Monday, October 03, 2005

2005 Nobel in Medicine - Congrats to the Aussies!

I had planned on writing spending some time researching and adding to the excellent piece on MRL mice that Pharangula mentioned a few days ago. These mice were bred for larger size and then someone noticed that the holes that get punched in their ears for identification were gone. Somehow their ears had regenerated. They tested this in an extreme way, by simulating a heart attack and then watched as the mice's (is this the possessive of mice?) hearts regenerate with almost no scar tissue. Pretty cool huh?
But no! i just read at the New Scientist website that a couple of Aussies in Perth have just got the Nobel Prize for their pioneering work in proving the link between bacteria and stomach ulcers. Apparantly these guys were laughed at miserably for many years while they tried to prove their case, one of them even going so far as to infect himself and then cure himself using antibiotics. The article has a pretty clear hint that some big players in the Big Pharma industry that made drugs to treat the symptoms of stomach ulcers, weren't too happy about a possible cure coming along. Anyway, hard to believe after a couple of hundred years the medical profession is still having a hard time with 'germs as the cause of disease' and a big Well Done to Barry Marshall and Robin Warren for their brilliant work in the face of extreme prejudice.


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