Cookie use on MRCVSonline
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
 
 
Send Cancel

Nobel Prize awarded for enzyme research
Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith and Sir Gregory Winter, 2018 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry.

Three scientists share 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 has been awarded to three scientists for their research into enzymes.

Frances H. Arnold from the California Institute of Technology will share the award with George P. Smith, University of Missouri, and Sir Gregory P Winter from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.

In 1993, Frances Arnold became the first person to use a technique called ‘directed evolution’ to create new enzymes. Since then, she has refined the methods that are now routinely used to develop new catalysts.

The use of Frances Arnold’s enzymes include more environmentally friendly manufacturing of chemical substances and the production of renewable fuels.

George Smith received the award for developing a method known as phage display. This is where a bacteriophage - a virus that infects bacteria can be used to evolve new proteins. Sir Gregory Winter then used this method for the directed evolution of antibodies, with the aim of producing new pharmaceuticals.

The first pharmaceutical based on this method, adalimumab, was approved in 2002 and is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases. Phage display has since produced pharmaceuticals that can neutralise toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and cure metastatic cancer.

Professor Dame Carol Robinson, Royal Society of Chemistry president, said: “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. It is a great advert for chemistry to have impact in so many areas.

“Directed evolution of enzymes and antibody technology are subjects that I have followed with keen interest; both are now transforming medicine. It would have been hard to predict the outcome of this research at the start – this speaks to the need for basic research.

“I am delighted to see these areas of chemistry recognised and congratulate all three Nobel Laureates.”

Illustration: Niklas Elmehed. Copyright: Nobel Media AB 2018

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.