In announcing the award, the Royal Swedish Academy said that this year’s prize “awards a revolution based on evolution”, and goes to scientists who “applied the principles of Darwin in the test tube”. The other half will go jointly to the American George Smith from the University of Missouri, US, and the Brit Gregory Winter from the MRC lab in Cambridge, UK.
Arnold graduated from the University in 1979 with a bachelor of science in engineering degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering. The result was proteins that catalyze chemical reactions used to manufacture everything from renewable fuels for an eco-friendly transport sector to efficient pharmaceuticals.
The British scientist awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry has said he plans to celebrate with a champagne party for colleagues and relaxing by re-engineering his moat.
Soon after Tuesday’s announcement, however, the Wikipedia community scrambled to build up a profile, completing sections on her research, biography and – most critically – her awards. “So if you can harness enzymes for your own purposes, this is often more environmentally friendly than using heavy metals or toxic substances to make your chemicals”, said Johan Aqvist, a member of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.
“And at first, of course, I thought it was one of my sons, with a problem”, says Arnold.
The science and peace prizes are selected by other bodies. “She’s very creative, very bright – she’s wonderful”.
Dr Smith, 77, was a professor for 40 years at the University of Missouri at the Division of Biological Sciences. I smile recalling that, but up to that point she had been trying to modify enzymes (proteins that do chemistry) by thinking carefully about the effects certain changes to their amino-acid sequences ought to have.
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.
Their work centres on techniques of “directed evolution” – a method which imitates natural selection.
“Today’s Nobel Prize in chemistry highlights the tremendous role of chemistry in contributing to many areas of our lives including pharmaceuticals, detergents, green catalysis and biofuels”. What’s more, if known proteins were engineered to appear on the phage, scientists could see which genes were involved. Her work has had a major impact in the pharmaceutical industry.
“For thousands of years we humans have used selective breeding to create animals and plants with properties that have been useful for us”. Laboratory of Molecular Biology in England.
Arnold also is the second person this week with ties to San Diego to win the Nobel. “It is a testament to her to her vision, conviction and perseverance that she was able to ignore these criticisms”.
“I was not smart enough to anticipate what would come out of this research I had a narrower view than I have now”, Smith said. The Board of Curators appointed him a Curators Distinguished Professor in 2000, and he became a professor emeritus in 2015. “When she puts her mind to something, she can accomplish things that are out of this world”.