Chemistry Nobel 2018 Winners Include Fifth Female Laureate Ever

"The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has made a decision to award the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with one half to Frances H. Arnold for the directed evolution of enzymes and the other half jointly to George P. Smith and Gregory P. Winter for the phage display of peptides and antibodies".

Professor Frances Arnold, an American chemist, was awarded half of the prize, which is worth 9 million Swedish kroner (£771,000). "This year's Nobel Laureates in Chemistry have been inspired by the power of evolution and used the same principles - genetic change and selection - to develop proteins that solve mankind's chemical problems", read the organization's statement.

Hindustan Times, owned by HT Media Ltd, is one of India's largest publications that provides unbiased news, analysis and features on politics, sports, entertainment, lifestyle and more. Smith won for developing a phage display method where bacteriophages evolve the new proteins.

Smith was a professor for 40 years at the University of Missouri at the Division of Biological Sciences. The chemical name of the drug is adalimumab, which has several trade named including Humira, one of the top-selling drugs in the world.

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"Very few research breakthroughs are novel".

In an interview with the Tribune, Smith described his work as "a way of evolution in the test tube". "It's happenstance. That was certainly the case with my work", he said Wednesday. An engineer designing a flying insect that produces honey would think of all the things that are required to accomplish that task, assemble them and then test the design, he said. "They are created by little tiny steps of evolution that had an advantage".

"The experimenter creates the artificial selection conditions", he said, where as "an engineer designs things with a goal and a lot of knowledge". "They have used the molecular understanding we have of the evolutionary process and recreated the process in their labs", head of the Academy's Nobel Chemistry committee Claes Gustafsson told reporters.

Arnold credited her four brothers for giving her the skills to move from a career in mechanical engineering to protein engineering, for which she won the Nobel Prize.

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Enzymes "are what all we organisms use to make our chemicals".

For the first time since 1949, the Swedish Academy has postponed the announcement of the 2018 Nobel Literature Prize until next year, amid a #MeToo scandal and bitter internal dispute that has prevented it from functioning properly. "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".

Scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize Tuesday for revolutionizing the use of lasers in research. Strickland had worked with the third victor, Frenchman Gerard Mourou of the Ecole Polytechnique and the University of MI.

Chemistry is the third of this year's Nobel Prizes.

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The 2018 Nobel season continues on Friday with the announcement of the peace prize, and wraps up on Monday with the economics prize.

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