More reaction from around the chemistry community...
Hagan Bayley, Professor of Chemical Biology at the University of Oxford
“Genome editing is so clearly deserving of a Nobel Prize. And the CRISPR/Cas9 system can do much more of considerable interest to chemists, including precise double-strand and single-strand cuts in DNA in the test-tube and the pinpointing of variations in DNA sequence and structure with fluorescent reagents. A splendid award!
Professor Glenn Burley, Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry, University of Strathclyde
"This is outstanding news for the biomolecular community. The discovery of CRISPR-Cas now provides molecular scientists with a technology that can annotate genomes with base-pair level precision. These designer gene editing tools now have the potential to address genetic diseases previously considered intractable for therapeutic intervention."
Tom Brown, Professor of Nucleic Acid Chemistry, Departments of Chemistry and Oncology, Oxford University
“The recent discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, stemming from curiosity-driven research on a bacterial immune system, has rapidly provided a tremendously powerful and importat set of molecular genetic tools. CRISPR has revolutionised basic science, and has become the first truly practical system for modify genes.
“Given the universality of the genetic code this is a hugely important advance that is now being used to remove, add, modify the DNA sequence in the genome of any organism. In a very short time it has impacted on medicine, agriculture and many other diverse applications, and many other major advances are certain to arise.
“Chemists have already synthesised chemically modified CRISPR RNA and this is leading to improved artificial systems and chimeric systems that can perform addition functions in order to better control gene expression.”
Professor Jane Grasby, from the University of Sheffield
“This is brilliant news for nucleic acid chemistry and women in Science. Jennifer Doudna has done fantastic ground-breaking work at the interface of Chemistry and Biology on the structural biology of RNAs. Her work is very much grounded in curiosity driven research but led amongst other things to great advances in the field of CRISPR RNAs.
“In turn these advances have allowed the development of genetic scissors that have not only impacted on the ways we study genes and their functions, but also have great promise in diverse fields from medicine to agriculture. This is a great award for women in science as Jennifer is such a fantastic role model, but also speaks to the defence of basic scientific discovery and its vital role in society and the economy.
"I’m really pleased to have hosted the meeting NACON VII in Sheffield, in which the RSC honoured Jennifer in 2007 with the RSC Nucleic Acids Group's Award for her work.”
Ali Tavassoli, Professor of Chemical Biology at the School of Chemistry, University of Southampton
"It is good to see the Nobel committee recognise the significance and importance of this relatively recent discovery; there is tremendous potential for CRISPR to alter our approach to treating genetic disorders and disease.
“The technique has been widely adopted and used by a large number of laboratories around the world and has made important indirect contributions to multiple scientific advances. It should also be noted that this work arose from ‘blue skies’ research, highlighting the importance of scientific research that may not immediately have an application.
“This also highlights the multidisciplinary nature of modern chemistry and the importance of understanding biological processes at the molecular level.”
Professor Tavassoli also spoke to LBC News about the importance of CRISPR - listen here (click on the episode from 7 October and scroll to 1:14 into the programme).
Dr Zoë Waller, Associate Professor in Drug Discovery at UCL School of Pharmacy
“I am really pleased that CRISPR/Cas9 has secured this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Although it is a relatively new discovery, the impact of this on both science and medicine has already been substantial.
"Many congratulations to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna. It is richly deserved. Not only does this award recognise an exceptional discovery, but it also provides a spotlight on two excellent women role models in STEM."