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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 11:55 GMT
Web pioneer scoops Japan Prize
TBL, Cern
Tim Berners-Lee, one of the men widely credited with inventing the world wide web, has won the prestigious Japan Prize.

He will receive a medal and 50 million yen (280,000) from the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan at a special ceremony in Tokyo next April.

Also honoured are the UK's Anne McLaren and Poland's Andrzej Tarkowski for their discoveries concerning the early development of human embryos.

Established in 1985, the Japan Prize is awarded each year in two categories of science and technology that have been predetermined and are rotated every three years.

They tend to recognise very recent research, unlike the Nobels, which can go to scientists who completed their groundbreaking work many years earlier.

Common standards

The 2001 Computing and Computational Science and Engineering category went to Tim Berners-Lee for his pioneering work in conceiving and launching the world wide web, the foundation said in a statement.

His invention has had "an incalculable impact on the way humans communicate, collaborate, share information and conduct business", it added.

Dr Berners-Lee, along with software engineer Robert Cailliau, developed a new interface for sharing information over computer networks in 1990, at the European Organization for Nuclear Research's (Cern) laboratories in Geneva.

Dr Berners-Lee is now director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) which aims to get computer and software companies to agree on standards for the future development of the internet.

Cell manipulation

The Developmental Biology Prize is shared between Drs McLaren and Tarkowski for their efforts "to unlock the mysteries of mammalian embryonic development".

The foundations said the two scientists had "moved forward our understanding of embryos, demonstrating their early plasticity, sexually distinct development patterns, and tissue cell development and differentiation during growth".

The two researchers are said to have established technologies to manipulate early embryos, and opened up the door to new fields of scientific study and progress, including stem and germ cell biology and transgenic animals.

Recent winners of the Japan Prize have included Theodore Maiman, who made the first laser, and Karry Mullis, who devised the so-called PCR technique, which has revolutionised the study of genetics.

See also:

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Small, ugly and first
10 Oct 01 | Sci/Tech
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08 Oct 01 | Health
British scientists scoop Nobel
14 May 01 | Sci/Tech
Web mastermind honoured
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