Jennifer Doudna, New Nobel Laureate, on Science and Covid

Good morning.

Last week, Nobel Prize season arrived.

Among the several winners with ties to California were two Stanford professors — Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, were awarded the Nobel in economic science — and three University of California scholars. Reinhard Genzel, a U.C. Berkeley professor emeritus of physics and astronomy, and Andrea Ghez, a U.C.L.A. professor of astrophysics, shared the prize in physics with a mathematician at Oxford University for their work on black holes.

And Jennifer Doudna, a U.C. Berkeley professor, shared the prize in chemistry with Emmanuelle Charpentier, now the director of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin, for their work on Crispr-Cas9, a method to edit DNA.

[See the full list of 2020 Nobel winners and read more coverage here.]

It’s the first time the award has gone to two women, and Dr. Doudna is the first woman

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Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna: Gene editing could make a better future

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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Mexican Nobel Laureate Molina, Ozone Layer Prophet, Dies at 77 | World News

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican scientist Mario Molina, who became his country’s first winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on the threat to the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), has died at the age of 77, the government said on Wednesday.

One of Mexico’s most eminent scientists, Molina conducted some of his first experiments at a tender age in his childhood home before becoming a global authority on climate change.

The government and his former university announced Molina’s death, but the cause was not immediately clear.

Born in Mexico City, Molina was a graduate of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and took postgraduate degrees at universities in Germany and California.

In 2008, he was appointed a scientific adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama and also advised authorities in the Mexican capital on their efforts to reduce smog and air pollution, a chronic problem in

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Arthur Ashkin, 98, Dies; Nobel Laureate Invented a ‘Tractor Beam’

Arthur Ashkin, a physicist who was awarded a 2018 Nobel Prize for figuring out how to harness the power of light to trap microscopic objects for closer study, calling his invention optical tweezers, died on Sept. 21 at his home in Rumson, N.J. He was 98.

His daughter, Judith Herscu, confirmed the death on Monday.

Optical tweezers — or optical traps, as they are more properly known — use the pressure from a highly focused laser beam to manipulate microscopic objects, from atoms to living organisms, like viruses and bacteria.

As the Nobel committee wrote, Dr. Ashkin had “invented optical tweezers that grab particles, atoms, molecules, and living cells with their laser beam fingers.”

Trapping biological material proved to have groundbreaking practical applications in research and in understanding the behavior of the basic building blocks of life, like DNA, and other biological systems. Today, optical tweezers are widely manufactured and

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