Meanwhile, both Winter and Smith won for work related to phage display.
The academy said that half of the roughly $1.01-million USA prize would be awarded to Arnold and that the other half would be shared by her fellow laureates, Dr. Smith and Dr.
In 1993, she became the first scientist to prove that you could directly guide the evolution of enzymes.
Frances Arnold of the California Institute of Technology was awarded half the prize for conducting the first directed evolution of enzymes, leading to more environmentally friendly manufacturing of chemicals, including drugs, and in the production of renewable fuels.
Life on Earth exists because over the past 3.7 billion years organisms have adapted to their environment, with evolution solving complex chemical problems: fish can for example swim in polar oceans because they have antifreeze proteins in their blood.
Chemistry is the third of this year's Nobels and comes after the prizes for Medicine and Physics were awarded earlier this week.
Roisin Owens, biochemical engineer at the University of Cambridge, said institutions need to do more to fix what she called the "leaky pipeline" of women dropping out of science for reasons men are less likely to encounter. It uses a virus to infect bacteria and it can be used to evolve new proteins.
Pharmaceuticals for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and inflammatory bowel diseases have resulted from their research, as well as anti-bodies that can neutralise toxins, counteract autoimmune diseases and cure metastatic cancer.
The academy plans to announce both the 2018 and the 2019 victor next year - although the head of the Nobel Foundation has said the body must fix its tarnished reputation first.
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Ketterer concludes the letter by writing, "based on my direct experience with Julie, I do not believe her allegations against Mr. Ketterer said he has never met Kavanaugh and did not know who he was until Trump nominated him to the Supreme Court.
"She is a terrific person, obviously", said Earl Dowell, who was one of Arnold's advisers at Princeton and is now the William Holland Hall Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Duke University.
"I'm very old and had given up worrying about things like Nobel Prizes", he told The Associated Press.
He concludes, "Very few research breakthroughs are novel".
University of Missouri spokesperson Christian Basi says this is the first time a MU Professor has been awarded a Nobel Prize. As The Guardian's Davis explains, once Smith inserted a specific gene into a phage, he could identify the protein that emerged on its surface and gain a better understanding of the relationship between certain genes and proteins.
After repeatedly screening and mutating those microbes, she could use them to build a more powerful version of a desired protein.
The prize was established by Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite.
5 Oct will name the victor of the peace prize (the award announced in neighbouring Norway).
Experts said the developments for which the winners won the 2018 prize can be more ecological than many other chemical processes.
The 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics on October 2, was awarded to Arthur Ashkin of the US, Gerard Mourou of France and Donna Strickland of Canada, for their groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics. The first KFP laureates to get the Nobel Prize were Gerd Binnig from Germany and Heinrich Rohrer from Switzerland, who won the KFP in Science in 1984, two years ahead of their Nobel in 1986.