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Two women scientists awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 8, 2020

Two women scientists – Jennifer A. Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California at Berkeley, and Emmanuelle Charpentier, a microbiologist have won the Nobel Prize 2020 in Chemistry on Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

According to the website, “The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 was awarded jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.”

The website added, “Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna have discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision. 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.”

Goran K. Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said, “This year’s prize is about rewriting the code of life.”

This was the first time two women jointly won a Nobel in chemistry.

Charpentier told reporters, “I wish that this will provide a positive message, specifically, to young girls who would like to follow the path of science.” She added, “I think it’s very important for women to see a clear path. I think the fact that Jennifer Doudna and I were awarded this prize today can provide a very strong message for young girls.”

“I’m over the moon, I’m in shock, I couldn’t be happier,” Doudna said at a press conference.

Charpentier and Doudna split a prize of 10 million Swedish kronor, or about $560,000 each. The University of California at Berkeley also awarded Doudna a free parking space on campus.

Read: Nobel Economics Prize 2019: Abhijit Banerjee and two others awarded

Also read: 100th Nobel Peace Prize: Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed Ali honoured

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