Connexins are transmembrane proteins that form gap junctions and hemichannels and
allow ions and small molecules to pass from one cell to another or from the cell into
its environment, respectively. Since gap junctions are the main means of communication
between adjacent cells, they are vital to the function of multicellular organisms.
On October 8th, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded to three chemists
who developed super-resolved fluorescent microscopy. Dr. Eric Betzig of the Janelia
Research Campus at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia, Dr. Stefan W. Hell
of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and German Cancer Research Center,
and Dr. William E. Moerner of Stanford University were jointly awarded the prize for
their groundbreaking work in the field of microscopy done in the early 2000s.