War, Malaria, and Wormwood: How Tu Youyou Discovered Artemisinin

Tu Youyou is a Chinese scientist who received the Nobel Prize for her discovery of artemisinin, a terpenoid molecule found in the Sweet Wormwood plant now widely used to treat malaria.

How she did this is pretty amazing. First of all, her research took place during the unprecedented Cultural Revolution in China, in which Mao Zedong imprisoned most scientists and intellectuals but secretly wanted to help his allies in the Vietnam War. Second of all, her chief resource was a 2,000-year-old book of ancient Chinese medicine.

It’s a wild story, and you can get the details at my post for Science Buffs!

Tu Youyou’s Antimalarial Drug Discovery: From Ancient Text to Clinical Trials

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