The 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing known as the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping “scissors”, the first time a Nobel science prize has gone to a women-only team.
“Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision,” the Nobel jury said.
“This technology has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, is contributing to new cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true.”
A panel at the Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm made the announcement Wednesday.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and prize money of 10 million krona (more than 1.1 million), courtesy of a bequest left more than a century ago by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel.
The amount was increased recently to adjust for inflation.
On Monday, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize for physiology and medicine to Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton for discovering the liver-ravaging hepatitis C virus.
Tuesday’s prize for physics went to Roger Penrose of Britain, Reinhard Genzel of Germany and Andrea Ghez of the United States for their breakthroughs in understanding the mysteries of cosmic black holes.
The other prizes are for outstanding work in the fields of literature, peace and economics