Wednesday, 17 October, 2018


3 scientists awarded chemistry Nobel Prize - 10/3/2018 5:22:34 AM

2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to Americans Frances Arnold and George Smith and Britain's Gregory Winter 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Frances H Arnold, George P Smith, Sir Gregory P Winter win for their work on evolutionary science
Kristine Garrett | 06 October, 2018, 02:26

And the other half of the award is shared by George Smith at the University of Missouri in Columbia and Gregory Winter at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

"This year's Nobel Laureates in chemistry have been inspired by the power of evolution and used the same principles - genetic change and selection - to develop proteins that solve mankind's chemical problems", the academy said in a statement on awarding the 1 million dollar prize, as per NY Times. They also can be used to help create chemicals that are safe for the environment and to make biofuels. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria.

According to a Royal Swedish Academy statement, Smith knew it was possible to manipulate a phage's (virus that infects bacteria) genetic material and change the molecules coating its surface, so he made a decision to use the virus as a means of identifying an unknown gene for a known protein, and vice versa.

Professor Winter, the Master of Trinity College, is best known for his research and inventions relating to humanised and human therapeutic antibodies. And including antibodies - that's what Gregory Winter did. So, you know, other antibodies are in development that could do things like fight cancer. It's used to treat a number of conditions in which the immune system goes awry, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease and others.

Sold as Humira in the US and under other brand names elsewhere, it brought AbbVie $18.4 billion in revenue a year ago, in part because of its price: about $5,000 a month without insurance coverage in the U.S. Winter was one of the leaders in using phage display to develop new biomolecules, including disease-blocking antibodies.

Prof Smith developed the technique of phage display later adopted by Sir Gregory.

Arnold's work focused on the directed evolution of enzymes - proteins that accelerate chemical reactions. The genes are then inserted into bacteria, which then act as the manufacturing machines and produce randomly mutated enzymes. It contained a combination of 10 mutations that nobody could have predicted would work so well, the Swedish academy said.

"Women have always played important roles in science and mathematics, yet have not always been recognized for their contributions, " said Rachel Levy, deputy executive director of the Mathematical Association of America.

Arnold is a professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

Arnold, a breast cancer survivor, is the second woman to win a Nobel Prize this week. "The Nobel Prize represents Professor Smith's decades of innovation and leadership in biological sciences, and the collaborations he continues to establish throughout the world".

He added: "Knowing all that she's done and knowing the life she's lived, I'm convinced that while you and I have 24 hours in a day, she probably has 30 or more". "I decided that I wanted to become an engineer of the biological world, specifically a protein engineer".

Marie Curie, Joliot-Curie's mother, shared half of the prize with her husband and fellow physicist Pierre Curie in 1911 for "the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel".

He said he had "no idea" what he would do with the prize money.

After learning that he had won the Nobel Prize, Smith spoke to the Associated Press.

"Very few research breakthroughs are novel".

He said he got the phone call from Sweden early Wednesday morning.

The woman was receiving his then-experimental antibody treatment.

The honour recognises his work using a technique called "phage display" to produce new pharmaceutical drugs. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honouring Alfred Nobel, the man who endowed the five Nobel Prizes, will be revealed on Monday.

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