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Nobel Renews Debate on Chinese Medicine
The New York Times

As China basks in its first Nobel Prize in science, few places seem as elated, or bewildered, by the honor as the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences.

Located on a shady street in the Old City, the academy is spread over a city block and welcomes visitors with an incongruous juxtaposition: a six-foot high quotation from Chairman Mao facing bronze statues of gowned doctors from antiquity who devised esoteric theories to heal the human body.

These contrasts are part of a bigger, century-long debate in China that has been renewed by the award on Monday to one of the academy’s retired researchers, Tu Youyou, for extracting the malaria-fighting compound Artemisinin from the plant Artemisia annua. It was the first time China had won a Nobel Prize in a scientific discipline.