Nobel Prize in Chemistry - 2020 awarded to scientists from France and the USA

Nobel Prize in Chemistry - 2020 awarded to scientists from France and the USA
Nobel Prize in Chemistry - 2020 awarded to scientists from France and the USA

The names of this year's Nobel Prize winners in chemistry have been announced in Stockholm. They are Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, creators of CRISPR / Cas9 technology.

Charpentier and Dudna

The Nobel Committee of the Royal Academy of Sciences has determined which of the scientists will receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year. Thus, Emmanuelle Charpentier (France) and Jennifer Doudna (USA) became laureates for the development of the genome editing method.

In 2012, Charpentier (Professor and Director of the Institute of Infectious Biology of the Max Planck Society, a member of the French Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the US NAS) and Dudna (professor at the University of California at Berkeley, an employee of the Howard Hughes Institute of Medicine, and a member of the Academy of Sciences and the US Academy of Medicine) were the first to suggest that the CRISPR / Cas9 mechanism can be used for programmed gene editing. This has become one of the most important discoveries in the field of genetic engineering.

“When Charpentier and Doudna investigated the immune system of Streptococcus bacteria, they discovered a molecular tool that can make precise cuts in genetic material, making it easy to change the code of life. Using such “genetic scissors”, it is possible to make changes in the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision,”the members of the committee emphasized.


The 2020 #NobelPrize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.”

- The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 7, 2020

The Chemistry Prize, like the other four nominations (Physiology and Medicine, Physics, Literature and Peace Prize), bequeathed at the end of the 19th century by Alfred Nobel himself, has existed since 1901. Since then, 184 people have become its laureates.

Among them are such famous scientists as Ernest Rutherford (“in recognition of the enormous importance of the discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions of the theory of radioactivity and the structure of the atom”), Marie Curie (“for outstanding services in the development of chemistry: the discovery of the elements of radium and polonium, the release of radium and the study of the nature and compounds of this element "), Paul Sabatier (" for the method of hydrogenation of organic compounds in the presence of fine metals, which sharply stimulated the development of organic chemistry "), Otto Hahn (" for the discovery of the splitting of heavy nuclei "), Linus Pauling ("for the study of the nature of chemical bonds and its application to determine the structure of compounds"), Nikolai Semenov ("for studies in the field of the mechanism of chemical reactions") and many others.

In 2019, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for the development of lithium ion batteries.

The prize can be received by authors of works that have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Until the last minutes before the announcement, no one, except for the members of the committees, knows the names of the laureates. According to the rules, it is possible to find out which of the researchers was also nominated for the Nobel Prize, but did not receive it, only after 50 years.

Earlier this week, the names of the winners of the Physiology and Medicine and Physics awards were revealed. Tomorrow it will be announced who will receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, and on Friday - the Peace Prize. On Monday, at last, the Nobeliate in Economics will be named (this award was established and financed by the State Bank of Sweden).

The awards will be held on December 10 (the day of Alfred Nobel's death) in Oslo and Stockholm. This year, they decided to increase the prize fund to 10 million Swedish kronor (more than a million dollars).In addition, the laureates (and their number in each nomination should not exceed three) will receive a diploma and a gold medal with a portrait of Nobel.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, traditional banquets were canceled, the Peace Prize ceremony was moved from the Oslo City Hall to the university, significantly reducing the number of invitees, and events in Stockholm will be held online from the City Hall. At the same time, the Nobelists themselves will be in the Swedish embassies in their countries or in universities.

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