Illustration of 2020 Nobel Prize of Chemistry recipients Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing.”

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.

Researchers need to modify genes in cells if they are to find out about life’s inner workings. This used to be time-consuming, difficult and sometimes impossible work. Using the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, it is now possible to change the code of life over the course of a few weeks.

“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,” says Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.

Focus

CRISPR

Client

UC Berkeley

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