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Two women share Nobel Chemistry Prize for genome work
[STOCKHOLM] Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna were awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in developing a method for genome editing.
"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," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Wednesday.
Dr Charpentier, Director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, and Dr Doudna, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, will share the prize for discovering so-called genetic scissors.
"There is enormous power in this genetic tool, which affects us all. It has not only revolutionised basic science, but also resulted in innovative crops and will lead to ground-breaking new medical treatments," said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.
Only five women have previously been awarded the chemistry prize. Marie Curie was the first female to become a Nobel laureate, and won the chemistry prize in 1911.
Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The prize in economic sciences was added by Sweden's central bank in 1968.
Last year, the chemistry prize went to Stanley Whittingham of the UK, Japan's Akira Yoshino and German-born John Goodenough for developing lithium-ion batteries.
The Nobel Foundation announced last month it was increasing the amount awarded for individual prizes to 10 million kronor (S$1.52 million), from 9 million kronor previously, to reflect a rise in the returns generated on its capital.