A Nobel for the fight against AIDS

Probably no disease in recent history has been covered in the news as widely as AIDS ever since the first reports in the early 80s. The alacrity with which scientists responded and pinpointed the offending virus as HIV in 1981 was rewarded by the Nobel foundation today. The French duo of Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Luc Montagnier were the first to do so in Paris. They share the prize with Professor zur Hausen, of the University of Duesseldorf, who dared to challenge prevailing conventional wisdom and proved that that a papilloma virus infection caused cervical cancer. Both these discoveries led to the development of effective vaccines and medicines within 25 years, a pace without precedent in human history.

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