Stockholm, October 7: The winner for the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna. The duo have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 'for the development of a method for genome editing'. According to the official release, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier from Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany and Jennifer A Doudna from the
University of California, Berkeley, USA.
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have 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. 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. Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 Winners: Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez Receive The Honour For Their Discoveries on Black Hole.
Here's the tweet:
— The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 7, 2020
Emmanuelle Charpentier published her discovery in 2011. The same year, she initiated a collaboration with Jennifer Doudna, an experienced biochemist with vast knowledge of RNA. Together, they succeeded in recreating the bacteria’s genetic scissors in a test tube and simplifying the scissors’ molecular components so they were easier to use.
What is Genome Editing:
Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. In genome editing, researchers need to modify genes in cells if they are to find out about life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a few weeks.
After Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in 2012 their use has exploded. This tool has contributed to many important discoveries in basic research, and plant researchers have been able to develop crops that withstand mould, pests and drought. In medicine, clinical trials of new cancer therapies are underway, and the dream of being able to cure inherited diseases is about to come true. These genetic scissors have taken the life sciences into a new epoch and, in many ways, are bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.
Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said 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.