Monday, October 03, 2005

File under: nerd alert

The Nobel Prize in Medicine has been awarded to Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren, two Australian scientists who proved that ulcers are caused by bacterium H. pylori and not stress or a poor diet as had previously been believed. Their research methods were pretty hardcore:

In 1985, for example, Marshall underwent gastric biopsy to prove he didn't
carry the bacterium, then deliberately infected himself to show that it caused acute
gastric illness. In a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia he
described developing a mild illness over a course of 14 days, which included
histologically proven gastritis.

Yikes.

1 comment:

PR said...

I am in Australia at the moment and caught an interview with these guys on TV. The guy who infected himself after only testing the cure on 3 other people (all successful). He was lucky and recovered in a few weeks. A not so lucky colleague took over 4 years to shake the bug. The cure only had about a 60% success rate. Woops.

pat