3 scientists share 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to Americans Frances Arnold and George Smith and Britain's Gregory Winter

Arnold, 62, is an American professor of chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

The Guardian's Nicola Davis reports that Arnold's directed evolution of enzymes (proteins that catalyze, or accelerate, chemical reactions) essentially boils down to the introduction of genetic mutations that allow enzymes to perform more efficiently or in ways that they normally wouldn't. Enzymes produced through "directed evolution" in laboratory settings are used to manufacture everything from renewable fuels to pharmaceuticals.

Winter has set up important commercial antibody producing facilities at Cambridge, producing drugs that can tackle devastating autoimmune diseases and metastatic cancer. It is a popular way to treat rheumatoid arthritis, some skin diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases.

This, said Claes Gustafsson, chair of Nobel Chemistry Committee, was applying the "principles of Darwin in the test tube". The bacteria would produce a variety of new enzymes, which the researchers screened for the qualities they desired, such as the ability to work faster or under challenging conditions, such as high temperatures or the presence of chemicals. Its content is created separately from USA TODAY.

Researchers have learned to use the process of evolution to develop new forms of molecules that are used to manufacture everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals, such as Humira, which sold about $18 billion past year.

"Frances H. Arnold was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the United States in 1956 and she's now at the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, in Pasadena in the Los Angeles area". Even otherwise, Smith and Winter's work fall squarely in the realm of the future of medicine and they could equally have won in the area of physiology or medicine.

"We're going to give it away, I think".

This process works by introducing fragments of an unknown gene into a bacteriophage, or a virus that infects bacteria, which then uses the instructions from the gene to construct a protein building block called a peptide and displays it on its surface.

Smith, 77, was a professor for 40 years at the University of Missouri at the Division of Biological Sciences.

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"Very few research breakthroughs are novel".

He added that he has "no idea" what he'll do with the prize money.

The 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to researchers Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work in cryo-electron microscopy, which the academy said "both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules". Virtually all of them build on what went on before.

He said he learned of the prize in a pre-dawn phone call from Stockholm.

"That was certainly the case with my work".

Arnold is the second woman to win a Nobel Prize this year. No literature prize will be awarded this year, but the Swedish Academy that awards the prestigious prize is still in the limelight.

Earlier this week, two immunologists, James Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan, won the Nobel Medicine Prize for research into how the body's natural defences can fight cancer.

The victor of the Nobel Peace Prize is to be announced Friday.

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