Pioneers of Revolutionary CRISPR Gene Editing Win Chemistry Nobel

Heidi Ledford & Ewen Callaway

Nature | October 06, 2020

Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier pose together for a portrait
Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier share the 2020 Nobel chemistry prize for their discovery of a game-changing gene-editing technique.Credit: Alexander Heinel/Picture Alliance/DPA

It’s CRISPR. Two scientists who pioneered the revolutionary gene-editing technology are the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The Nobel Committee’s selection of Emmanuelle Charpentier, now at the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, and Jennifer Doudna, at the University of California, Berkeley, puts an end to years of speculation about who would be recognized for their work developing the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing tools. The technology allows precise edits to the genome and has swept through laboratories worldwide since its inception in the 2010s. It has countless applications: researchers hope to use it to alter human genes to eliminate diseases; create hardier plants; wipe out pathogens and more.Read More »


Physicists Who Unravelled Mysteries of Black Holes Win Nobel Prize

Elizabeth Gibney & Davide Castelvecchi

Nature | October 06, 2020

Sir Roger Penrose, Andrea Ghez and Reinhard Genzel
Roger Penrose, Andrea Ghez and Reinhard Genzel (left to right) received the 2020 Nobel physics prize for their research on black holes.Credit: David Levenson/Getty, Christopher Dibble, ESO/M. Zamani

A mathematical physicist and two astronomers have won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for discoveries relating to the most massive and mysterious objects in the Universe — black holes.

British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose, 89, receives half the prize for theoretical work that showed how Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity should result in black holes, which have a gravitational pull so strong that even light cannot escape.Read More »


Virologists who Discovered Hepatitis C Win Medicine Nobel

Ewen Callaway & Heidi Ledford

Nature | October 05, 2020

Left to right: Dr. Alter, Rice and Houghton, winners of Medicine or Physiology 2020 Nobel prize.
Harvey Alter, Charles Rice and Michael Houghton (left to right) won the 2020 Nobel prize in medicine for their research on the hepatitis C virus.Credit: NIH History Office, John Abbott/The Rockefeller University, Richard Siemens/University of Alberta

A trio of scientists who identified and characterized the virus responsible for many cases of hepatitis and liver disease — hepatitis C — are the recipients of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The winners are Harvey Alter at the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland; Michael Houghton, now at the University of Alberta in Canada; and Charles Rice, now at Rockefeller University in New York City. Their work on the hepatitis C virus paved the way for effective treatments against the infection that are now available.Read More »