(AP) - Recent winners of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, and their research, according to the Nobel Foundation:
_ 2012: Americans Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for studies of proteins that let body cells respond to signals from the outside, helping scientists develop better drugs.
_ 2011: Daniel Shechtman, Israel, for his discovery of quasicrystals.
_ 2010: Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki, Japan, and Richard Heck, United States, for their work that has helped give mankind new medicines and revolutionary materials such as plastics.
_ 2009: Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz, United States, and Ada Yonath of Israel for creating detailed blueprints of the protein-making machinery within cells, research that's being used to develop new antibiotics.
_ 2008: Osamu Shimomura, Japan, and Martin Chalfie and Roger Y. Tsien, United States, for the discovery and development of the green fluorescent protein, GFP.
_ 2007: Gerhard Ertl, Germany, for studies of chemical processes on solid surfaces, research that has advanced the understanding of why the ozone layer is thinning, how fuel cells work and even why iron rusts.
_ 2006: Roger D. Kornberg, United States, for work on how information stored within a gene is copied and transferred to the parts of cells that produce proteins.
_ 2005: Yves Chauvin, France, and Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, United States, for their work and exploration of metathesis.
_ 2004: Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko, Israel, and Irwin Rose, United States, for their work in how cells break down.
_ 2003: Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon, United States, for their research on how key materials enter or leave cells in the body and their discoveries concerning tiny pores called "channels" on the surface of cells.
_ 2002: John B. Fenn, United States, Koichi Tanaka, Japan, and Kurt Wuethrich, Switzerland, for developing methods used in identifying and analyzing large biological molecules.
_ 2001: William S. Knowles and K. Barry Sharpless, United States, and Ryoji Noyori, Japan, for showing how to better control chemical reactions, paving the way for drugs to treat heart ailments and Parkinson's disease.
_ 2000: Alan J. Heeger and Alan G. MacDiarmid, United States, and Hideki Shirakawa, Japan, for the discovery that plastic conducts electricity and for the development of conductive polymers.
_ 1999: Ahmed H. Zewail, United States, for pioneering the investigation of fundamental chemical reactions, using ultra-short laser flashes, on the time scale on which the reactions actually occur.
_ 1998: Walter Kohn, United States, for the development of density-functional theory in the 1960s that simplifies the mathematical description of the bonding between atoms that make up molecules, and John Pople, Britain, for developing computer techniques to test the chemical structure and details of matter.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)