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Thread: China’s ‘Don’t Speak’ wins literature Nobel+EU wins 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

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    Default China’s ‘Don’t Speak’ wins literature Nobel+EU wins 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

    Stem cell experts win Nobel prize




    Prof John Gurdon has been awarded the Nobel prize



    Two pioneers of stem cell research have shared the Nobel prize for medicine or physiology.
    John Gurdon from the UK and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan were awarded the prize for transforming specialised cells into stem cells, which can become any other type of cell in the body.
    Prof Gurdon used a gut sample to clone frogs and Prof Yamanaka altered genes to reprogramme cells.
    The Nobel committe said they had "revolutionised" science.

    In 1962, John Gurdon took the genetic information from a cell in the intestines of a frog and placed it inside a frog egg, which developed into a normal tadpole.
    Shinya Yamanaka showed that specialised mouse cells could be reprogrammed to become stem cells by intoducing four genes. The resulting stem cells could then be converted to other types of cell.
    The Nobel committee said the discovery had "revolutionized our understanding of how cells and organisms develop".

    ..........

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    Default China’s ‘Don’t Speak’ wins literature Nobel

    With a pen name that means ‘don’t speak’, it was apt that Guan Moye, aka Mo Yan, had earlier responded to a query about his chances of winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature with, “I have no opinion.” But the 57-year-old Chinese author, known outside China for his 1987 novel Hong Gaoliang Jiazu (Red Sorghum), which depicts the turbulence of 20th century China through five interweaving stories that deal with bandit culture, the Japanese occupation and brutal rural life, has beaten the bookies’ favourite, Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, to become the latest Nobel literature laureate.
    Mo Yan’s writings are an amalgam of fantasy and realism, and he cites Gabriel Garcia Marquez and major Chinese writer Lu Xun as influences. His works, such as the 2006 Shengsi Pilao (Life and Death Is Wearing Me Out) and the 2009 Wa (Frog), use black humour to describe everyday life in the young People’s Republic and the consequences of China’s one-child policy, respectively.
    Mo Yan is the first Chinese writer since Gao Xingjian, who won the literature Nobel in 2000 as a French national, to win the award. Some critics have claimed his rise to his closeness to the ‘establishment’. Fellow Chinese writer Yefu told the state-controlled China Daily last week “the Nobel will not go to a writer who sings the praises of authoritarianism”.
    Signs of Mo Yan's closeness to the 'establishment' that are cited include his copying and publishing of a Mao Zedong speech in a commemorative book that, according to China Daily, "largely set the parameters for China's art and literature in the ensuing decades".
    Mo Yan is not the usual 'unknown' Nobel winner. He is a household name in China. His 1996 novel, Big Breasts and Wide Hips, was first banned over concerns that the Republican side in the Chinese civil war is shown to "get off too gently". Subsequently, it went on to become a national bestseller.
    "A writer should express criticism and indignation at the dark side of society and the ugliness of human nature. But we should not use one uniform expression. Some may want to shout on the street. But we should tolerate those who hide in their rooms and use literature to voice their opinions," Mo Yan had told an audience at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair.
    Three years later, publishers will be snapping up rights at the ongoing Frankfurt Book Fair to bring Mo Yan's works to a readership far beyond the opinionated walls of China.


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    EU wins 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, despite debt crisis




    OSLO (Reuters) - The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for its historic role in uniting the continent in an award meant as a morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its debt crisis.
    The EU has been a key in transforming Europe "from a continent of wars to a continent of peace," Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo.
    "This is a message to Europe to do everything they can to secure what they've achieved and move forward," Jagland said, saying it was a reminder of what would be lost "if the union is allowed to collapse".
    He praised the 27-nation EU for rebuilding after World War Two and for its role in spreading stability after the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall.
    The prize, worth $1.2 million, will be presented in Oslo on December 10. The decision by the five-member panel, led by Jagland who is also Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, was unanimous.
    The EU won from a field of 231 candidates including Russian dissidents and religious leaders working for Muslim-Christian reconciliation.
    But the EU is mired in crisis with strains on the euro, the common currency shared by 17 nations. The prize was a surprise given the EU's current woes.
    And many Norwegians are bitterly opposed to the EU, seeing it as a threat to the sovereignty of nation states. "I find this absurd," the leader of Norway's anti-EU membership organisation Heming Olaussen told NRK.
    "In Latin America and other parts of the world they will view this quite differently than they will from Brussels. The union is a trade bloc that contributes to keeping many countries in poverty."
    Norway, the home of the peace prize, has voted "no" twice to joining the EU, in 1972 and 1994. The country has prospered outside the EU, partly thanks to huge oil and gas resources.
    The five-member committee is appointed by parliament, where parties are deeply split over EU membership. Jagland has long favoured EU membership.
    Janne Haaland Matlary, Professor of International Politics at the Oslo University, who has twice nominated the EU for the prize, praised the award.
    "The European Union has been the most effective creator of peace in the world since its inception with the coal and steel union in the 1950s," she told Reuters. "Today it is unthinkable with military conflict between members in the EU."
    Thank you bala

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