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UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism facilitated a video news conference and Q&A session with UC Berkeley’s Nobel Prize winner, Jennifer Doudna, this morning. Watch it here. (UC Berkeley video)
Rapid advances in gene-editing technology have a transformative potential to help cure disease and feed the world, but scientists must assure that the tools are not used for unethical purposes, new UC Berkeley Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna told reporters today.
Following this morning’s announcement that she had won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Doudna detailed the promise of the CRISPR-cas9 technology at a Berkeley press conference, held remotely during the coronavirus pandemic and livestreamed for a global audience. She hailed the collaboration of her colleagues, both at Berkeley and internationally, for the work that won the world’s highest honor in science.
Her research began, and has continued, “with the vision of bringing genome editing to bear on problems facing
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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing.
© Alexander Heinl/picture alliance/Getty Images
The American biochemist Jennifer A. Doudna (left) and French microbiologist Emmanuelle Charpentier, pictured together in 2016.
They discovered one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. Using these, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and micro-organisms with extremely high precision.
Before announcing the winners on Wednesday, Göran K. Hansson, secretary-general for the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said that this year’s prize was about “rewriting the code of life.”
The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools have revolutionized the molecular life sciences, brought new opportunities for plant breeding, are contributing to innovative cancer therapies and may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true, according to a press release from the Nobel committee.
© Niklaus Elmehed/Nobel Prize