Stockholm: The Nobel Prize in chemistry 2015 awards three pioneering scientists who have mapped how several of these repair systems function at a detailed molecular level. The winners are Tomas Lindahl, Aziz Sancar, Paul Modrich.
In the early 1970s, scientists believed that DNA was an extremely stable molecule, but Tomas Lindahl demonstrated that DNA decays at a rate that ought to have made the development of life on Earth impossible.
Aziz Sancar has mapped nucleotide excision repair, the mechanism that cells use to repair UV damage to DNA.
Paul Modrich has demonstrated how the cell corrects errors that occur when DNA is replicated during cell division.