mardi 6 octobre 2015

Le prix Nobel de médecine attribué à un chercheur chinois travaillant sur l'artésimine (lutte contre le paludisme en Afrique notamment)

From the NY Times introduction of the doctor:
Dr. Tu, born in 
1930, is chief professor at the China Academy of Traditional Chinese 
Medicine and the first Chinese scientist to win a Nobel science award. 
The Nobel Committee emphasized that it was not giving the award to 
traditional Chinese medicine but to a scientist who, inspired by it, 
went on to use sophisticated research methods to find a new therapy for 
malaria. The discovery came at a time when the parasites became 
resistant to more traditional drugs like quinine and chloroquine and as 
the number of infections surged.
Dr. Tu screened many herbal 
remedies in malaria-infected animals and extracted a promising agent 
from Artemisia annua. Because of inconsistencies in test results, she 
turned to ancient texts and discovered clues to identify and extract the
 active component of the Artemisia herb. In ancient times, people soaked
 the herb in water and boiled it. She realized that boiling could 
destroy the active ingredient and used other techniques to isolate it.
 was the first to show that this component, later called Artemisinin, 
was highly effective against the malaria parasite, both in infected 
animals and humans," the Nobel Committee said. Artemisinin combined with
 other anti-malarial drugs is part of standard regimens used in 
malaria-infected areas.
These discovery has provided humankind 
with powerful new means to combat these debilitating diseases that 
affect hundreds of millions of people annually," the Nobel Committee 
said in a statement. "The consequences in terms of improved human health
 and reduced suffering are immeasurable" because parasitic diseases 
"represent a huge barrier to improving human health and well-being."