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Asturias Science Prizes Go to Japanese and American Researchers

Spain's Prince of Asturias Foundation has announced that two Japanese and three American scientists are laureates of this year's award for scientific and technical research.

The foundation cited physicist Sumio Iijima, of Japan's Mejo University, engineers Shuji Nakamura, of the University of California at Santa Barbara and Robert Langer, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and chemists George Whitesides, of Harvard University and Tobin Marks, of Northwestern University.

The foundation cited the scientists for producing artificial tissues and organs and creating new revolutionary materials for fighting diseases such as cancer. It also noted their contribution to the protection of the environment and developing new sources of clean energy to be produced at low cost.

Winners receive about $77,000 and a reproduction of a sculpture by Spanish artist Joan Miro.

The foundation, headed by Spanish Crown Prince Filipe, awards eight prizes annually. The prizes cover such fields as the arts, science, and sports. They are presented in October.

Earlier this year, the foundation announced the award of the prize in the arts to The Youth and Children's Orchestras of Venezuela. The prize for international cooperation went to organizations leading the fight against malaria in Africa. The organizations are the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre in Tanzania, the Malaria Research and Training Centre in Mali, Kintampo Health Research Centre in Ghana and Manhica Health Research Centre in Mozambique.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.