View Full Version : How Easter Helped Bring Down a Medical Myth About Ulcers

04-05-2015, 03:04 PM

Some people will celebrateEasterhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png (http://www.livescience.com/50374-easter-helicobacter-pylori-discovery.html?google_editors_picks=true#) this Sunday. Some scientists, meanwhile, will celebrate the birthday of the humble bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

Found this article fascinating since I see so many cases of people suffering from the effects of this common infection. I knew about the researcher who created gastritis by swallowing the bug but I hadn't heard the connection with Easter.

04-07-2015, 04:45 PM
from the article emphasis mine

Warren teamed up with Barry Marshall, who was still in training for internal medicine at the time, and they tried to grow H. pylori in the early 1980s — at first, to no avail. They were using the agar dishes typically used for growing Campylobacter, and discarded them after about two days, according to a 2005 article in the journal Cell.
As far as the scientists in the lab were concerned, "Anything that didn't grow in two days didn't exist," Marshall told Discover in 2010. "But Helicobacter is slow-growing, we discovered."The Easter holiday kept the doctors out of the lab for four days, and when Warren and Marshall returned after the break, they found colonies of H. pylori growing in the lab.Having an ulcer was once a stigmatized condition, as doctors traditionally believed ulcers were caused by stress, lifestyle choices or spicy foods— and that idea might still persist as a myth today. Marshall and Warren were ridiculed when they suggested that ulcers were actually caused by an infection.
But they were able to back up their theory in follow-up experiments, including a famous one in which Marshall infected himself with H. pylori from a patient by drinking a "broth" of the bacteria that caused him to develop gastritis. They later linked the bacterial infection to stomach cancer, too.
In the decades that followed, tens of thousands of academic papers have been published on H. pylori...."

the Easter holiday took the scientist out of their self imposed box of their preconceived notion which didn't allow for slow growing bacteria. Then when they saw it and told others what they thought, they were ridiculed by colleagues.

phew, Open scientific inquiry at work.... with the providence of God.
A lot of science is dogma, thankfully many scientist are naturally curious and rebellious enough to buck the status quote when it poo poos ideas. And God opens windows "by accident".