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Americans Harvey Alter and Charles Rice as well as Briton Michael Houghton win the 2020 Nobel Medicine Prize for the discovery of Hepatitis C virus. Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images.

Three scientists — Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice — have won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of the Hepatitis C virus, a blood-borne liver disease that infects millions every year.

Why it matters: Before the scientists' discovery, many liver problems went unexplained. "The discovery of Hepatitis C virus revealed the cause of the remaining cases of chronic hepatitis and made possible blood tests and new medicines that have saved millions of lives," the Nobel Prize committee said.

The Associated Press notes that the medicine prize carried "particular significance this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has highlighted the importance that medical research has for societies and economies around the world."

Go deeper

Oct 8, 2020 - Podcasts

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The only vice presidential debate between Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris took place Wednesday night. Axios co-founder Mike Allen offers his thought bubble on the evening.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.