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Posted by on Oct 12, 2005 in At TMV | 0 comments

Swallowing bacteria; or, how to win a Nobel prize

Australian researchers Robin Warren and Barry Marshall recently won the Nobel prize for medicine.

For what, you ask? For discovering that most stomach ulcers are caused not by stress but by a bacterium, specifically by Helicobacter pylori.

Warren and Marshall had been shunned by a skeptical medical community for about two decades. How did they convince it that they were right — so right that they won the Nobel prize? It seems that Marshall himself swallowed the bacterium and became violently ill for his troubles.

Incredible dedication, to be sure. All in the name of science.

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