Well deserved, Roger Tsein, Osamu Shimomura and Martin Chalfie will share the prize for their work on GFP. The work is seminal in many regards, not the least of which is because it makes shit glow and glowing is way cooler then Pd couplings. It’s important to note that I think Tsein should STILL RESPOND TO EMAILS no matter how many stupid fucking prizes he wins. But that’s fine.
GFP is a very interesting molecule with amazingly bizarre chemistry at its core. Central to the protein is a fluorphore – a conjugated heteroaromatic cluster – that emits green light. Roger’s first publication on the subject was in 1995, iirc, so it took him a little more than 10 years to snag the highest honor in sciences for his efforts. The detailed mechanisms of the actual biosynthesis have been remarkably well done and so, it is not unusual that such a discovery, which took less than 10 years to go from the lab to glowing mammals, should take a little more than that to go from obscurity to a Nobel Prize.
Above is an interactive X-Ray structure of GFP (that image was captured from my computer. You CAN find the chromophore, but you have to look for it.) In any regard, I find a good crystal structure to be refreshing and enjoyable. So click on that image up there and load the structure! You’ll notice a ton of fucking water. I wish I were more of an expert at JMOL so I could just have the protein up there, but it’s a sufficiently intuitive program that you should be able to explore the structure without great confusion.