women

Two women win Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on CRISPR gene-editing system

Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer A. Doudna, together won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work on the CRISPR gene-editing tool. <span class="copyright">(Susan Walsh / Associated Press)</span>
Emmanuelle Charpentier, left, and Jennifer A. Doudna, together won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for their work on the CRISPR gene-editing tool. (Susan Walsh / Associated Press)

The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded Wednesday to UC Berkeley biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna and French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier for their pioneering work on the so-called CRISPR tool for gene editing, a discovery that holds out the possibility of curing genetic diseases.

The Nobel Committee said the two women’s work on developing the CRISPR method of gene editing, likened to an elegant pair of “molecular scissors,” had transformed the life sciences by allowing scientists to target specific sequences on the human genome.

This could, for example, allow doctors to correct the DNA error that causes sickle-cell anemia. It also paves the way for improving plants and livestock by imbuing them with greater disease resistance, and for safer transplants of animal organs

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women

2 women earn Chemistry Nobel Prize for gene-editing tool CRISPR

The 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry went to two women who developed a gene-editing tool called CRISPR-Cas9, which snips DNA like a pair of molecular scissors. 



a close up of a flower: illustration of crispr-cas9 snipping a bit of DNA from a strand


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illustration of crispr-cas9 snipping a bit of DNA from a strand

The technique “has not only revolutionized basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments,” Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry, said in a statement. With the ability to deftly slice specific DNA sequences from the genome, scientists can pinpoint the functions of genes; these discoveries both add to our basic understanding of how those genes work and can have practical applications, such as for growing drought- and pest-resistant crops and developing therapies for cancer and genetic disorders. The genetic cut-and-paste system is also being used in new COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

The Nobel “for the development of a

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women

The Nobel Prize in chemistry has gone to the two women who pioneered CRISPR gene editing

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded today to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing” called CRISPR. 

Genetic scissors: The Nobel Committee cited Doudna and Charpentier for an “epoch-making” experiment in 2012 in which they determined how to use CRISPR to cut DNA at sites of their choosing. Since then, the “genetic scissors” technology has revolutionized lab research and has already been tested on patients as a way to cure blindness and sickle-cell disease. It has also been used to create gene-altered corn, pigs, and dogs—and, more controversially, humans. The technique is so powerful because it’s simple to use, involving just one specialized DNA-cutting protein and a “guide” molecule that can direct it anywhere in a genome. 

The split: The prize is the first Nobel to be shared only by two women. But after their groundbreaking collaboration, the team quickly

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women

The women who developed CRISPR just won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemis

The two women who developed the CRISPR gene-editing technique have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, the Nobel Committee announced today. The French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American scientist Jennifer A. Doudna were awarded the world’s most prestigious science recognition “for the development of a method for genome editing.” It’s the first time that two women have shared the Nobel Prize.

Charpentier and Doudna discovered the CRISPR “genetic scissors” editing technique in 2012. Since then there has been an explosion of research around the world using their discovery. Already their technique has allowed scientists to create crops that can withstand drought and pests, and it is believed that one day CRISPR will allow for

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