women

Two women share chemistry Nobel in historic win for ‘genetic scissors’

Emmanuelle Charpentier (L) and Jennifer DoudnaImage copyright
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Emmanuelle Charpentier (L) and Jennifer Doudna began a formidable partnership in 2011

Two scientists have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing the tools to edit DNA.

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna are the first two women to share the prize, which honours their work on the technology of genome editing.

Their discovery, known as Crispr-Cas9 “genetic scissors”, is a way of making specific and precise changes to the DNA contained in living cells.

They will split the prize money of 10 million krona (£861,200; $1,110,400).

Biological chemist Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, commented: “The ability to cut DNA where you want has revolutionised the life sciences.”

Not only has the women’s technology been transformative for basic research, it could also be used to treat inherited illnesses.

Prof Charpentier, from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, said it was

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women

Creators of gene ‘scissors’ clinch Nobel as women sweep chemistry

By Niklas Pollard and Douglas Busvine

STOCKHOLM/BERLIN (Reuters) – Two scientists won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for creating genetic ‘scissors’ that can rewrite the code of life, contributing to new cancer therapies and holding out the prospect of curing hereditary diseases.

Emmanuelle Charpentier, who is French, and American Jennifer Doudna share the 10 million Swedish crown ($1.1 million) prize for developing the CRISPR/Cas9 tool to edit the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with precision.

“The ability to cut the DNA where you want has revolutionized the life sciences,” Pernilla Wittung Stafshede of the Swedish Academy of Sciences told an award ceremony.

Charpentier, 51, and Doudna, 56, become the sixth and seventh women to win a Nobel for chemistry, joining Marie Curie, who won in 1911, and more recently, Frances Arnold, in 2018.

It is the first time since 1964, when Britain’s Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin alone

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