STOCKHOLM (AP) — The 2015 Nobel Prizes are being announced this week and next. The $960,000 awards will be handed out in Stockholm and Oslo on Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel’s death in 1896. Below is a look at the winners announced so far:
The prize went to three scientists who helped create the world’s leading malaria-fighting drug and another that has nearly wiped out two devastating tropical diseases, saving millions of lives.
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Half the prize went to Tu Youyou — the first-ever Chinese medicine laureate — who took inspiration from traditional medicine to produce artemesinin, a drug that is now the top treatment for malaria.
The other half was shared by Japanese microbiologist Satoshi Omura and William Campbell, an Irish-born U.S. scientist, who created the drug avermectin. Derivatives of the drug have nearly rid the planet of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, diseases caused by parasitic worms and spread by mosquitoes and flies that affect millions of people in the developing world.
The prize was awarded to Takaaki Kajita of Japan and Arthur McDonald of Canada, who made key contributions to experiments showing that neutrinos change identities.
These subatomic particles are created in nuclear reactions, such as in the sun and the stars, or in nuclear power plants.
With their discovery, Kajita and McDonald helped prove that neutrinos must have mass, thereby changing “our understanding of the innermost workings of matter,” the Nobel committee said.
The Nobel committee said the trio’s work “has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions.”
Their findings have been used for the development of new cancer treatments, among other things.