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The Nobel Prize winner designs "the most difficult things on the planet".



February 27, 2016 10:21 a.m.
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Updated on February 27, 2019 at 12:48

Mutation and selection: it's been millions of years of age applying this method.

Not in vain, "nature is the brightest engineer of all time," acknowledged Frances Arnold, an American engineer and professor at the United States Institute of Technology (Caltech).

This natural reason inspired Arnold for his research, in the field of enzyme-directed evolution, proteins that catalyze a lot of chemical reactions to life.

Arnold specially generates changes in the enzyme's genetic code and these gene mutations are then inserted into bacteria that produce thousands of variants. Therefore, the most effective ones are selected according to the selected reactions.

The enzymes obtained today with the scientific method are used to make biofuels drugs.

These investigations were only won by the latest Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

But Arnold has not only inspired nature.

Before receiving the award on Swedish speech, Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges offered a few minutes to talk about the famous story "Babel Library".

The Borges Library is an infinite choice because it is the same nature as the researcher works.

Frances Arnold spoke with BBC World about her work, interested in Borges, and why women need more in science (but not always easy).


What does it mean in a simple way of explaining evolution?

In this process, we develop enzymes in the laboratory, because they are the properties we seek.

It is something similar to the process used by breeders who get cats or dogs with certain characteristics, but we do it at a molecular level.

When Caltech spoke at his university, "nature is the greatest engineer of all time." How was the ongoing evolution of learning from nature?

The most beautiful, complex and functional objects of the Earth are the product of evolution.

Nature's clean, efficient and sustainable chemistry. We need to learn something like that.

He received the Arnold Chemistry Prize in 2018, the George Smith Americans and the British Gregory Gregory

Nature also has a great capacity for adaptation and renovation and uses a design process: evolution.

We use the design process and accelerate the laboratory in the creation of new enzymes for weeks.

He has mentioned several times "beauty enzymes". Why is it so important to focus on these catalysts?

Enzymes are responsible for the chemistry of all living things.

Enzymes can be designed to effectively and sustainably carry out the necessary things in everyday life, and to find solutions to global environmental issues.

Medicines can be used to produce biofuels for the preparation of medicines and for the manufacture of agricultural chemicals.

A single enzyme contains thousands of ingredients or amino acids.

To what extent has your aerospace engineer been at your work?

My portal reflects the desire to build new things in mechanical engineering.

I was a aerospace engineering graduate and designed the most difficult things on the planet. Well, they have found and they have a name: biology.

I decided to engineer and build a biologist world.

Can you give examples of how to apply your work?

One example is the enzyme design that breaks the main component of the stem cells in plants. This allows the conversion of agricultural waste into fuels and other chemical products.

Additionally, drug use will be less toxic.

The choice is endless. In science and technology we want to develop our planet to help survive our planet, to live there and share it with other living things.

When they won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, they thanked Caltech's colleagues, students, and staff. What are the main components of Caltech to create an ecosystem to promote scientific innovation and creativity?

Caltech promotes the excellence climate, which examines the most important challenges in science and technology, to look for solutions that work in the real world and remain sustainable.

Together with Arnold: "In Caltech's environment, researchers take on and defend high risks"

It's a small organization. This generates a generous and generous interdisciplinary collaboration that generates innovations that cause society to be impartially and positively.

In the Caltech environment, researchers are encouraging and encouraging them to seek large-scale scientific outcomes.

He said that "in the way of extinction it is not certain to use diversity." What do you mean?

Innovations often come up with ideas from different combinations.

After all, if everyone had the same knowledge and thinking the same way, everyone should follow the same path to find solutions.

In Caltech, researchers from different specialties often speak, work together and, as a result, explore new ways.

His "Nobel Speech" was spoken in Sweden, "Babel's Library". Why do you think that Jorge Luis Borges inspires this story?

I ask all my students to read "Babel Library".

The story describes better than depictions or illustrations, when trying to encode a single protein.

When he received the Nobel Prize in Sweden, Arnold called the "Babel Library", the story of Jorge Luis Borges

Babel's librarian erased the sense of this vast library with all the knowledge.

Evolution, however, solves this problem and can find meaningful sequences through a simple mutation and selection process.

What messages were given to other Latin American women and other countries with a career in other sciences?

The opportunities for women are more numerous, but there are still challenges.

For example, being a family and competing at the highest level, women feel more stress than men.

It takes a lot of time and devotion to science and engineering.

You love what you need to do. You must have confidence, desire, guidance and determination to work in a highly competitive environment and to make connections and networks successful in the academy or industry.

As long as the same choices are guaranteed, and encouraging everybody who wants to favor science, women are noteworthy, regardless of color or country.

Do not let this exciting job just for men!

I think that there will be more female women in the future Nobel Prize winners.


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