The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 has been awarded to three scientists for their pioneering work developing new methods of visualizing biomolecules, such as those in the Zika virus.

Jacques Dubochet of Switzerland, Joachim Frank of the United States and Richard Henderson of the United Kingdom were awarded the prize for cryo-electron microscopy.

The technique allows scientists to freeze biomolecules in action and “visualize processes they have never previously seen,” according to the Nobel statement.

According to CNN News, the method means that, for example, molecules in bacteria and viruses, such as the Zika virus can be examined under a microscope in their native, undamaged state.

This development is “decisive for both the basic understanding of life’s chemistry” and the development of drugs, the Nobel committee said.

The announcement was made today in Stockholm Sweden.

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