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Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 announced

  • IASbaba
  • October 8, 2020
  • 0
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Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 announced

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Science and Technology

In news

  • Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Doudna of the U.S. won the Nobel Chemistry Prize for the gene-editing technique known as the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping “scissors” tool.
  • It is the first time a Nobel science prize has gone to a women-only team.

Key takeaways

  • Using the CRISPR-Cas9 DNA snipping “scissors” tool, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with extremely high precision.
  • The CRISPR-Cas9 tool has already contributed to significant gains in crop resilience, altering their genetic code to better withstand drought and pests.
  • The technology has also led to innovative cancer treatments.
  • Many experts hope it could one day make inherited diseases curable through gene manipulation.
  • CRISPR’s relative simplicity and widespread applicability has, however, triggered the imaginations of rogue practitioners. 
  • In 2018 in China, scientist He Jiankui caused an international scandal when he used CRISPR to create what he called the first gene-edited humans.

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