Linux creator, stem cell scientist win big technology prize

June 13, 2012
Shinya Yamanaka from Japan and Linus Torvalds (R) from Finland pose after being awarded the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize in Helsinki.

US-Finnish software engineer Linus Torvalds, who created the Linux open source operating system, and Japanese stem cell researcher Shinya Yamanaka on Wednesday won a 1.2-million-euro technology prize in Finland.

"Today, millions use computers, smartphones and digital video recorders that run on . Linus Torvalds's achievements have had a great impact on shared software development, networking and the openness of the web," the Millennium Technology Prize organisers said in a statement.

Yamanaka meanwhile won for "his discovery of a new method to develop induced for medical research," the prize jury said, adding that it was the first time that the award has been split between two scientists.

"Using (Yamanaka's) method to create stem cells, scientists all over the world are making great strides in research in medical drug testing and biotechnology," it said.

"This should one day lead to the successful growth of implant tissues for clinical surgery and combating intractable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer's."

Yamanaka himself vowed in the statement to "continue to work hard to achieve our goals of developing new drugs and medical treatments to intractable diseases by using iPS cell technology."

Finnish President Sauli Niinistoe presented the prize to the two laureates at a ceremony at the Finnish National Opera in Helsinki Wednesday.

The two men shared the prize equally, each receiving 600,000 euros ($751,500).

The Millennium , created in 2002 and funded by the Finnish state and the Technology Academy of Finland, is awarded every two years as a "tribute to developers of life-enhancing technological innovations".

It was first awarded in 2004 to Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, and last time, in 2010, it went to Swiss professor Michael Graetzel for developing a low-cost solar power cell using cheap materials such as dye squeezed from berries.

Explore further: 3 finalists in prize for technology breakthroughs

Related Stories

3 finalists in prize for technology breakthroughs

April 14, 2010

(AP) -- Three European inventors who helped create illuminated wallpapers, tiny fast processors in mobile phones, and cheap, high-performance cells used in solar panels are finalists in the euro1.1 million ($1.5 million) ...

Swiss solar cell inventor wins technology prize

June 9, 2010

Michael Graetzel of Switzerland has won the euro800,000 ($960,000) international Millennium Technology Prize for inventing low-cost solar cells used in renewable energy, organizers said Wednesday.

Japanese stem cell researcher wins Balzan prize

September 6, 2010

(AP) -- The Balzan Foundation says its prize for the biology of stem cells has gone to a Japanese researcher for discovering a way to transform adult cells into cells with the characteristics of stem cells.

The future of stem cell research

December 8, 2010

Perhaps no single scientist has had a greater impact on stem cell research than Dr. Shinya Yamanaka. While most of his colleagues were looking for ways to grow human embryonic stem cells into replacement tissues for treating ...

Stem cell researchers awarded $500K prize in NY

March 16, 2011

(AP) -- Three stem cell researchers have been awarded the annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research for their pioneering work in human stem cells.

Recommended for you

Early human diet explains our eating habits

August 31, 2015

Much attention is being given to what people ate in the distant past as a guide to what we should eat today. Advocates of the claimed palaeodiet recommend that we should avoid carbohydrates and load our plates with red meat ...

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.