University of Missouri Scientist shares Nobel Chemistry Prize

Jan Cross
October 4, 2018

The 2018 Nobel Prize laureates for Chemistry are shown on the screen during the announcement. "In their laboratories, our laureates this year have been able to direct evolution, to steer it, which has led to new chemical tools that can be used in everything from environmentally friendly detergents to the creation of new biofuels and pharmaceuticals". Winter used the process to make new pharmaceuticals, and it's made "antibodies that can neutralise toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and cure metastatic cancer".

Smith is also a pro-Palestinian activist and has several anti-Israeli groups such as the Jewish Voice for Peace, which describes itself as an American organization seeking to end "the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem [al-Quds]".

In announcing the award, the Royal Swedish Academy said that this year's prize "awards a revolution based on evolution", and goes to scientists who "applied the principles of Darwin in the test tube".

Frances Arnold conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes, which are proteins that catalyse chemical reactions. Since then, she has refined the methods that are now routinely used to develop new catalysts.

"Very few research breakthroughs are novel". It's used to treat immune-system disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases, the academy said.

For the first time in the Nobel Prizes' 117-year history, an American woman on Wednesday was awarded the coveted prize for chemistry - an accolade that only four other women in the world have won.

He built up a collection of phages, with billions of antibody varieties on their surface, and engineered them make them more effective.

Professor Allison is the "Vivian L. Smith Distinguished" Chair of the Department of Immunology, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, USA.

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Arnold, reached by telephone at an airport in Dallas, told the AP: "I predict that we will see many more Nobel chemistry prizes for women".

When Frances Arnold first came to UC Berkeley as a graduate student in 1980, she was focused on biofuels - at that time a promising new technology and, for Arnold, a way to benefit humanity by weaning society off fossil fuels.

Arnold, Smith and Winter will receive their prize from Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's 1896 death.

Smith and Winter each took a quarter of the $1.1 million prize that is awarded to the winners while the other half went to Arnold.

She spoke to Reuters after hearing that she had won the Nobel Prize. "It's happenstance. That was certainly the case with my work", he told the AP.

A trio of physicists - Arthur Ashkin of the US, Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada - shared the Physics Prize for inventing optical lasers now used in corrective eye surgery and in industry. Only 3 percent of science prizes have been awarded to women in science, Erin Ross reported for Axios a year ago.

Who else has won a Nobel this year?

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