The Nobel prize in chemistry this year was awarded three professors — Francis Arnold and George Smith (both USA) and Gregory Winter (UK). Scientists have conducted research in the field of directed evolution various proteins and peptides, according to the website of the Nobel prize.
The Nobel Committee in Stockholm said that the winners “made a scientific revolution, using the power of evolution.” It is reported that scientists have developed proteins that “solve the problems of humanity.”
So, Francis Arnold in 1993 conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes — proteins that catalyze chemical reactions. Since then, she has perfected methods. Now they are used in a variety of industries from biofuels to pharmaceuticals.
George Smith has developed a technique known as phage display, where the bacteriophage — virus that infects bacteria — can be used for the development of new proteins.
Gregory winter used phage display for the evolution of antibodies for new pharmaceuticals. The first drug based on this technique, was approved in 2002 and used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel. In addition, phage display produces antibodies that can neutralize toxins, to counteract autoimmune diseases and even cure cancer.
Half of the fee (about $1 million) will go to Francis Arnold, half of the remaining sum paid to Smith and winter.
We will remind, the Nobel prize in physics-2018 awarded for lasers. Then one of the awards went to woman — Donna Strickland, who became only the third woman in the history of this award (with Strickland, a woman received a Nobel in physics 55 years ago).
The Nobel prize in medicine this year was awarded the American scientist James Allison and a Japanese scientist, Tasuku Honjozo research in Oncology.
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