Enzyme research delivers Chemistry Nobel Prize to two Americans and a Brit

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Winter then used phage display to evolve new types of antibodies that could act as drugs. It is also the first time that women have been honored with a chemistry Nobel and a physics Nobel in the same year.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: according to the New York Times, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which awards the Nobel prizes, announced last week that it planned to change its nomination guidelines to make more room for diversity in the future. "I didn't set out to study cancer, but to understand the biology of T cells, these incredible cells that travel our bodies and work to protect us".

Mizzou students are proud to study on a campus which is also home to a Nobel Prize victor. That was adalimumab, sold under the brand name Humira, which is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases. She created random mutations in a certain enzyme's genetic code, producing new variations of the enzyme, then selected the variations that produced the effects she most wanted - such as breaking down a milk protein.

Sir Gregory Winter used phage display to produce new pharmaceuticals.

Nobel Prizes have been awarded to members of the University of Cambridge for significant advances as diverse as the discovery of the structure of DNA, the development of a national income accounting system, the mastery of an epic and narrative psychological art and the discovery of penicillin.

"She has truly made a big difference by finding out how to apply directed evolution to microorganisms", said Athanassios Panagiotopoulos, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton and chair of the department.

Arnold, 62, was seeking ways to make improved enzymes, which are proteins that encourage chemical reactions to occur.

With this directed evolution, she could show the power behind allowing chance and directed selection instead of depending on human logic and understanding of how genes and enzymes are supposed to work.

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Marasco said he uses it daily in his own research on developing therapies that use antibodies, which are disease-fighting proteins in the blood.

Marie Curie, Joliot-Curie's mother, shared half of the prize with her husband and fellow physicist Pierre Curie in 1911 for "the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel".

Matt Hartings, an associate professor of chemistry at American University in Washington, D.C., says "her work is incredible".

Smith developed a method using a virus that infects bacteria to produce new proteins while Winter used the same phage display technique for the directed evolution of antibodies, with the aim of producing more effective medicines. Asked how he planned to spend his quarter share of the nine million Swedish krona (£770,000) prize, he said: "I shall start this afternoon by paying for a party at my laboratory".

Three scientists have won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work with lasers, including the first female Nobel laureate to be named in the physics field for 55 years.

He said he learned of the prize in a pre-dawn phone call from Stockholm. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honouring Alfred Nobel, the man who endowed the five Nobel Prizes, will be revealed on Monday.

That's it for this episode and for our coverage of the 2018 Nobel Prizes in the sciences.

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