American Chemical Society’s president comments on award of 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020 — On behalf of the American Chemical Society (ACS), President Luis Echegoyen, Ph.D., congratulates today’s winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry: Emmanuelle Charpentier, Ph.D., Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens (Germany) and Jennifer A. Doudna, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the prize “for the development of a method for genome editing.”

“Today’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes CRISPR-Cas9, a super-selective and precise gene-editing tool where chemistry plays an incredibly important role,” says Echegoyen. “This discovery, originally derived from a natural defense mechanism in bacteria against viruses, will have untold applications in treating and curing genetic diseases and fighting cancer, as well as impacts on agricultural and other areas. The future for this technique is indeed bright and promising.”

Doudna has been a member of ACS for 21 years. She has published articles in some of ACS’

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The long history of chemical weapons in civilian law enforcement

The U.S. Army confronted the widespread use of chemical weapons for the first time in its history on the battlefields of World War I. The British, French and Germans began using poison gas in 1915, and the advent of chemical warfare required new innovations. Accordingly, the U.S. Army established the Chemical Warfare Service (CWS) to coordinate military activities related to chemical weapons. There, trained chemists and engineers worked to address the technological challenges of gas warfare. They discovered methods of military gas production, ways to deploy gasses in combat, developed improved gas masks and researched medical treatments for gas injuries.

Peacetime left the CWS searching for a mission, and the domestic social and political upheavals that followed the war offered one. Racial animosities exploded into violent confrontations, particularly during the Red Summer of 1919. In 1921, White residents attacked Black residents and destroyed homes and businesses in Tulsa, in an

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