NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY GOES TO GENOME EDITING SAVANTS
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was jointly awarded on Wednesday to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing in 2012, Elian Peltier and Katherine J. Wu reported for the Associated Press (AP).
“This year’s prize is about rewriting the code of life,” Goran K. Hansson, the secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said as he announced the names of the laureates. 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 revolutionized basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to groundbreaking new medical treatments.”
Dr. Charpentier and Dr. Doudna discovered the Crispr-Cas 9 tool, a kind of genetic scissors that allows researchers to alter the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
The two scientists are only the fifth and sixth women to be awarded the Chemistry Nobel. Dr. Charpentier, who is French, is the director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin. Dr. Doudna (the first syllable rhymes with loud) is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.