3 researchers have won this year’s Nobel Prize for medicine. Youyou Tu, a Chinese woman who began her work during the cultural revolution, developed Artemisinin, which has had a highly significant impact in limiting cases of maleria.
The other two researchers, “William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin. A derivative of that drug, Ivermectin, has nearly eradicated river blindness and radically reduced the incidence of filariasis, which causes the disfiguring swelling of the lymph system in the legs and lower body known as elephantiasis.”
The report of the prize in the NY Times is well worth reading. It contains details of research, such as searching through ancient texts from Chinese herbalists to recover lost knowledge about herbal properties, or testing thousands of soil samples.