It's Stockholm Calling. Oslo Too

The honors go to the discoverer of protein ZIP codes, a laser photographer, two particle theorists, the father of the euro and death-defying doctors

The human cell is a marvel, not just of engineering but also of traffic control. Proteins are constantly shuttling within it to build and repair substructures, process energy and carry out the myriad functions that keep this basic unit of life alive.

Until the 1970s, though, it was unclear how the proteins knew where to go. Guenter Blobel, a German-born cell and molecular biologist at New York City's Rockefeller University, figured it out--and for solving that mystery, the 63-year-old naturalized American last week won the 1999 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

It was in 1971 that Blobel and a colleague proposed...

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