Science ( IF 41.845 ) Pub Date : 2020-10-16 , DOI: 10.1126/science.370.6514.271 Jon Cohen
Decades typically pass before a discovery leads to a Nobel Prize, but the chemistry award last week celebrated two scientists who, a short 8 years ago, described how to transform an obscure bacterial immune mechanism into the most powerful genome editor ever devised: CRISPR. The award, to Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens and Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, marks the first time a Nobel Prize in science has gone to an all-female team. It also comes amid a high-stakes patent fight over the revolutionary genetic "scissors"—which promise to have an impact on medicine, crops, livestock, pest control, and even climate change. Other pioneering researchers in the once-small CRISPR field applauded the decision, noting that although many investigators helped push the research forward, Charpentier and Doudna made the key discovery that has led CRISPR to become a ubiquitous lab tool today.