Published: Thu, October 04, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Chemistry Nobel awarded for groundbreaking research on proteins

Chemistry Nobel awarded for groundbreaking research on proteins

Arnold, the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at Caltech, is one of three winners of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

"The 2018 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have taken control of evolution and used it for purposes that bring the greatest benefit to humankind", the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences said.

Arnold - who is the fifth to join an important group of women to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry - instead developed a method to produce mutations in the genes that produced certain enzymes in order to select the best ones.

Arnold's work has placed her at the forefront of enzyme research.

In 1993, Arnold was the first to conduct the directed evolution of enzymes - proteins that cause or push forward reactions.

Clearly his entrepreneurial vision, ability to surround himself by extremely competent people and openness to new techniques such as phage display makes him a worthy victor of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

George Smith developed a method called phage display, where a bacteriophage - a virus that infects bacteria - can be used to evolve new proteins. The fruits of their work include the world's top-selling prescription medicine - the antibody injection Humira sold by AbbVie for treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

Mizzou students are proud to study on a campus which is also home to a Nobel Prize victor.

That's it for this episode and for our coverage of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in the sciences. "Rather than having to design a process to fit an existing enzyme's requirements, directed evolution makes it possible to fit the catalyst to the optimal manufacturing conditions".

"There are enzymes now in detergents that we use in our dishwasher and have been evolved by this process".

"I'm bouncing off the walls but I'm trying to pretend to sound calm and collected", she told the Nobel Foundation in an interview, adding she was "annoyed" she couldn't reach her sons to give them the news.

She said that while historically it was true that far fewer women than men worked in research, the scientific community needed to wake up the field's changing demographics.

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

"Directed evolution allows me to rewrite the code of life and particularly to do it to solve human problems", Arnold said of her work in a video released by the National Medal of Technology & Innovation in 2013.

James Allison of the United States and Tasuku Honjo of Japan jointly won the 2018Nobel Prize in Medicine on October 1, for developing a pioneering therapeutic approach for cancer treatment.

Only 3 percent of science prizes have been awarded to women in science, Erin Ross reported for Axios a year ago.

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. Scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize Tuesday.

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