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  • Top Scientific Breakthroughs 2018: Nobel Prize for Chemistry Winners

Top Scientific Breakthroughs 2018: Nobel Prize for Chemistry Winners

Nov 22 2018 Read 913 Times

As we near the end of what’s been a ground-breaking year for science, our 6-part series will take a look back at some of the most impressive scientific breakthroughs of 2018.

If you haven’t already, check out our previous post about the Nobel Prize for Medicine winners and their lifesaving research into cancer treatment.

In this post, we’re going to be looking at fellow Nobel Prize winners, Frances Arnold, George P. Smith, and Gregory Winter, who were awarded the coveted Chemistry prize for their work using the principle of evolution to produce new chemical compounds.

Life-changing applications

The work of these three impressive professors has already had life-changing impacts. Their techniques and research have been used across various industries, helping to find greener methods of production and have even helped to develop new cancer-fighting drugs.

Professor Frances Arnold, who was awarded with half of this year’s prize, conducted the first directed evolution of enzymes. Enzymes are proteins that can catalyse chemical reactions, so her work has helped to refine the now-routinely-used methods of developing new catalysts.

Her work can assist research towards environmentally-friendlier manufacturing of chemical substances, including pharmaceuticals.

Similarly, the other half of the award, shared by Professor George P. Smith and Sir Gregory Winter, was granted for their impressive work into the directed evolution of antibodies. Their work, too, can aid in the sustainable production of new pharmaceuticals, that can neutralise toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and cure metastatic cancer.

Making a difference

As well as providing ground-breaking research and new theories for the world of Chemistry, the work of these three professors could make a huge difference across all areas of science. Medically, the new development of the directed evolution of enzymes and antibodies could open up a new area of medicines and treatments that could provide a solution to some of the worst diseases and illnesses out there.

Environmentally, we are in desperate need of change in order to keep our world functioning and avoid more non-reversable damage to our planet. This work could provide us with one solution.

Where next?

All in all, 2018 was a great year for scientific improvement. From aiding the environment to producing life-saving treatments and medicines, we have made giant strides towards a better future.

Check out our next post to read about the amazing work carried out by the 3rd female Nobel Prize winner for Physics, or find out how a customised autoclave helped a contact lens manufacturer to solve a packaging problem.

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