October 03, 2018
Since the dawn of life on our planet, 3.7 billion years ago, nature has used the power of evolution to create a vast diversity of molecules with an ever-increasing array of chemical capabilities.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Science awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Wednesday to three Scientists who have harnessed that power and sped it up, allowing them to create never-before-seen chemical reactions in a process called directed evolution.
Scientists who sparked a revolution in evolution have won the Nobel Prize in chemistry
Claes Gustafsson, chairman of the 2018 Nobel Committee for Chemistry, called their work “a revolution in evolution.”
“Our laureates have applied the principles of Darwin in the test tube and used this approach to develop new types of chemicals for the great benefit of humankind,” he said.
Frances Arnold, a biochemical engineer at Caltech, was awarded one half of the $1.01-million prize for conducting the first directed evolution experiments in 1993. Her work has led to the creation of more environmentally friendly ways of making drugs, agricultural chemicals and fuels, among other products.
The other half was split between George P. Smith of the University of Missouri in Columbia and Gregory P. Winter of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England. Smith came up with a new way to evolve proteins using viruses that infect bacteria, and Winter used it to create antibodies with the goal of producing new medicines.
Without this method, known as phage display, people with rheumatoid arthritis would not have the drug Humira, and patients with systemic lupus would not be able to take Benlysta, to name a few examples.
"Harnessing the power of evolution to develop enzymes and antibodies with novel or improved properties has opened up new possibilities in fields from materials science to immunotherapy,” said Jon R. Lorsch, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which has funded Arnold’s and Smith’s research.
“This work allows us to use nature's prowess for searching through many trillions of different molecules to find solutions to problems that humans could never have imagined,” Lorsch said in a statement.
Arnold said the phone call from Stockholm had her “bouncing off the walls.” But it came with a measure of annoyance because she was traveling in Texas and couldn’t rouse her family in California to share the news.
“They never answer the phone when Mom calls,” she said. “I can’t wait to get home and tell my sons.”
Arnold said her training in mechanical engineering was an advantage when she began tinkering with proteins.
“I was able to look at the problem with a totally fresh set of eyes,” she said. “I realized that the way most people were going about protein engineering was doomed to failure.”
Arnold said her work on directed evolution began, in part, in a fit of desperation.
“I was an assistant professor at Caltech, which has lofty aspirations for doing really important work, and I was pretty clueless,” she told the L.A. Times in 2016. “I didn't know how to make proteins. So I started doing lots of experiments simultaneously, and I realized that's exactly what nature does.”
Harvey Blanch, a professor of biochemical engineering at UC Berkeley who was Arnold’s thesis advisor there, said her experiments have fundamentally changed the way scientists think about working with enzymes.
“Prior to Frances’ work, the idea of how to make an enzyme better was based on the concept that you have to really understand the details of what the enzyme is doing, and know everything about its structure,” he said Wednesday.
What Arnold did was mix in the element of randomness that is the cornerstone of natural evolution.
“It was an important conceptual approach,” he said. “By doing what nature does, you can get the job done much more quickly.”
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.