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Prof Susan Lea, Statutory Chair of Microbiology talks with Prof William James, Professor of Virology, in the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford. They discuss the recent Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work on cryo-electron microscopy. This ground breaking research now allows scientists to view biological molecules in their natural configuration by creating film like sequences. The work builds and improves on technologies such as x-ray crystallography and other techniques, which don’t produce such high quality images and have disadvantages such as destroying much of the biological detail.