United States scientists Frances Arnold and George Smith and British researcher Gregory Winter won the Nobel Chemistry Prize on Wednesday, October 3, for applying the principles of evolution to develop enzymes used to make everything from biofuels to medicine. Collectively, they exploited evolution to make better use of molecules, which is essential in designing drugs and developing biofuels.
Meanwhile, the other two winners in chemistry - Greg Winter and George P Smith - who will share the other half of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has been chosen due to their research on phage displays of peptides and antibodies.
They were honoured for "phage display of peptides and antibodies". And including antibodies - that's what Gregory Winter did. In 1994, for example, he developed antibodies that grab onto cancer cells.
The first medicine based on Smith's and Winter's methods, adalimumab, also known as Humira, was approved by drug officials in 2002. It's used to treat immune-system disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases, the academy said. It has since gone on to become a blockbuster, with sales a year ago of $18 billion. Winter was one of the leaders in using phage display to develop new biomolecules, including disease-blocking antibodies.
Dr. Wayne Marasco of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston said the lab technique developed by Smith and Winter was "revolutionary. and it's used today, every day". In many processes, they have taken the place of toxic chemicals. "In the end one has to have a certain amount of luck".
She tried to change an enzyme called subtilisin. She studied engineering at Princeton University and received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.
Now, Arnold said, these are some of the questions she would like to answer: "How do you evolve innovation?"
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Arnold's work has placed her at the forefront of enzyme research. "But since I'm an engineer and not a gentleman, I had no problem with that", Arnold said in an interview in 2014.
Dr Smith, reached at his home in Columbia, Missouri, was quick to credit the work of others in his prize.
He concludes, "Very few research breakthroughs are novel".
After repeatedly screening and mutating those microbes, she could use them to build a more powerful version of a desired protein.
"Directed evolution allows me to rewrite the code of life and particularly to do it to solve human problems", Arnold said of her work in a video released by the National Medal of Technology & Innovation in 2013.
Smith said he learned of the prize in a pre-dawn phone call from Stockholm.
The woman was receiving his then-experimental antibody treatment. "Her work is incredible". "His inventions really have produced silver bullets that have transformed the way medicine is practised".
Three scientists have won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work with lasers, including the first female Nobel laureate to be named in the physics field for 55 years.
For the first time since 1949, the Swedish Academy has postponed the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize until next year, amid a #MeToo scandal and bitter internal dispute that has prevented it from functioning properly. Strickland had worked with the third victor, Frenchman Gerard Mourou of the Ecole Polytechnique and the University of MI. 8 October in Stockholm will name the victor of the prize for Economics in memory of Alfred Nobel.