Nobel Prize 2020 in Chemistry (Twitter/NobelPrize)
Nobel Prize 2020 in Chemistry (Twitter/NobelPrize)

Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Two female scientists who specialize in chemistry have been awarded the Nobel Prize

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna

Emmanuel Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have been nominated for the Nobel Prize for the development of genome editing.

Emanuel is the director of the Max Blanc Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, Germany. Jennifer A. Dowd is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Emmanuel and Jenifer have explored the most advanced techniques in gene technology. The two women have developed very sensitive Crisper (CRISPR / Cas9) scissors (genetic scissors) used for genetic correction.

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Genetic scissors:

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technique’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. 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 adding to new cancer therapies and might make the dream of treating inherited diseases become a reality.

Researchers need to customize genes in cells if they are to discover life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, tough and in some cases difficult work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 hereditary scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a couple of weeks.

“There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all. It has not only revolutionised basic science but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments,” says Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.

As so typically in science, the discovery of these genetic scissors was unexpected. During Emmanuelle Charpentier’s research studies of Streptococcus pyogenes, one of the germs that cause one of the most damage to humankind, she found a formerly unidentified particle, tracrRNA. Her work revealed that tracrRNA becomes part of germs’s ancient body immune system, CRISPR/Cas, that deactivates viruses by cleaving their DNA.

Charpentier published her discovery in 2011. The very same year, she initiated a partnership with Jennifer Doudna, an experienced biochemist with a huge knowledge of RNA. Together, they succeeded in recreating the germs’s hereditary scissors in a test tube and simplifying the scissors’ molecular parts so they were easier to use.

In an epoch-making experiment, they then reprogrammed the hereditary scissors. In their natural kind, the scissors acknowledge DNA from infections, however Charpentier and Doudna showed that they could be controlled so that they can cut any DNA particle at an established site. Where the DNA is cut it is then easy to reword the code of life.

Given That Charpentier and Doudna found the CRISPR/Cas9 hereditary scissors in 2012 their usage has actually taken off. This tool has actually contributed to many important discoveries in fundamental research, and plant researchers have actually been able to develop crops that hold up against mould, pests and drought.

In medicine, clinical trials of new cancer treatments are underway, and the imagine being able to treat acquired illness is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a brand-new epoch and, in lots of methods, are bringing the greatest benefit to mankind.

Emmanuelle Charpentier, born 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France. PhD. 1995 from Institut Pasteur, Paris, France. Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany. Jennifer A. Doudna, born 1964 in Washington, D.C, USA. PhD. 1989 from Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


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