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Prize for Five

Five researchers are splitting this year's Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for their work on gene editing, the Associated Press reports.

The five include the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology's Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jennifer Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, Luciano Marraffini at Rockefeller University, University of Alicante's Francisco Mojica, and Feng Zhang from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to the AP.

They are being honored with the $500,000 prize for their contributions to the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing tool, which the AP notes has recently been used to edit piglets to inactive viruses they carry that could be harmful to people, paving the way for their use in organ transplants.

The dean of Albany Medical College, Vincent Verdile, tells the AP that the significance of the tool led them to honor a larger group of researchers than they have in the past.