Toil and trouble in China over Nobel medicine prize

Scientist Tu Youyou is the first Chinese woman to win a Nobel prize for medicineChina's Tu Youyou collects her country's first Nobel Prize for medicine next week for extracting an anti-malarial drug from a herb mentioned in a traditional text, but her award has prompted debate over the role of science in the practice. Tu derived artemisinin from sweet wormwood, which she found cited in a 4th century traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) document as a fever treatment, developing a crucial weapon in the global fight against the mosquito-borne disease as resistance to other treatments spread. Traditional medicine is a source of cultural pride in some Chinese quarters, with Beijing planning to expand its provision, and even Premier Li Keqiang seized on the Nobel award, hailing Tu's discovery as “a great contribution of TCM to the cause of human health”.



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