Monday, October 03, 2005

That's One Way to Say, "I Told You So."

And so, the Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded for 2005:

Congratulate this year's recipients, Drs Warren and Marshall, for the ground breaking (or stomach eroding) finding that the bacterium, H. pylori, is the causative agent in most stomach ulcers and gastritis.

As essentially no one in the medical community gave their findings credence initially, the story goes that Dr Warren drank a beaker of H. pylori culture and gave himself a raging case of gastritis.

(We break for the inevitable Dr Jeckel and Mr Hyde jokes.)

So, raise a glass of Mylanta to these two, who furthered my mentor's assertion that everything in medicine is an infectious disease, even heart attack and ulcer.

Can't say they don't deserve the money.

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11 Comments:

Blogger The Lioness said...

I love scientists! Go, H.p., to hell!

12:08 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I heard about their Nobel Prize this morning on NPR. I guess I didn't realize H. Pylori was such a new thing. Talk about an amazing discovery!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

I remember my old aunt always talking about her h. pylori acting up.

And there I was thinking she was off her bean!!

1:16 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Johnny- The characters, like these two, crack me up. Of course, they are Aussies.

Linda- That's where I heard it, too! I remember when it first really broke and changed everything, I was finishing med school. In residency, they literally corralled us in the noon conference room and made us all donate blood samples to screen us for the Hp antibodies. Had I been positive, I could have been enrolled in a study for the urea breath test. As I don't think there was any pay involved, though, I was happy to see my titers were negative and I've swallowed my Advil with a better mind, since.

Babs- Well, she may have been, depending on where she indicated the Hp was doing the acting. Stomach--yup; Knee--nope.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

It sure took that Nobel committee a long time to give them the award. Hasn't it been at least a decade since their discovery was confirmed?

I remember what a deep impression that made on me when the news got out that ulcers were caused by bacteria--that science and medicine had been wrong for so long about something so basic.

6:40 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Bacteria, eh? Figures. Good for them for figuring it out.

Why does my foot itch? It is driving me insane and I want to scratch it until it bleeds. That's probably not a good thing.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Rozanne- Actually, I was surprised they got it so soon. Usually takes decades and decades for a prize to be awarded in basic research as it takes that long to see what the true impact on human health is. This was just so evident that they got quite soon. The wheels move slowly. I wish I knew what else we are still wrong about. Scads and scads of things, I bet.

Dana- Well, if you DO scratch it until it bleeds, the pain will replace the itch, at least until it starts to heal...

8:52 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

I remember a story about the first time they presented their research at a conference. The reception to their work was incredibly negative. I think they were booed. People don't like being told what they know is wrong, apparently.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Teri- It took years for it to be accepted. It just went at the root of what was thought to be truth, toppling pillars of knowledge. It will be interesting to see how the whole Chlamydia exposure / Coronary artery disease link plays out. That one has been smouldering for years.

11:28 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Gee, can you call it or what? I scraped a lovely circular pattern of skin off and now it really hurts and is tight and is driving me crazy even more than the itching. You're either starting to know me really well or have lots of practice of dealing with Dana like people since you're a mom (I tell Keem I am preparing her for children).

1:52 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dana- Sounds like I need to send Keem sympathy flowers. Hope you get her something nice for Mother's Day. (kiss, kiss)

10:56 PM  

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