The 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – Periodic Table of Videos

published on July 13, 2020

This is nobel prize in chemistry has as usual been given to three people but one person has won half the Nobel Prize and the other two said the other half the Nobel Prize is based upon the idea of exploiting evolution in bacteria in other biological systems to make

Chemicals to make pharmaceuticals that would be very difficult to make in other ways half of it went to this fantastic researcher called Frances Arnold she's in Caltech in California and has been a major success for the community of

Enzymology and biocatalysis the other half was split between George Smith and Sarah Gregory winter they were awarded the prize for the development of a technique called phage display I only know really something about one

Half of the Nobel Prize that's the one won by Francis Arnold our main thing is the development of techniques that have been applied to enzymes to change their capacitor properties and their qualities to find ways of changing enzymes the

Natural catalysts that catalyze most of the processes in our bodies and in all living organisms how to change those enzymes so that they will do chemical reactions that we would really like to be done for example for making biofuels

For making other chemicals that we need and then she has screening methods to see which of the mutants that she's generated will survive the new condition that she's putting the enzyme through they take DNA in a gene which makes an

Enzyme that sort of does the reaction you want and randomly mutate the DNA so that it makes changes and makes a slightly different enzyme so you get lots and lots of different enzymes from one set of mutations and then you try

All of those enzymes for the reaction he wants her major expertise is with this enzyme called cytochrome p450 an oxidative type of enzymes him based enzyme that she can manipulate with an ease and an elegance

That is a is really impressive and you select the enzyme or few enzymes that do the reaction a bit better than the natural one she can grow them in the lab she can manipulate the DNA very efficiently and then she screens for

Variants that she is interested in because they're doing the reaction that she's she's after and then you go round and round and round each time choose the best enzymes that you produce and after a few generations you can produce an

Enzyme that does the reaction you want very very much better I see chemists with all these amazing machinery and labs and all these things you do and yet it seems like in the end a lot of the time you just use nature to

Do what you want to do like this nature zoom the best ever absolutely that's exactly actually one of france's definition that ease nature is the best chemist the point is that bacteria can make these enzymes very easily their

Generations rotate very quickly and once you've got the enzyme identified the modified one that can do it it is then very easy to produce it in large amounts well simply I thought she would have she was very close to getting the Nobel

Prize because of all this innovation she's also an excellent person like her she's a lovely person she has quite a nice quick and is involved quite vigorously I would say in her career she's a woman and she's an engineer and

I think she was the first professor in engineering in Caltech and she's a really impressive example of somebody who is both a scientist and engineer who is combining engineering principles and scientific principles to do something

That's never been done before there are fewer females in science unfortunately this is something we are really trying to change and and the community is becoming very attentive to this situation as well so the fact that she

Was woman was amazing but the fact that she was a woman in my field of research that was really what maybe for me you know so it was a great recognition a great boost to the field and maybe also sparking

Attentions from other scientists in peripheral fields to enzyme engineering that I now become interested so yes being a female was amazing and then combine that on with that the research can be any better

She's the only the fifth woman to ever to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and I'm pleased to say that two of those women have won the Nobel Prize during the time we've been making periodic videos I was doing a PhD Vibram and they

Got a text message from one of my former PhD students know fast as Adam did it and I was in the rive I couldn't really do anything other than checking on my you know I watch and was like God and I had to finish something you know wait

Until the end of the virus they exploited a virus of a little model here my my empty bottle of pipe cleaner so they they exploited a virus called a bacteriophage and it's a very simple biological structure and it's composed

Of protein coat which is represented by the bottle which is many different proteins that are assembled together into this what's called a capsid internal to this capsid is a strand of DNA so genetic material that codes for

The individual proteins of the coat it has the ability to and the information encoded within it to replicate itself but it can't do that on its own it has to her as to do this with bacteria and so the bacteriophage can infect bacteria

With its DNA and the bacteria is forced to use its cellular machinery to to read and decode the DNA and produce all of the proteins that are involved in the in the coat and so within the bacteria the the protein coat forms around the the

Foil DNA and then the bacteriophage break out of the bacteria and then can scuttle often and infect more bacteria and that's their lifecycle that's all it does it goes goes into the bacteria and then the bacteria doesn't just make

One copy of the the capsid it just keeps going it keeps making them until they burst out so from I don't know how many bacteria phase you're made from from one piece of DNA but it's it's many so it all it does is reproducing then kill the

Bacteria that's his job no it's not viruses are not particularly friendly so George Smith one of the recipients so he was the first to exploit the the relationship between the bacteria phage and the bacteria and so he forced the

Bacteria to make a bacteria phage which which had a protein of interest a different protein attached to the top of the protein coat to the capsid so I've got my little my little bespoke protein here he did this by inserting a gene so

The DNA that codes for this specific protein and so when the bacteria read and decode this DNA they'll produce all of the proteins that make up the capsid but he'll they'll also produce this new bespoke protein and so the gene for this

Protein is inserted into another gene within the viral DNA so he's produced a bacteria phage that displays this bespoke protein at the top he was forcing the bacteria to express bacteria phage with small fragments of proteins

At the top and these fragments are antigenic which means they can be recognized by the immune system and so if we have an infection we get an immune response in our body and the body produces larger proteins called

Antibodies and these can be engineered by our body to bind to pretty much any protein sequence and so these little fragments can be recognized by antibodies and so you can use this structure now so he can take a known

Antibody which will bind to this peptide and he can then fish this whole bacteriophage but here phage out of solution the reason for this is that what makes this fantastic technique is he's now plucked out the peptide that

Binds to the antibody but he also has importantly the genetic information that codes for this peptide so he can then see what peptide is produced what protein is produced from a certain gene and and and also which peptide or

Protein binds to the antibody and in fact that weather sort of healthcare aspect really comes in is with a sir Gregory winter who took this technology further and so we just talked about antibodies he

Inserted genes that code for antibodies into the the phage DNA and so he the bacteria would produce the bacteria phage with antibodies attached to the surface attached to the capsid okay so once you've formed your your bacteria

Phage with your antibody there that's fantastic you can you can produce that but one of the really genius aspects of this research is the ability to produce billions of different antibodies on top of these phases and and this is done by

Making small mutations of the gene that codes for the antibody that's been inserted into the bacteriophage and so this is actually quite easily done and so a gene is a small section of DNA which is made up as a polymer which is

Made up of many subunits called nucleotides and so you may have a few thousand or many thousand nucleotides in one gene and so this sequence of nucleotides is very specific and it codes for a very specific protein and so

Just by making very small changes in the sequence you're mutating that sequencing and then you make very small changes in the protein that it codes for okay so you can make all of these you can be taped the DNA and in one pot have men

Like many billions of different mutated sequences because there are so many nucleotides by making small changes so for instance you could you could develop an antibody that binds to a specific target protein so let's say if you had a

Protein that was on the surface of a cancer cell that you wanted to bind an antibody to what Gregg winter did was immobilized that target protein on a solid surface so what you can do is you can wash all of the many billions of

Face with the different antibodies across the solid support they'll bind to the target protein and they'll be retained and all the other bacteria fight will be washed away and then you can isolate the ones that binds and you

Don't need to analyze the protein material because you have the genetic instructions already within the capsid so you can take that DNA and you can you can produce many more of this particular phage and then if you repeat

The process a number of times what you're left with is only the few antibodies that bind incredibly strongly have a very high affinity with the target protein and these are the proteins that make the best the most

Effective drugs hi thanks for watching we've done lots of other videos about Nobel prizes previous winners or just interesting stuff about the prize in general if you'd like to check out a playlist of videos there should be a

Link on the screen right now or have a quick look down in the video description

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