries, and the conundrum of whether a clever hypothesis or the experimenting that tests it...

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