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Cell research wins Nobel Prize

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STOCKHOLM, Sweden (CNN) -- Two Americans have won the 2003 Nobel Prize in chemistry "for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes," the Nobel Foundation announced Wednesday from its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

Peter Agre, a medical professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, was cited "for the discovery of water channels" in human cells, according to the Nobel Web site.

Roderick MacKinnon, a professor of Molecular Neurobiology and Biophysics at The Rockefeller University in New York, received the honor "for structural and mechanistic studies of ion channels."

The Nobel site said, "This year's Prize illustrates how contemporary biochemistry reaches down to the atomic level in its quest to understand the fundamental processes of life."

Agre, 54, and MacKinnon, 47, will share equally a prize of 10 million Swedish kronor, or about $1.3 million.

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