Indian scientist challenges Nobel Prize winner choice

INTERdrSKVermaDr Sunil Kumar Verma, a scientist at the Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology has challenged the grounds on which this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine was given to Chinese scientist Tu Youyou, for the discovery of Artemisinin, a compound extracted from a medicinal plant called Artemisia Annua that is used to treat Malaria.

Dr Verma claimed the plant extract was traditionally used in India against Malaria and it was mentioned in scientific literature published over a century ago by Lieutenant Colonel K R Kirtikar and Major B D Basu in 1918.

Verma who has a PhD from Oxford University and was formerly a Commonwealth Scholar said he did not mean to criticise the Nobel Prize Committee, just put forward some facts. He pointed out that Artemisia was found in India and is also called Ajwayan, that is an integral part of an Indian home kitchen.