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February 20, 2013

Tech Titans Launch New, $3-Million Life-Sciences Prize

A quartet of technology moguls led by Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner will inaugurate the world's richest prize for medicine and biology Wednesday, awarding $3-million each to 11 scientists, reports The New York Times.

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences will promote risk-taking researchers who "should be household names and heroes in society," said Anne Wojcicki, founder of genetics firm 23andMe, who established the award with her husband, Google co-founder Sergey Brin; Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg; and Mr. Milner. Several of the initial recipients do work focusing on the genetics of cell growth and its relationship to cancer.

Mr. Milner last year launched the $3-million Fundamental Physics Prizes to recognize advancements in theoretical physics. The awards are more than twice that given to Nobel Prize winners.