The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, naming two female scientists as the joint winners.
"The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has today decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for the development of a method for genome editing."
The two scientists worked on "genetic scissors" that can cut DNA at a precise location, allowing for scientists to make specific changes to specific genes.
According to the Nobel Committee, their work has had a revolutionary impact on the life sciences, and is currently contributing to new cancer therapies, and may make curing inherited diseases a possibility.
So far, using this technology, known as CRISPR-Cas9, doctors have been able to experimentally treat sickle cell disease, with promising results.
While a female winner in Nobel Prize in Chemistry is rare in itself, it's the first time ever that two female scientists have won.
Doudna, an American, is the president and founder of Innovative Genomics Institute at UC Berkeley, while Charpentier, a French scientist, is with the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin.
Their breakthrough research was only published in 2012, making the discovery recent compared to many Nobel winners, who are often only honored after decades have passed.
In recent years, the Nobel committees have been increasing diversity among researchers nominated for Nobel Prize in sciences.
They have previously been criticized for historically overlooking the achievements of both women and people of color.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.