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Nobel Laureates to Discuss Life Science Developments
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The latest developments in life science and bio-technology will be discussed by seven Nobel laureates and famous scientists from today until Thursday in Beijing.

The Nobel laureates include Chinese-born Lee Tsung-dao, winner of the 1957 Nobel prize for physics; Robert Mundell, winner of the 1999 economic science award; Robert Huber and Hartmut Michel, who shared the 1988 chemistry honor; Ferid Murad and Louis Ignarro, who jointly won the 1998 medicine prize and Aaron Ciechanover, winner of the 2004 chemistry accolade.

They've been invited by the Nobel Laureates Beijing Forum 2006 which is sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). This year the forum theme is "Life Sciences and Human Health."

Longer life expectancy would put further pressure on life science and bio-technology research, said Lu Yongxiang, president of CAS, in a statement.

The topics of the scientists' speeches will include China's life science, healthcare, DNA research, new infectious diseases, anti-cancer drugs and even transgenic techniques. The forum is being held in the Great Hall of the People.

"The past two decades have provided many new tools to help us understand biology and turn this understanding into new treatments for human diseases," said Ernest Beutler of Scripps Research Institute of the United States in a printed copy of his speech. He'll give his presentation entitled "The Modern Road to Discovery in Healthcare: a Challenging Journey" today.

Scientists from CAS will also speak on bird flu, cancer medicines and human genetic projects. When combating bird flu and other emerging infectious diseases three facets had to be emphasized, Gao Fu, president of the Institute of Microbiology, CAS, said in a statement. These were stronger prevention and control measures, better public education and further basic scientific research.

Wang Xiaodong, director of National Institute of Biological Sciences and member of the American Academy of Sciences, will present his cancer research findings on Wednesday afternoon.

Current cancer therapies mainly rely on surgical removal of tumor mass in tandem with radiation and chemotherapy which can eradicate cancer through non-specific damage, Wang says in a speech extract. However, the drawbacks of these therapies were side effects which caused the death of normal growing cells and the body developing a resistance to the treatments.

(China Daily September 5, 2006)

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