DNA sequencing pioneers win 1mn euro tech ‘Nobel’ prize

3D-product of DNA. Credit: Michael Ströck/Wikimedia/ GNU Totally free Documentation License

Two British chemists who formulated a tremendous-rapid DNA sequencing technique that paved the way for groundbreaking healthcare advancements have been on Tuesday awarded Finland’s edition of the Nobel science prizes.

Cambridge University professors Shankar Balasubramanian and David Klenerman took property the 1 million euro ($1.22 million) Millennium Technological know-how Prize for their get the job done above 27 years producing at any time more quickly and much less expensive means to sequence the human genome.

The pair’s Upcoming-Era DNA Sequencing engineering (NGS) “suggests substantial gains to culture, from aiding the struggle towards killer illnesses these types of as COVID-19 or most cancers, to improved knowledge crop disorders and maximizing food generation,” the Technological innovation Academy Finland, which awards the biennial prize, claimed in a assertion.

20 decades back, the 1st try to “read through” the sequence of 3.2 billion letters that tends to make up the human genome took a ten years and charge more than a billion dollars.

Many thanks to Up coming Technology Sequencing the system can now be performed in just one working day for just $1,000 bucks, and the technological innovation is used above a million periods a yr, most a short while ago to observe coronavirus mutations through the pandemic.

NGS is now extensively utilized in the diagnosis and cure of some cancers and scarce illnesses.

“It is the to start with time we have got an international prize that recognises our contribution to producing the know-how,” Klenerman mentioned in a statement, dedicating the prize to the workforce guiding the invention “and also for the university in Cambridge and for the United kingdom”.

The Finnish Millennium Know-how Prize, established in 2004, singles out improvements that have sensible applications and which “boost the excellent of people’s lives.”

It aims to be a technologies equal of the Nobel science prizes, which have been criticised by some for focusing as well considerably on standard, a long time-aged scientific research.

Previous tech laureates consist of the creator of the World Extensive World-wide-web, Tim Berners-Lee, Linux open source running method creator Linus Torvalds and ethical stem cell pioneer Shinya Yamanaka.

In 2018 Finnish physicist Tuomo Suntola received the award for groundbreaking technological innovation allowing the creation of extremely-slim layers of supplies now ubiquitous in smartphones and microprocessors.

This year’s Millennium Engineering Prize was postponed from 2020 thanks to the pandemic.


Tech ‘Nobel’ awarded to Finnish physicist for small clever equipment


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DNA sequencing pioneers acquire 1mn euro tech ‘Nobel’ prize (2021, Might 18)
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