Published: Thu, October 04, 2018
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Longtime MU Professor George Smith Wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Longtime MU Professor George Smith Wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

This year's Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed.

"This work has led to the creation of proteins with new enzymatic activities, able to catalyze useful chemical reactions".

"Frances Arnold is a groundbreaking chemist whose research has had far-reaching impact on the development of chemical substances, from pharmaceuticals to biofuels".

She learned she had won when she was "unceremoniously woken up" at her hotel room in Dallas.

"We don't have anything specifically but I do think we want to celebrate as much as we can in any way we can these types of successes", Cartwright said. "The wonderful thing about technology in directed evolution is that once you demonstrate this capability, then all sorts of creative people will apply it to solving problems".

Who are the previous female chemistry Nobel winners? "We're going to give it away, I think".

Arnold graduated from the University in 1979 with a bachelor of science in engineering degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. "But since I'm an engineer and not a gentleman, I had no problem with that".

"I'm sure that there are people who are skeptical that a woman can do this job as well as a man", Arnold continued, adding, "I am blissfully unaware of such people - and have been gifted with the ability to ignore them completely".

NPR detailed Arnold's work in 2012 after she spoke at a TEDMED conference.

She and the graduate students working with her soon found that it was much harder to anticipate the effects of designed changes than they had thought. "Professor Arnold's scientific excellence and intellectual leadership exemplify values essential to our University, and all of us at Princeton are celebrating her receipt of this well-deserved honor".

Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In 1985, Smith was the first to show that phages could be used to manipulate the evolution of new proteins, a method known as phage display.

Meanwhile, on the floor below where I was now working in Cambridge, Greg Winter's group was doing pioneering work on a version of selection that doesn't require any cells at all - selection by binding to target molecules that have been anchored to beads in a column, over which billions of hopeful binders can be poured. It's used to treat immune-system disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases, the academy said. "They have used the molecular understanding we have of the evolutionary process and recreated the process in their labs", the head of the Academy's Nobel Chemistry committee, Claes Gustafsson, said of the winners.

The 2018 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to three scientists who have used evolution to incite a chemical revolution, with the hopes of improving drug discovery and reducing the use of harsh chemicals in industrial processes.

Arthur Ashkin became the oldest Nobel Prize laureate at 96, while Donna Strickland of the University of Waterloo in Canada became only the third woman to win a physics Nobel.

She is the first woman to win the award since it went to Maria Goeppert-Mayer in 1963.

Two Americans and a Briton won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday for harnessing the power of evolution to generate novel proteins used in everything from environmentally friendly detergents to cancer drugs.

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