Israeli scientist wins Nobel chemistry prize

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STOCKHOLM (AP) - Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences cited Shechtman for the discovery of quasicrystals.

The chemistry award is the third Nobel Prize to be announced this year. The medicine award went to three scientists for breakthrough research on the immune system and the physics prize was awarded to a trio who discovered that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Guessing a winner among scores of discoveries in such a broad field as chemistry is notoriously hard but that doesn't stop people from trying.

Recent discoveries are more or less ruled out because Nobel jurors look for research that has stood the test of time. Typically, Nobel winners have received plenty of other awards before they get the call from Stockholm.

The Nobel Prize in chemistry announcement will cap this year's science awards.

Immune system researchers Bruce Beutler of the U.S. and Frenchman Jules Hoffmann shared the medicine prize Monday with Canadian-born Ralph Steinman, who died three days before the announcement. U.S.-born scientists Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess won the physics prize on Tuesday for discovering that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace.

Last year, the chemistry committee rewarded Japanese scientists Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki and American Richard Heck for designing a technique to bind together carbon atoms, a key step in assembling the skeletons of organic compounds used in medicine, agriculture and electronics.

The 10 million kronor (US$1.4 million) Nobel Prizes are handed out every year on Dec. 10, the anniversary of award founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

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