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According to a statement released by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which is responsible for nominating and selecting the Nobel Laureates in Physics and Chemistry, the three honorees "have been inspired by the power of evolution and used the same principles-genetic change and selection-to develop proteins that solve mankind's chemical problems".

A trio of scientists from the United States and the UK have won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry this year for using evolution to their advantage, developing new methods of creating molecules that have already helped us produce safer, greener chemicals and new drugs.

Arnold, 62, an American professor of chemical engineering, bioengineering and biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, earned the award for her work with the evolution of enzymes. In this process, viruses that can infect bacteria, known as bacteriophages, are used to produce new proteins that are not believed to exist in nature.

This method has been used to create antibodies that can neutralize toxins such as that which causes anthrax and slows down an autoimmune disease called lupis, and even cure metastatic cancer. "It's happenstance. That was certainly the case with my work", he told the AP.

Arnold is just the 5th woman to win the chemistry prize and the first since 2009. And, you know, by doing that, you can create antibodies as all kinds of new medicines to treat diseases. George Smith developed a technique called phage display.

Winter says he realized afterward there was a "moral imperative" to ensure "what was produced could be used for public benefit". Enzymes produced through directed evolution are used to manufacture everything from biofuels to medical treatments.

A British scientist is among the three recipients of this year's chemistry Nobel Prize, recognising research that has had an impact across many engineering-related industrial sectors.

Genetic engineer Sir Greg Winter has won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry to maintain a record-breaking run for affiliates of Cambridge University. "There are also enzymes that can create new types of biofuels or that catalyze the formation of building blocks for new medicines", said chairman of the Nobel chemistry committee Claes Gustafsson.

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"Very few research breakthroughs are novel".

"It would've been nice if I got the prize like 10 years ago so a whole bunch of grant proposals that didn't get funded probably would've gotten funded", Smith said. "Virtually all of them build on what went on before", he said. On Tuesday, Canada's Donna Strickland became only the third woman ever to be honored with the Nobel Prize in physics, and the first one since 1963.

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry is one of the five prizes first given in 1901.

Asked how he planned to spend his quarter share of the nine million Swedish krona (£770,000) prize, he said: "I shall start this afternoon by paying for a party at my laboratory".

The peace prize will be announced on Friday, October 5, and the economics prize will wrap up the Nobel season on Monday, October 8.

James Allison of the U.S. and Tasuku Honjo of Japan jointly won the 2018Nobel Prize in Medicine on October 1, for developing a pioneering therapeutic approach for cancer treatment.

The victor of the Nobel Peace Prize is to be announced Friday and the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences will be revealed Monday.