Fellows of prominent Lithuanian biochemist Virginijus Šikšnys believe the professor may be awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery of a gene editing tool in future years.
Virginijus Šikšnys
© DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Šikšnys was shortlisted in the media among the candidates for this year's prize, however, the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences chose to award French, British and Dutch scientists for design and synthesis of extremely tiny molecular machines.

The winners succeeded in merging molecules into tiny mechanisms, which perform various functions, such as a lift, engine of muscles.

"This year's Nobel Prize shows that the Nobel Prize committee celebrates the most important discoveries of mankind. This gives us hope that our professor Šikšnys and his team may be awarded in the nearest years," the Vilnius University rector Artūras Žukauskas told journalists in Vilnius on Wednesday.

"As you saw, this year's prize was awarded for the work that was done in 1983. This is the year I was born, and we only started our work in 2007," said Giedrius Gasiūnas, a member of Šikšnys' team.

Šikšnys discovered a way of using a single protein to edit DNA dozens of times faster than earlier schemes. The new method paves way for future treatment of genetic diseases or development of new animal and plant species.

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