Posted On Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 09:03:07 AM
Finland: Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds, who created the Linux open source operating system, and Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka won a 1.2-million tech prize in Finland.
“Today, millions use computers, smartphones and digital video recorders that run on Linux. Linus Torvalds’s achievements have had a great impact on shared software development, networking and the openness of the web,” the Millennium Technology Prize organisers said in a statement.
Yamanaka meanwhile won for “his discovery of a new method to develop induced pluripotent stem cells for medical research,” the prize jury said, adding that it was the first time that the award has been split between two scientists.
“Using (Yamanaka’s) method to create stem cells, scientists all over the world are making great strides in research in medical drug testing and biotechnology,” it said.
“This should one day lead to the successful growth of implant tissues for clinical surgery and combating intractable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.”
Yamanaka himself vowed in the statement to “continue to work hard to achieve our goals of developing new drugs and medical treatments to intractable diseases by using iPS cell technology.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinistoe presented the prize to the two laureates at a ceremony at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki.