Yonath, Steitz, and Ramakrishnan dedicated over 20 years to discovering the structure of the ribosome. Using X-ray crystallography provided tremendous hurdles for Yonath when trying to figure out the atomic structure of the ribosome, which is a complex structure containing two subunits each with thousands of nucleotides of RNA and 32 and 46 proteins respectively. However, using ribosomes taken from bacteria living under tremendously harsh conditions in the dead sea, a high-salt environment, helped to provide the stabilization needed to obtain a detailed mapping of the atomic structure. Still problems persisted, and it was Steitz who used both images generated by Yonath and electron microscopy from Joachim Frank that provided the information needed. After years of collecting additional data, and the structure of the small subunit of the ribosome from Ramakrishnan, it was finally possible to map the functionality of the ribosome at the atomic level.