STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two scientists won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for developing “molecular scissors” to edit genes, offering the promise of one day curing inherited diseases.
Working on opposite sides of the Atlantic, Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer A. Doudna came up with a method known as CRISPR-cas9 that can be used to change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms. It was only the fourth time that a Nobel in the sciences was awarded exclusively to women, who have long received less recognition for their work than men in the prize’s 119-year history.
Charpentier and Doudna’s work allows for laser-sharp snips in the long strings of DNA that make up the “code of life,” enabling scientists to precisely edit specific genes to remove errors that lead to disease in humans — and is already being used for that purpose.
“There is enormous power in this genetic