By LILY KUZMINSKI, age 11

PHOTO: Harvard
PHOTO: Harvard University

On October 5, a Chinese scientist named Tu Youyou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for her development of a drug that fights off malaria, a deadly parasite carried by mosquitoes. Professor Tu is the first Chinese woman to win the prize, and the first Chinese scientist to win the prize without traveling to the West to establish her career. She based her research on ancient Chinese medical texts that described malaria treatments dating back to 400 CE. Professor Tu invented the drug using chemicals derived from the sweet wormwood plant. Her success has pushed China’s pharmaceutical industry to take a deeper look into traditional Chinese herbal medicine.