The Nobel Prize 2020 for Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna ‘for the development of a method for genome editing.’
Charpentier and Doudna discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors.
Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
Doudna was born in 1964 in Washington, D.C and currently works as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley and an investigator at HHMI news.
Meanwhile, her co-winner, Charpentier, was born in 1968 in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France and currently serves as the Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany.
A panel at the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm announced the names of the recipients sometime after 3:15 pm (IST).
The prize in the past has frequently honoured work which led to practical applications in wide use today — such as last year’s win for the brains behind the lithium-ion battery, which was received jointly by John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for their invention.
Tracing back its history, the youngest Chemistry laureate was Frédéric Joliot who was 35 when he received the Nobel Prize alongside his wife Irène Joliot-Curie
Marie Curie, who was the first woman ever to win a Nobel (in 1903) alongside her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel, for Physics, also went on to win it a second time in 1911, this time for Chemistry, creating the record of being the first person to win two Nobels.
Curie received the award for her work in radioactivity in Physics category and for her substantial effort in the advancement of Chemistry as a discipline via the discovery of radium and polonium.
On October 5, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine to Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s prize for Physics went to Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States for their breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries cosmic black holes.
The prestigious award comofl es with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million krona (more than $1.1 million), courtesy of a bequest left more than a century ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
With three more prizes in categories of literature, peace and economics remaining, the award season will wrap up on October 12.