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Kavli Prize to CRISPR Researchers

Three CRISPR researchers are among this year's Kavli Prize recipients, the Associated Press reports. The Kavli Prizes were started about a decade ago, are awarded every other year to researchers in nanoscience, neuroscience, and astrophysics, and come with $1 million in prize money.

According to the AP, the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters announced yesterday that the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna, the Max Planck Society's Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Virginijus Šikšnys of Vilnius University are to share this year's nanoscience prize.

Stat News notes that the award leaves another famed CRISPR researcher, the Broad Institute's Feng Zhang, out. Zhang, it adds, has been less feted by awards committees, but nevertheless has won recent CRISPR patent battles. The Kavli award is, it says, "the latest verdict on the controversial question of who deserves credit for turning a bacterial immune system into a revolutionary genome-editing tool." 

Winners of the other Kavli Prizes are the Rockefeller University's James Hudspeth, the University of Wisconsin's Robert Fettiplace, and Christine Petit of the College of France and the Pasteur Institute for their work on hearing, while Ewine van Dishoeck of the University of Leiden has won the astrophysics for her work on interstellar clouds, the AP adds.