Briton and two Americans win 2018 Nobel Chemistry Prize

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".

Describing Arnold's contribution, the academy noted: "In 1993, she conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes, which are proteins that catalyse chemical reactions".

Smith, 77, developed a method to evolve new proteins and Winter used the method to evolve antibodies, which are disease-fighting proteins in the blood.

Two of the three winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry have virtually polar opposite political connections to Israel: One is actively anti-Israel, while the other promotes ties between Israel and the UK.

The process she discovered has also been used in the production of renewable fuels and in the more environmentally friendly manufacture of chemical substances, some of which are found in common household items. Winter used this technology to develop new drugs that have transformed medicine, offering therapies for diseases ranging from cancer to autoimmune conditions.

She said that while historically it was true that far fewer women than men worked in research, the scientific community needed to wake up the field's changing demographics.

On Monday, James Allison and Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 medicine Nobel for their work on harnessing the immune system to combat cancer, and on Tuesday the physics prize was shared between Arthur Ashkin, Gerard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their work on laser physics.

"I would say the day has been turned upside down", said Smith, who retired in 2015 from the University of Missouri. Smith showed in 1985 that inserting DNA into these viruses would make them display proteins linked to that DNA on their surfaces.

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In 2009, Ada E. Yonath shared the prize for her work related to the structure of ribosomes, making her the fourth female chemistry Nobel laureate ever.

One half of the nine million Swedish kronor (£770,686) prize will go to the American Frances Arnold from the California Institute of Technology, US.

Dr Smith of the University of Missouri and Sir Gregory of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England, share the other half of the prize. "It's happenstance. That was certainly the case with my work", he said.

"The Nobel Prize goes to me but it's really a team of brilliant people who love what they do", she said.

Arnold told the Princeton Alumni Weekly in 2014 that her methodology had initially been viewed skeptically by "gentleman scientists", but she told herself, "I'm not a gentleman and I'm not a scientist" - she still identifies as an engineer - "so I didn't mind".

Last year's prize went to researchers in the United States, Switzerland and Britain who developed a microscope technique that lets scientists see details of the molecules that drive life. This year's Nobel laureates have taken the next step.

The Nobel Prize in Literature has been postponed because of the institution that chooses the laureate being embroiled in a sexual assault scandal.

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