The winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry have been announced, and the prize will be shared equally between Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz, and Ada Yonath “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome.” The information encoded in DNA is decoded to produce functional proteins in two stages: transcription (DNA –> RNA) and translation (RNA –> protein). This prize was awarded for the work that described this second stage in atomic detail, and you can read more about it in the scientific background document released with the prize announcement. This prize complements the 2006 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which was awarded for atomic-resolution work on transcription (although the transcription prize was specifically for work on eukaryotes, and the work recognized by the translation prize was carried out on prokaryotes).
This prize marks the sixth time in eight years that the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded for biological work, and most of these have been for atomic-resolution structural biological work (X-ray crystallography in three cases, NMR in one). As I’ve noted before, crystallography and NMR involve a mix of biology, chemistry, and physics, so it’s reasonable that such work is often recognized by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.