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Noble Prize Women 2020

Dragon
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Post by Dragon Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:22 am

Since the Nobel Prize was established in 1895, less than 60 women have been honored with the prestigious international award.

This week, four women–Louise Glück, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer A. Doudna, and Andrea M. Ghez–were added to that roster, triumphing in literature, chemistry, and physics.

Louise Glück

American poet Louise Glück was honored with the Nobel Prize in literature for "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."

The New York-born writer, who is now a professor of English at Yale University, is no stranger to prestigious awards, having previously won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for The Wild Iris and the 2014 National Book Award for Faithful and Virtuous Night. She was also previously named the United States's poet laureate in 2003.

Her oeuvre includes twelve collections of poetry as well as some volumes of essays on poetry. Glück is also known for writing with clarity on otherwise bleak themes, like isolation, rejection, grief, and betrayal.


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Post by Dragon Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:24 am

Emmanuelle Charpentier

Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, a French microbiologist, geneticist, and biochemist, was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Jennifer A. Doudna for their 2012 work on a new genetic editing method called Crispr-Cas9, which can be applied to experimental treatments for sickle cell disease and cancer therapies. Together, Charpentier and Doudna are the sixth and seventh women to receive a Nobel Prize in chemistry.

The discovery of these "genetic scissors," which can modify the DNA of living organisms with extremely high precision, came about during Charpentier's studies of Streptococcus pyogenes, a type of bacteria that can cause harmful infections to human. There, she discovered a previously unknown molecule, called tracrRNA. After publishing her findings in 2011, she partnered with Doudna, an expert of RNA, and the two went on to recreate the bacteria’s genetic scissors in a test tube.


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Post by Dragon Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:25 am

Jennifer A. Doudna

Dr. Jennifer Doudna was jointly award the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Charpentier for their revolutionary work on Crispr-Cas9, becoming the sixth and seventh women to win in this category.

After accidentally discovering tracrRNA, Charpentier tapped Doudna for her expertise on RNA. Their collaboration led to the discovery of Crispr molecules, which made way for highly precise genetic surgery. In less than a decade after the discovery, their technique is now commonplace in genetic laboratories across the world.

In 2017, Doudna wrote A Crack in Creation, a book in which she chronicles the discovery and warns of unforeseen consequences of its use.


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Post by Dragon Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:27 am

Andrea M. Ghez

Along with Dr. Roger Penrose and Dr. Reinhard Genzel, Dr. Andrea Ghez was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics.

Penrose, a mathematician based in England, was awarded for his work for proving the existence of black holes as a direct consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Meanwhile, Genzel and Ghez were awarded for their decades-long research in collecting conclusive evidence for a supermassive black hole in our galaxy. Since the 1990s, each has led a group of astronomers that have found "an extremely heavy, invisible object that pulls on the jumble of stars, causing them to rush around at dizzying speeds," according to a press release.

By using the world's largest telescopes and developing innovative telescopic techniques, the duo has provided "the most convincing evidence yet of a supermassive black hole" at the center of the Milky Way.


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Post by Dragon Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:33 am

Marie Sklodowska was born in Warsaw, Poland, to a family of teachers who believed strongly in education. She moved to Paris to continue her studies and there met Pierre Curie, who became both her husband and colleague in the field of radioactivity.

The couple later shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics. Marie was widowed in 1906, but continued the couple's work and went on to become the first person ever to be awarded two Nobel Prizes.

During World War I, Curie organized mobile X-ray teams. The Curies' daughter, Irene, was also jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside her husband, Frederic Joliot.


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