The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a strategy for genome editing.
They discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Utilizing these, scientists can change the DNA of creatures, plants, and miniature life forms with extremely high precision.
Göran K. Hansson, secretary-general for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said this year’s prize was tied in with “rewriting the code of life.”
The American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna (left) and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, pictured together in 2016.
The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools have revolutionized the molecular life sciences, brought new opportunities for plant breeding, are contributing to innovative cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.
Charpentier, from France, and Doudna, from the US, are the first women to jointly win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and the 6th and seventh women to win the chemistry prize.
On Tuesday, the current year’s Nobel Prize in Physics was given to researchers Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel, and Andrea Ghez for their discoveries about black holes.
The Nobel Prize in Medicine was jointly awarded to the US-UK trio of Harvey J. Modify, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice on Monday for the discovery of hepatitis C virus, which led to the development of tests and treatments.
The Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced Thursday, the Nobel Peace Prize Friday, and the Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday.
This news is picked up from CNN