World News

New Prize Awards Millions to Life Scientists

A group of Internet entrepreneurs has established the world's richest prize for work in medicine and biology. The $3 million award is more than twice the amount of the Nobel Prize. This week, 11 scientists were named the first winners of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

Many of them are researching the genetics of cell growth, and how it can go wrong to cause cancer.

The annual award was created by Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner and other high-tech philanthropists, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

Milner began recognizing physicists last year, with the Fundamental Physics Prizes. The next round of those three million dollar awards will be announced next month (March 20) in Geneva. His goal with both prizes, he says, is to raise public awareness of scientists who have spent their lives advancing human knowledge.

The Breakthrough Prize has already been criticized for focusing on established researchers, rather than the many scientists who collaborate to foster advancement. But future recipients will be selected by previous winners, who may be more aware of the rising stars and unsung heroes in their fields.

Featured Story

Militants from the so-called Islamic State stand behind what are said to be Ethiopian Christians in Libya, in this still image from an undated video posted to a social media website on April 19, 2015.

Ethiopia Declares 3 Days of Mourning for Citizens Killed by IS

Move follows government confirmation that its nationals were killed by Islamic State militants in Libya; White House condemns mass murder in strongest terms More