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Attributing Excellence in Medicine

The History of the Nobel Prize


Edited by Nils Hansson, Thorsten Halling and Heiner Fangerau

Attributing Excellence in Medicine discusses the aura around the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. It analyzes the social processes and contingent factors leading to recognition and reputation in science and medicine. This volume will help the reader to better understand the dynamics of the attribution of excellence throughout the 20th century.

Contributors are Massimiano Bucchi, Fabio De Sio, Jacalyn Duffin, Heiner Fangerau, Thorsten Halling, Nils Hansson, David S. Jones, Gustav Källstrand, Ulrich Koppitz, Pauline Mattsson, Katarina Nordqvist, Scott H. Podolsky, Thomas Schlich, and Sven Widmalm.

Donald Harper

This article surveys recipes for aphrodisiacs and philters from the medical manuscripts discovered in Mawangdui tomb 3 (burial dated 168 BCE) and Dunhuang manuscripts (seventh to tenth centuries CE). Despite medical views that defined sex as a form of physiological and spiritual cultivation, and that criticised se 'lust,' the aphrodisiac and philter recipes reveal elements of eroticism in ancient and medieval Chinese views of sex.

Editors Asian Medicine

Anthony Butler and John Moffett

The plant qinghao 青蒿 (Artemesia annua) has provided the world with a valuable anti-malarial drug (qinghaosu 青蒿素). Another useful anti-malarial drug (febrifugine) of Chinese origin can be extracted from the shrub Dichroa febrifuga (changshan) but, unlike qinghaosu, its chemical structure is relatively simple and it could be easily synthesised in a pharmaceutical factory. However, the presence of two chiral centres in the molecule makes this unsuitable for pharmacological use as only one of the four isomers (the one found naturally) kills the malarial parasite, but all four isomers (as in the synthetic material) have serious adverse side effects. Encouraging African governments to consider growing Dichroa febrifuga as an alternative to the expensive and scarce qinghaosu should be considered.

Waltraud Ernst and Vivienne Lo