Israeli Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry visits China

10:29, June 15, 2011      

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Israeli professor Ada Yonath, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, speaks at a media briefing at the Israeli Embassy in Beijing on June 14, 2011. (Chen Lele/People's Daily Online)

On June 14, 2011, Israeli professor Ada Yonath, the 2009 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, attended a media briefing at the Israeli Embassy in Beijing, where she shared her inspirational story of achievement, talked on scientific cooperation prospects between China and Israel and discussed Israel's education and research environment.

Yonath is the fourth woman ever to receive chemistry's highest international honor for her breakthrough work with the ribosomes. Ribosomes are the molecular components of cells that manufacture proteins from amino acids according to instructions that are stored in the cell's DNA. Her work using a technique called ribosome crystallography will improve scientists' understanding of this process, which occurs in our bodies many millions of times each day and will help us fight against infectious disease by using antibiotics targeting the ribosomes of bacteria.

Since she won her Nobel Prize in 2009, she has visited China many times, attending international conferences and giving lectures to university students. Her impression of China is that this is a country that respects science, scientific achievements and technological accomplishments. In this regard, she believes China and Israel have a lot in common. "In the two countries, the appreciation of science, learning and better understanding of our world is very high," she said.

Given the similarities of China and Israel in scientific aspect as well as their long-lasting friendly relationship, she was fully confident that the two countries could exchange and share ideas with each other and the future cooperative prospects in scientific and technological research are bright. "I see that there is a possibility that we start and continue cooperation between the two countries," she said.

When asked about scientific environment in Israel, she said there is something very characteristic in Israel but seldom seen in the United Nations and other countries, which is to say that the level of competition is lower, while the level of cooperation is much higher. In her opinion, teamwork, scientific transparency as well as academic support on every level from students to professors and even to universities have contributed to the powerful development of science in Israel.

During her visit to China this year, she went to Chinese Academy of Sciences, where she had a talk with Li Jiaxiang, assistant dean, and delivered a lecture on her research.

By Zheng Qingting, People's Daily Online
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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