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Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won an award for the development of a method for genome editing technology
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Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020: Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won an award for work in genome editing technology

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French researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the development of a method for genome editing, the award-giving body said on Wednesday. “Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in an announcement on awarding the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize.

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been given to 183 people on 111 events aside from the World War time 1916, 1917, 1919, 1924, 1933, 1940, 1941, and 1942, for not meeting the criteria in the establishment’s resolutions.

The 183 Nobel Prize winners for Chemistry incorporate 71 researchers from the United States of America (USA), followed by 33 from Germany and the United Kingdom (UK) each. In 2019, Nobel Prize for Chemistry was awarded to John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium-ion batteries.

The Nobel Committee said in a statement, “Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants, and microorganisms with extremely high precision. This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies, and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.

“The ability to cut the DNA where you want has revolutionized the life sciences” Pernilla Wittung Stafshede, member of the academy of sciences, told reporters.

Charpentier, who is French, and Doudna, an American, become the 6th and 7th women to win a Nobel for chemistry, joining the likes of Marie Curie, who won in 1911, and all the more recently, Frances Arnold, in 2018.

With regards to custom, chemistry is the third prize reported each year and follows those for medicine and physics before this week.

The prizes for accomplishments in science, literature, and peace were made and funded in the desire of Swedish dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel and have been awarded since 1901, with the economics award a later addition.

Like so much else, the pandemic has redrawn the Nobels, with a large number of the traditional events, for example, the terrific feast, canceled or moved online even as research into the disease – above all the hunt for a vaccine – has overwhelmed the scientific spotlight.

Breakthrough in genome editing technology

Charpentier published her revelation in 2011 and, later in the year, started a joint effort with Doudna. They prevailing with regards to reproducing the bacteria’s genetic scissors in a test tube and simplifying the scissors’ molecular components so they were simpler to use. The couple then reinvented the genetic scissors.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences further expressed that this tool has added to numerous significant disclosures in fundamental research, and plant researchers have had the option to create crops that withstand mould, pests, and drought. The additional that these genetic scissors have ended the life sciences into a “new epoch and, in many ways, is bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.”

Conceived in 1968 in France, Charpentier completed Ph.D. in 1995 from Institut Pasteur, Paris, and workers as Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany. US-born Doudna finished Ph.D. from Harvard Medical School, Boston, and functioned as a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, the USA, and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The prize amount of 10 million Swedish kronor will be shared similarly between the Laureates.

Before Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine to Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born researcher Michael Houghton for finding the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.

On Tuesday, the Nobel Prize for physics went to Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany, and Andrea Ghez of the United States for their discoveries in understanding the secrets of cosmic black holes.

Different Nobel prizes are for remarkable work in the fields of literature, peace, and economics.

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Dan Zinman started his career as an astronomer and college professor and quickly expanded into popularizing the understanding of science and scientific discovery. He did this through writing books, essays, and articles. He is contributing by writing news articles for timebulletin.com.