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Ben Feringa in international media

01 February 2019

After winning the Nobel Prize, it was difficult to find national or international media that had not mentioned Feringa. From the local RTV Noord and Dagblad van het Noorden to the national NOS and international The New York Times – they all included items about Ben Feringa. The New York Times described Feringa and the two other Prizewinners, Jean-Pierre Sauvage and J. Fraser Stoddart, as pioneers in the field of nanomachines.

According to Time Magazine , there are five things you need to know about the three Nobel Prizewinners’ molecular machines and why these creations are such an enormous breakthrough.

  1. They are a thousand times thinner than a single hair.
  2. But their impact can be just as large as the impact that the microchip once had on computer technology.
  3. In the future, these molecular machines could also work in the human body.
  4. They would be able to detect diseases before any symptoms arose.
  5. The Nobel Committee believes that the potential of these molecular machines is gigantic.

The Washington Post also praised the three Nobel Prizewinners in an article. A Nobel Committee member was quoted in the newspaper: ‘These three laureates … have opened this entire field of molecular machinery and shown us that you can make machine-like function at the molecular level’.

The BBC wrote ‘All grand endeavours start small’, and outlined a brief history of molecular machines. ‘The work has overtones of science fiction, but holds huge promise in the field as diverse as medicine, materials and energy’. The first molecular motor, which was built by Ben Feringa, is considered a ‘landmark in the field’.

Feringa told The Guardian that winning the Nobel Prize was a huge surprise. ‘I’m so honoured and emotional about it’, he said. When developing the first functions of the nanomachine, he could hardly believe it worked.

When The New York Times asked Feringa why their work was so important, he answered: ‘Think about nanomachines, microrobots, think about tiny robots that the doctor in the future will inject in your blood veins, and they go search for cancer cells or going to deliver drugs, for instance’.

Last modified:12 April 2019 1.23 p.m.
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