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STORY: Two American scientists won the 2012 Nobel Prize for chemistry on Wednesday for research into how cells respond to external stimuli that is helping to develop better drugs to fight diseases such as diabetes, cancer and depression.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the 8 million crown ($1.2 million) prize went to Robert Lefkowitz, 69, and Brian Kobilka, 57, for discovering the inner workings of G-protein-coupled receptors, which allow cells to respond to chemical messages such as adrenaline rushes.
"Around half of all medications act through these receptors, among them beta blockers, antihistamines and various kinds of psychiatric medications," the Nobel Prize committee said.
Kobilka said when the phone call first came in from Stockholm, he thought it was a crank call or a wrong number.
Chemistry was the third of this year's Nobel prizes. Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel.