Longtime MU Professor George Smith Wins 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

US biochemical engineer Frances Arnold speaks after winning the Millennium Technology Prize 2016. AP

US biochemical engineer Frances Arnold speaks after winning the Millennium Technology Prize 2016. AP

The 2017 Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to researchers Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work in cryo-electron microscopy, which the academy said "both simplifies and improves the imaging of biomolecules".

"At first glance it may seem that the Chemistry Nobel has been "biologised" again". That's when she made the shift to what is known as directed evolution.

The woman was receiving his then-experimental antibody treatment.

"It's a standard joke that someone with a Swedish accent calls and says you won". "I don't know what fraction, but there will be thousands of nominations for men, and five nominations for women, something like that", she says.

"We're going to give it away, I think".

It was 4:30 a.m. Wednesday when George Smith, sleepily preparing a cup of coffee for the day, received a static-filled call from Stockholm telling him he was one of three scientists who would share this year's Nobel Prize in chemistry.

USA scientists Frances Arnold and George Smith and British researcher Gregory Winter won the Nobel Chemistry Prize on Wednesday (Oct 3) for applying the principles of evolution to develop enzymes used to make everything from biofuels to pharmaceuticals, the jury said.

Professor Allison is the "Vivian L. Smith Distinguished" Chair of the Department of Immunology, and Director of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, USA. "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".

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"Every professor in my department saw Frances as an extraordinary student because she was gifted in mathematical analysis, in expressing creative ideas and in her encyclopedic knowledge of molecular biology", said Jeffrey Reimer, now chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. "It's not just the money, it has a meaning well-beyond the money".

Strickland's award was the first Nobel Prize in physics to go to a woman since 1963 when it was won by Maria Goeppert-Mayer; the only other woman to win for physics was Marie Curie in 1903.

Experts said the developments for which the winners won the 2018 prize can be more ecological than many other chemical processes.

When Frances Arnold first came to UC Berkeley as a graduate student in 1980, she was focused on biofuels - at that time a promising new technology and, for Arnold, a way to benefit humanity by weaning society off fossil fuels.

For the first time in decades, the Nobel line-up did not feature a literature award after a rift within the Swedish Academy over a rape scandal involving the husband of a board member left it unable to select a victor. No literature prize will be awarded this year, but the Swedish Academy that awards the prestigious prize is still in the limelight. Essentially, Winter used the phage technology in order to engineer new "antibodies" in the bacteria - large proteins that are used by the immune system to fight harmful bacteria and viruses.

The 9-million-kronor ($1.01 million) chemistry prize is the last of this year's scientific Nobel Prizes. In recent years, other prizes funded by wealthy tech entrepreneurs have begun to spring up, offering scientists different opportunities for cash and recognition.

Meanwhile, scientists from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize on Tuesday. The economics prize, which is not technically a Nobel, will be announced on October 8.

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