Trio Win Nobel Chemistry Prize For Evolution Research

The other half will be jointly split between George Smith from the University of Missouri, US and Gregory Winter from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United Kingdom who developed a technique called phage display.

Frances Arnold, George Smith and Gregory Winter will get the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2018. "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, told reporters. She then selected the cases where a particular mutation proved useful - for example, allowing the enzyme to work in a solvent it would otherwise not work in. Arnold is at the California Institute of Technology, and will take home half of the roughly $1 million prize.

Donna Strickland shared the prize with two other physicists and the event marked the third time in history that a woman was the recipient of the physics Nobel. A phage is a virus that can infect bacteria in such a way as to deceive the microbes into reproducing it. Phage display is a technique that uses this process for creating and screening novel proteins.

Her work has made it possible to cut out the use of many toxic catalysts and has led to the development of enzymes for all manner of fields, including the development of biofuels and the production of pharmaceuticals.

Sir Gregory Winter used phage display to produce new pharmaceuticals.

Smith, 77, developed a method to evolve new proteins and Winter used the method to evolve antibodies, which are disease-fighting proteins in the blood.

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The other half of the award goes to Winter and Smith, for their work on "phage display of peptides and antibodies". The first one based on this method, adalimumab, was approved in 2002 and is used for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases. "Mine was an idea in a line of research that built very naturally on the lines of research that went before". Enzymes produced through directed evolution are used to manufacture everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals.

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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". The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honoring the man who endowed the five Nobel Prizes, will be revealed Monday.

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed because of the institution that chooses the laureate being embroiled in a sexual assault scandal.

Scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize Tuesday for revolutionizing the use of lasers in research.

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