Americans and a Briton won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday for harnessing the power of evolution to produce novel proteins used in everything from environmentally friendly detergents and biofuels to cancer drugs، according to Reuters.
The fruits of this work include the world’s top-selling prescription medicine — the antibody injection Humira sold by AbbVie for treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.
Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology، George Smith from the University of Missouri and Gregory Winter of Britain’s MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology were awarded the prize for pioneering science in enzymes and antibodies.
Arnold، only the fifth woman to win a chemistry Nobel، was awarded half of the 9 million Swedish crown ($1 million) prize while fellow Smith and Winter shared the other half.
“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،” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
Arnold is the second woman to win a Nobel prize this year after Canada’s Donna Strickland shared the physics award on Tuesday.
Her research on enzymes — proteins that catalyze chemical reactions — laid the bedrock for the development of better industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals.