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Australian Scientists Win Nobel Medicine Prize

Australian scientists Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren have won this year's Nobel Prize for medicine.

Announcing the award Monday, the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden said the two researchers are being honored for their discovery of the bacterium that causes gastritis and stomach ulcers.

The Nobel citations says the two scientists' pioneering work, which began more than 20 years ago, led to the realization that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori causes more than 80 percent of all ulcers, and that the ailment can be treated relatively easily by antibiotics and medication to inhibit stomach-acid secretions.

Before the Australians' discovery, stress and lifestyle factors were considered the major causes of peptic ulcers.

Dr. Marshall and Dr. Warren will share the Nobel medicine prize, which is worth nearly $1.3 million. Their Nobel medals will be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm in December.

The Nobel Prizes, established 110 years ago (in 1895), are funded by the estate of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who made his fortune from the commercial development of dynamite.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.