3 Virologists Share Medicine Nobel Prize

Discoverers of HIV, human papilloma virus win $1.4M award
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 8:52 AM CDT
The Nobel Prize in Medicine for 2008 was jointly awarded to three scientists who discovered HIV and the human papilloma virus.   (AP Photo/Biswaranjan Rout)
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(Newser) – The Nobel Prize for medicine was awarded today to three scientists who discovered two of the world's deadliest sexually transmitted viruses. Half the prize goes to Harald zur Hausen, a German who discovered the human papilloma virus, which causes cervical cancer in women. The other half goes to Françoise Barre-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier, the two French virologists who discovered HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The medicine prize is traditionally the first of the awards to be announced. Later this week judges in Stockholm will reveal the laureates of the chemistry, physics, economics, and literature prizes, while a jury in Oslo will award the peace prize. Each of the Nobels comes with a purse of $1.4 million; in this case, the German will receive half that sum while the two French scientists will split the other half.