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Nobel Prize Awarded for Stomach Ulcer Discovery

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the results-of-a-gut-feeling dept.

Education 291

gollum123 writes to tell us the BBC is reporting that the Nobel prize for medicine has been awarded to two Australian scientists for their work with ulcers. Their research has shown that the majority of ulcers are caused by bacteria and can be cured with a short-term course of drugs and antibiotics. From the article: "Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium. The Nobel citation praises the doctors for their tenacity, and willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas."

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1982! (5, Informative)

Stile 65 (722451) | about 9 years ago | (#13711232)

The Nobel Prize committee is almost as slow as Slashdot. The actual discovery, per TFA, was made in 1982.

Re:1982! (5, Interesting)

Sad Loser (625938) | about 9 years ago | (#13711252)

This is cool becasue Barry Marshall was a junior doctor who saw something he couldn't explain and decided to investigate and test it, in classic geeky fashion. He even tested the theory by drinking H.Pylori and got the mother of all stomach aches afterwards.
This proves that it is still possible to do great medical research in the mould (sorry) of Fleming and Penicillin, and you don't need a $100m research budget.

He suffered a lot of problems getting the medical establishment to believe him, and it took at least 20 years, but once it did, the Nobel was bound to happen sooner or later.

Good on you Bazza

Re:1982! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711325)

I will willingly infect myself with HIV just to prove to Africans that it is spread by sex. Prepare my Nobel Prize.

Re:1982! (4, Funny)

VagaStorm (691999) | about 9 years ago | (#13711431)

You know, if it takes 20 years to get the nobel and they dont give it post mortem.... well.... this might qualify you for a darwin rather than a nobel :p

Re:1982! (5, Interesting)

dirtfox (920178) | about 9 years ago | (#13711485)

Perhaps another reason for delay in acceptance of these findings, was that up until the early 90's the * worlds biggest selling drug * was one that inhibits stomach acid production and under patent - unlike cheap as beans & generic broad spectrum antibiotics.

Rather chilling when you consider one of the body's mechanisms of protection against bacteria is stomach acidity. Hence why European versions of this drug include the ancient antibiotic bismuth (also found in a famous pink stomach medicine)

So treating a symptom and possibly making it worse in the long run; good business plan - almost as graceful as nicotine enlarging airways and easing breathing: early adverts recommended cigarettes as a cure for bronchitis!

Re:1982! (4, Insightful)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | about 9 years ago | (#13711491)

This is cool becasue Barry Marshall was a junior doctor who saw something he couldn't explain and decided to investigate and test it, in classic geeky fashion.

This is what religious fundamentalists/people who push intelligent design will never understand. From the article: The Nobel citation praises the doctors for their tenacity, and willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas. That's the beauty of true science, it's a quest for truth regardless of what was previously "known". If you discover something that conflicts with earlier thinking, not only are you recognized, but you're celebrated. This is because truth, not of centuries of tradition, is the motivating factor behind science.

I mean, just think about what faith is... No matter how much evidence goes against what you believe, you will still believe it anyway. Simply because it was told to you by your parents and your local wizard. It must be pretty amazing that out of the hundreds of religions all over the face of the Earth you happened to be born into the one "right" religion. Science doesn't care where you come from, or who your parents are, it's all the same search for truth. Science is much more unifying than religion.

Re:1982! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711608)

Some parts have just as much dogma and require just as much faith as faith. Many things that are explained are purely theoretical and cannot be proven with direct observaion. Science may have less dogma, but it has its fair share.

Re:1982! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711754)

You'd be right, except for the fact that God told me you were wrong.

Re:1982! (0, Troll)

burnetd (90848) | about 9 years ago | (#13711627)

It didn't help that big Pharma were shouting..

'It's not true, it's not true, you need our expensive patented anti-ulcer drugs' ...until the patents ran out, then revealed they were working on H Pylori targetting anti-biotics.

Re:1982! (2, Informative)

DrHanser (845654) | about 9 years ago | (#13711815)

What the fuck are you on about? H. pylori is treated with a combination of two drugs at a time. Usually amoxicillin and clarithromycin (Biaxin) or Amox + metronidazole (Flagyl). These aren't new or drugs specifically designed to target H. pylori. They're broad-spectrum antibiotics used for many things.

Re:1982! (1, Funny)

viscount (452242) | about 9 years ago | (#13711262)

Good afternoon

This is an automated reply from the Nobel Committee to thank you for submitting your discovery.

Your submission is currently in a queue and our evaluators will endeavour to deal with it within 15-20 years.

Thank you

Re:1982! (5, Insightful)

slavemowgli (585321) | about 9 years ago | (#13711270)

Don't be silly. The Nobel prize is pretty much the highest award you can receive in the fields where it is awarded - so it's certainly understandable that the committee wants to make sure that those who receive the prize really *have* made a ground-breaking discovery that deserves the prize. And waiting for some time to see what influence a discovery will have is pretty much the only way to find out.

That being said, yes, the discovery was made in 1982, but it wasn't even *confirmed* until 1987, so it's not just the Nobel prize committee, either.

Ouch (2, Interesting)

Seoulstriker (748895) | about 9 years ago | (#13711336)

It's too bad that the Nobel Prize was created to reward promising new scientists and to give them enough funding to continue pursuing their research unabated. I know that the society deviates from its original purpose, but the fact still remains that the Nobel Prize selection procedure is about 10-20 years too late to make the impact it was designed for.

Re:Ouch (1)

Alranor (472986) | about 9 years ago | (#13711401)

the Nobel Prize was created to reward promising new scientists and to give them enough funding to continue pursuing their research unabated

I thought the Nobel prize was originally created because Alfred Nobel didn't want his name to be forever associated with the fact that he'd invented dynamite?

see _Will []

Re:Ouch (5, Interesting)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | about 9 years ago | (#13711466)

That is completely wrong. Perhaps you are thinking of the Fields Medal in mathematics? That is sometimes described as the 'mathematics equivalent of the Nobel prize', but the selection criteria is quite different; it recognizes both existsing work and future potential, and you have to be aged 40 or under to receive it.

The Nobel prize, on the other hand, is awarded purely for groundbreaking research, usually on the basis of a single seminal piece of research but sometimes something more like a 'lifetime acheivement' award. In almost all cases, it is awarded long after the original research, when the impact can be properly judged in the historical context. For many Nobel lauriates, the work they received the prize for was an exception in an otherwise ordinary career. And in some cases, (the physics prize for the 3K microwave cosmic background comes to mind) the recipents were not actually scientists, but just stumbled upon the discovery by accident.

Re:1982! (5, Funny)

mrogers (85392) | about 9 years ago | (#13711292)

Stop bellyaching. It's a long journey from the first the germ of an idea to publishing a tract on the subject, digesting the feedback, ruminating on the implications, eliminating any remaining doubts and finally putting your theory to the acid test. Not everyone has the stomach for it.

Re:1982! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711348)

Yeah, it too real guts to go bacter the lab...

Re:1982! (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | about 9 years ago | (#13711474)

I propose to conduct a study to find a link between headaches and Slashdot posts with way, way too many puns in them.

Oy... :)

Slashdot covering the Olds (-1, Offtopic)

jellomizer (103300) | about 9 years ago | (#13711299)

Yea slashdot really missed the ball on this one. This article was on most of the radio and tv news stations. Heck That was the second thing I heard about yesterday other then the people who died in the boating accident in Lake George. And I live only 45 minutes away from Lake George. Also there is news of Harriet Miers being nominated to the supreme court. Oh and John Roberts started his job today as chief justice of the United States. Those were all of yesterdays top headline news. I wonder how many people yesterday got their Post Suggestions for this rejected yesterday (When it was news) .

That's the point (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13711359)

It's rather hard to know what new discoveries will stand the test of time unless you wait a while. Waiting is the whole goal for the committee - wait until the idea is proven correct, and evaluate the discovery in the context of how it ended up changing things. Both goals require significant time.

There's also the problem of the committee unofficially rotating the prize among subdisciplines in a given field, and sometimes a glut of important work. To me, this is somewhat weak for a Nobel prize (which naturally still makes it an incredible discovery), so it isn't surprising this one waited for a while.

Re:1982! (4, Insightful)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 9 years ago | (#13711408)

The Nobel Prize committee is almost as slow as Slashdot. The actual discovery, per TFA, was made in 1982.

Similar to what I was going to post. I have known this since 1996 or so, when I heard a presentation by a Dr. Barach. He was saying that the cure for ulcers is tetracycline (antibiotic) and bismuth. In short, antibiotics with a shot of Pepto-Bismol should do it.

The trouble with Dr. Barach knowing this is that, being a veterinarian, he was forbidden to use this knowledge on people. We have this taboo, which is sometimes codified into law (as it was where he practiced) that one person cannot be licenced as both a DVM and an MD.

Re:1982! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711661)

Leave it to a vet to develop a cheap, permanent cure to an ailment.

Re:1982! (1, Funny)

freewaybear (906222) | about 9 years ago | (#13711409)

It was still pretty gutsy!

Re:1982! (1)

shbazjinkens (776313) | about 9 years ago | (#13711459)

If only I could go back in time to '82, with all of the knowledge that I have now...

Re:1982! (2, Funny)

kzinti (9651) | about 9 years ago | (#13711686)

The Nobel Prize committee is almost as slow as Slashdot. The actual discovery, per TFA, was made in 1982.

Yeah, but I bet the Nobel Committee only gives them the prize once.

So Ulcers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711234)

Are not caused by stress?

PHew! Thats a load off my back!

Well... (2, Informative)

Seoulstriker (748895) | about 9 years ago | (#13711354)

They are actually indeed caused by stress. When your immune system's function is severely inhibited during long-term stress, your body's ability to fight bacterial infection is weakened to the point that H. pylori can easily reside in your stomach and cause the ulcer.

So, stress is involved, albeit indirectly.

Re:So Ulcers.. (3, Insightful)

Phreakiture (547094) | about 9 years ago | (#13711422)

So Ulcers . . . Are not caused by stress?

Peeve alert: starting sentences in the subject line and finishing them in the body is annoying. Just so you know.

Anyway, what I really am posting about, though, is that stress weakens the immune system, giving the bacteria the ability to take hold. There are other, similarly-behaved things, such as eczema (a skin affliction), which is viral, but will mostly only manifest when you are stressed badly.

Ughhh..... (2, Funny)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 years ago | (#13711235)

.....that's giving me indigestion.

Now that's my kinda medicine (0)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13711236)

Their research has shown that the majority of ulcers are caused by bacteria and can be cured with a short-term course of drugs and antibiotics.

How stringent are the doctors in testing if you have an ulcer or not before handing out the drugs?

Re:Now that's my kinda medicine (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711283)

IIRC veterinarians have known how to cure ulcers in pigs since the 30's. The treatment is Bismuth and an antibiotic. Bismuth is found in that wonderful pink stuff: Pepto-Bismol. Very simple treatment. Not some new super drug that has all sorts of nasty side effects.

Re:Now that's my kinda medicine (1)

gtoomey (528943) | about 9 years ago | (#13711295)

Its a simple breath test, and you as generaly given antibiotics & bismuth.

Re:Now that's my kinda medicine (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13711298)

How stringent are the doctors in testing if you have an ulcer or not before handing out the drugs?

They're usually not too bad on testing for the ulcer itself. Unfortuately, they are quite happy to hand out powerful drugs for anything that appears to be gastritis.

The upshot is that the drugs they will give you (primarily antibiotics) are for short term use, and aren't that different from what they tend to give people "just in case". Though I have to wonder if some of the stomach damage isn't caused by reckless use of antibiotics. The human stomach is inteded to have a variety of bacteria to aid in digestion. Using antibiotics tends to nail ALL bacteria, including the stuff you want to keep.

Yogurt with live cultures is a good way of replacing Acidophilus, but if you've recently had antibiotics, you might want to think about a bottle of bacterial supplements. These can be had in pill form, but you *must* keep it cold and pay attention to the expiration date.

Re:Now that's my kinda medicine (1)

Zouden (232738) | about 9 years ago | (#13711404)

Actually, it's the intestines that have bacteria, not the stomach, but you're otherwise correct.
Interestingly, the cultures that people have been making yoghurt with for thousands of years do not contain the "good" bacteria (such as L. acidophilus) that modern yoghurts have. It was only last century that we realised the benefit of "probiotics" and we switched to making yoghurt with acidophilus (and bifidus and casei) rather than Streptococcus.

Re:Now that's my kinda medicine (1)

Secrity (742221) | about 9 years ago | (#13711378)

The "drugs" mentioned in the article are mostly stomach acid reducers, many of which are available without a prescription. For more information concerning the US CDC suggested regimen, see []

Re:Now that's my kinda medicine (1)

iive (721743) | about 9 years ago | (#13711453)

Actually there is 100% accurate test for it. It requires biopsy than can be taken during endoscopy. It is fully bloodless. The endoscopy itself is not very pleasant (putting tube through your throat), so you may be sedated.
Blood and breath test are not so accurate.

Infected himself? (1, Funny)

Alranor (472986) | about 9 years ago | (#13711239)

"Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium. The Nobel citation praises the doctors for their tenacity, and willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas."

Only in Australia would scientists prove how a medical condition occurs by deliberately infecting themselves with it.

Nice one mates :)

Re:Infected himself? (1)

yobbo (324595) | about 9 years ago | (#13711250)

One of the doctors is from my home town of Adelaide, so I suspect another motive for the self infection...

Re:Infected himself? (4, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about 9 years ago | (#13711310)

One of the doctors is from my home town of Adelaide, so I suspect another motive for the self infection...


Re:Infected himself? (1)

Profound (50789) | about 9 years ago | (#13711539)

No - to make the water taste better.

Re:Infected himself? (0)

yobbo (324595) | about 9 years ago | (#13711794)

Ah slashdot. He feeds me my own joke and gets the karma points for it.

Re:Infected himself? (1)

mysticwhiskey (569750) | about 9 years ago | (#13711323)

I'm from Adelaide too, but don't quite understand what you mean. Care to elaborate?

Re:Infected himself? (1)

Eagle-Y (891220) | about 9 years ago | (#13711319)

wait untill someone does the same with HIV vaccines and the virus. Then i guess i'll even sign up my self for trials.

Re:Infected himself? (1)

gowen (141411) | about 9 years ago | (#13711546)

His first comment : "Tastes better than that Fosters shit we sell to the Poms."

Impact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711244)

Several years ago, I had an ulcer because of that bacteria. It's quite something to think about what life would have been if something like this was never discovered. I wouldn't be doing so well right now I would think.

I'm surprised he didn't end up dead (4, Insightful)

SpacePunk (17960) | about 9 years ago | (#13711245)

He actually found a cause, and proposed a cure. Most modern barbers are happy to continually treat symptoms since that's what brings in the big bucks.

Re:I'm surprised he didn't end up dead (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 9 years ago | (#13711322)

I'm surprised he didn't end up dead

Come on, how many people do you know who died from ulcers?

Common medical theory at the time was that the bacteria couldn't survive a gastral war in the stomach. Turned out that it was just very slow to grow.

Bleeding ulcers, anyone? (2, Informative)

HBI (604924) | about 9 years ago | (#13711380)

Ever heard of a bleeding ulcer, vomiting blood and all? Yes, people have died from this.

The only reason you don't hear about this anymore is the cause is known now. It was a very serious problem when I was a kid.

Re:I'm surprised he didn't end up dead (1)

aug24 (38229) | about 9 years ago | (#13711347)

OK, who the hell's calling a low-fives userid a Troll? I'll see you outside, now!

Good, now he's gone, we can talk.

I agree: there's a lot of money in palliatives, and what's more the patient will keep buying. Cures, on the other hand, tend to get just the one sale.

I'm currently on peppermints(!) for the evil stomach cramps I've been having for a while. It's a perfect cure... provided I keep buying peppermint capsules for the rest of my life. Not only that, but (I now know) many many people are on the same treatment programme, and there's no likelihood of a cure - or even a cause. That's cos there's a cash cow sitting there, and nobody in the pharms industry will want it to go away.

And *that's* why these two deserve a Nobel Prize. Parent is insightful, so there.

PS: Can't wait to get prescribed gobstoppers for migraines ;-)

A likely story (1, Funny)

aussie_a (778472) | about 9 years ago | (#13711248)

Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium.

Yeah, yeah. I'm sure he was trying to find the cause of ulcers. Pffft. Why doesn't he just admit it. He wanted to become a super-hero so he infected himself. He forgot one important step. The bacteria was supposed to be radioactive first!

Re:A likely story (1)

Alranor (472986) | about 9 years ago | (#13711276)

I can just imagine it now

"Is it a bird? Is it a Plane?"

"No, it's H. Pylori man and his incredible crippling stomach pain ray"


Surely if he wanted to be able to do that to people he'd be better off just selling those pie floater things my Aussie wife keeps trying to convince me are actually quite tasty?

Inflammation (2, Informative)

iamplupp (728943) | about 9 years ago | (#13711259)

This was one of the first discovieries but today we know that inflammation is the cause, or at least plays an important role, in lots if other diseases. Heart disease, rheumatism, diabetes, etc.

Re:Inflammation (2, Informative)

chinodelosmuertos (805584) | about 9 years ago | (#13711586)

Inflammation isn't really the CAUSE, per se. Peptic ulcer is due to a hypersecretion of stomach acid. H. pylori attacks the D cells in the stomach that normally turn off acid secretion in the parietal cells. It probably directly affects ECL cells (they release histamine, a potent mediator for the release of acid) and also directly stimulates the HCl producing parietal cells as well. The acid doesn't really cause inflammation, it erodes the mucous protective layer in the stomach, which can either perforate through into your abdominal cavity, penetrate your intestines and create a fistula, or erode your stomach wall causing bleeding. The only way you'd really get inflammation is if you get irritation of your abdominal cavity, but then it's not just an ulcer, it's peritonitis due to your ulcer. So the problem with the ulcer per se isn't the inflammation. It's the erosion of the gastric lining leading to perforation or penetration.

As for inflammation being involved in heart disease, rheumatoid and diabetes... Yes. Sorta. Heart disease slightly, depending on what heart disease you mean. Rheumatoid for sure. Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune attack on your pancreatic beta cells. Might cause a little inflammation but the attack is specific to the beta cells. (inflammation is a non-specific response to a foreign antigen) Type 2 diabetes... the kind fat people get.... not inflammatory at all. It's due to your peripheral body no longer responding to insulin (look up GLUT4 receptors if you want)

Hope that cleared things up.

Nobel Prize Awarded for Troll Skillz (1)

Artie_Effim (700781) | about 9 years ago | (#13711260)

In related news, Anonmyous Coward recieved the Nobel prize for his work with the renound slashdot community. Allowing moderators to use their extra karma points, rather than loose them. Also mentioned was the work by the world famous D.U.P.E. group for their constant disemination of the same information, over and over again.

My kingom for... (1, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | about 9 years ago | (#13711266)

I would love to see a similar discovery for the IBS. []

How much is can someone pay for a cure of something that can not be cured?

Re:My kingom for... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711296)

look up the work of Joel V. Weinstock. I 've seen him present his data and it's astonishing. Basically the premise of his work is the hygiene hypothesis... we get things like asthma and IBS / Crohns because we are too clean. He has treated his IBS patients with a gut worm with great success.

Re:My kingom for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711338)

anti-rheumatoid arthritis drugs are being looked at as candidate cures for IBA and other inflammation-related conditions. Takes time... Look for studies involving Humira, Remicade and/or Embrel (or newer work with things like p38 inhibitors).

Re:My kingom for... (1)

joshv (13017) | about 9 years ago | (#13711353)

Try eating low carb. Do it for at least a month.

Re:My kingom for... (3, Interesting)

aug24 (38229) | about 9 years ago | (#13711377)

Peppermint oil.

Seriously - been on them for a week, no symptoms. Not a cure, but a hell of a better life.


Re:My kingom for... (1, Interesting)

skiingyac (262641) | about 9 years ago | (#13711621)

eating more fiber (in convenient pill form) also helps. Since we're supposed to have ~10-20g of fiber a day and most people get ~2g if they're lucky, its no wonder some people's insides get ticked off about it.

Here's the cure for IBS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711452)

Google 'TMS sarno IBS'.

I found out about this from an AC on Slashdot, and it has radically improved my life. I'm passing it on.

Best way to find a cure... (5, Funny)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 9 years ago | (#13711267)

Infect the researchers.

willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711279)

Now if only the evolutionists had someone like that working with them!
Oops, here come the monkey police to mod me into oblivion, proving the point.

Re:willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas (-1, Troll)

Vario (120611) | about 9 years ago | (#13711334)

That is easy.

Just look for a bone, a teeth or something that you can identify as human. If you can find something like that together with the bones of a t-rex or in a deeper level of the soil you have found evidence that humans existed at same time as dinosaurs. Evolutionists will have to change there theory quite a bit.
A single teeth might even be enough, with dating methods that use other substances than C-14 you can date really old things.

So, just go out and you will be famous!

Re:willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas (2, Informative)

top_down (137496) | about 9 years ago | (#13711369)

Willingness is not the problem. Disproving evolution would make you famous and rich. The problem is the enormous amount evidence against you: []

Obvious (4, Interesting)

simong_oz (321118) | about 9 years ago | (#13711280)

Possibly the best quote from a scientist ever (my emphasis):

From another BBC article []

Mr Warren said he was a "little overcome" by the award.

"It is nice to be officially recognised and it gives some sort of a stamp of approval, but we believed it within a few months because it was so bloody obvious," he told reporters.

Look at that picture! (1)

jettoki (894493) | about 9 years ago | (#13711287)

Stomach Ulcer or 'Brain' from Ninja Turtles? []
Dr. Marshall was aided in his research by four unnamed heroes. Says Marshall: "When the stomach ulcer attacked, those boys didn't cut it no slack."

About time! (4, Insightful)

ashridah (72567) | about 9 years ago | (#13711329)

About time this happened.

My mother was the unfortunate sufferer of a stomach ulcer for almost 30 years of her life.

One day, her doctor finds out she has it (after all, who keeps trying to fix a 30 year old condition that hasn't killed you yet?), and gives her the newly recognised course of broad-spectrum anti-biotics & neutralisers (since the stomach is kinda hard to treat, acidic n all, tends to destroy the anti-biotics before they have an effect ;) ), and a month later, she's fine!

It's scary how long it took for the standard opinion to get torn down, and how simple the final answer really was! In hindsight, the original theory sounds decidedly suspicious. Stress, indeed.


Re:About time! (2, Interesting)

TGK (262438) | about 9 years ago | (#13711428)

After his work in .au, the good doctor came to work at the University of Virginia (just up the road from me) where he treated, among other people, a fair chunk of my wife's family. It seems the bacteria in question is rampant throughout the ground water system in Natural Bridge VA.

Re-infection can be a serious problem for people in areas like that. Apparently much of his work at UVA dealt with susceptibility studies and clustering. Fascinating guy.

Dr Marshall is my Hero (5, Funny)

Herbst (153199) | about 9 years ago | (#13711344)

"Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium."

Smart thinking. You either get a Nobel Prize or a Darwin Award. A win-win situation.

so close! (1, Funny)

tont0r (868535) | about 9 years ago | (#13711355)

Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium

just 1 step away from winning the darwinian award [] .

Bacteria?!? (3, Funny)

Talisman (39902) | about 9 years ago | (#13711363)

And all this time I thought it was the pizza, beer, nachos and salsa I cram into my face daily. Now that I know it's bacteria, I have to make a call for some anti-biotics...and another double pepperoni!

Re:Bacteria?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711425)

And all this time I thought it was the pizza, beer, nachos and salsa I cram into my face daily. Now that I know it's bacteria, I have to make a call for some anti-biotics...and another double pepperoni!

I'm happy i am not your ass, dude

Nobel Prize?!?! (0)

OctoberSky (888619) | about 9 years ago | (#13711365)

I found out I had and ulcer and all I got was blood in my stool?

Dr. Marshall in Perth (2, Insightful)

zaguar (881743) | about 9 years ago | (#13711370)

Dr. Marshall worked for my dad while he was in Perth. My father said that he was not especially brilliant, although competent - but he was extremely hard-working. Perhaps this is why he did get the Nobel Prize.

relevant anymore? (1)

CDPatten (907182) | about 9 years ago | (#13711372)

Does anyone else feel that the Nobel Prize organization has started to loose its stature? Not to say its meaningless, but just doesn't carry the wait it use too.

The way I see it is that it could be for a few reasons; it seems that they give out too many, they have become overtly political (we all remember during the iraq war, regardless what side you fall on). Maybe you have other reasons? Maybe I'm way off.

Does anyone else feel the same way as I do?

Re:relevant anymore? (1)

casechopper (555441) | about 9 years ago | (#13711745)

but just doesn't carry the wait it use too. 20 years isn't enough for you?

On the Shoulders of a Giant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711379)

Dr Marshall proved that H. pylori caused gastic inflammation by deliberately infecting himself with the bacterium.

While Dr Marshall's courage and technique are richly deserved, hopefully, the good doctor will find an occasion to acknowledge the giant from whom his technique originated.

Dr. Jekyll [] was too much before his time to be considered for a Nobel Prize, but certainly the evidence suggest Dr. Jekyll was the true father of Dr. Marshall's technique.

yuO fail it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711394)

declined in market sling, return it to OF AMERICA irc election to tDhe 0f OpenBSD versus

Nobel Prize in Physics Awarded Also... (2, Informative)

warmgun (669556) | about 9 years ago | (#13711402)

The Nobel prize in Physics has been awarded also: []

According to the schedule on the website, chemistry gets awarded tomorrow and peace on Friday.

Right Livelyhood Award (1)

daniil (775990) | about 9 years ago | (#13711407)

Meanwhile, on September 29th, the 2005 Right Livelyhood Awards [] , also known as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize', were announced. (Link to RLA homepage [] )

[correction] Right Livelihood Award (1)

daniil (775990) | about 9 years ago | (#13711437)

And to think that I managed to make the same mistake TWICE...

Diagnosing "Conditions", not finding Causes (5, Interesting)

Wills (242929) | about 9 years ago | (#13711430)

Years before this discovery was made, stomach ulcers like so many other health problems always used to be labelled by the doctors as a "stress" or "lifestyle" related condition, without any proof that anything more definite than that was really directly responsible. Even to this day, it is amazing that medicine still has literally thousands of loosely-defined medical "conditions" and "syndromes" which have no known specific cause but which are nonetheless given proper names for doctors to use as convenient diagnostic labels. Doctors are still trained to diagnose these "conditions", rather than to think harder about possible underlying cause(s). The two scientists in this story were brave enough to challenge the conventional wisdom of their peers that stress and lifestyle factors cause stomach ulcers. It's interesting to wonder how many other "conditions" are actually caused by undetected bacteria or viruses which are waiting to be discovered by scientists prepared to challenge the prevailing dogma.

Re:Diagnosing "Conditions", not finding Causes (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 9 years ago | (#13711662)

Mod parent up.

This is a very insightful view of what is a real problem with the current practice of medicine . There are many 'syndromes' that are considered to be triggered by lifestyle when actually there are deeper root causes. All too much of medicine is based on statistical studies that show correlations - and correlations do not in any way provide causality.

The real breakthrough in the discovery of a bacterial cause of ulcers is the spotlight it places on the worth of really finding the root cause of a problem rather than just hand waving and correlative studies. Hopefully the medical profession and medical research takes this lesson seriously because it provides a path to real progress in treatment of many debilitating serious chronic diseases. We spend too much time treating symptoms rather than auses and it drives the cost of medical care sky high.

Now to cure AIDS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711436)

For his next trick, he's getting butt-fucked by a junkie...

Protects esophagus, harms stomach (2, Informative)

chooks (71012) | about 9 years ago | (#13711439)

One of the more interesting items about this bug is that while it appears to cause stomach cancer, it also seems to protect against esophageal cancer: lori.shtml []

It also seems to have some sort of effect on reducing acid reflux. Scientific American had a great article about a year ago or so about this bug and how it works. Very interesting reading.

Since I keep up on this.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711450)

I had h. pylori, was treated for it, and had an ulcer 6 months AFTER I was treated. eCHAR=item2&methodnameCHAR=resource_getitembrowse& interfacenameCHAR=browse.cfm&ISSUEID_CHAR=4A323396 -2B35-221B-6CAC6761F49DBCB0&ARTICLEID_CHAR=4A41516 6-2B35-221B-66FE5BDD02F9CA34&sc=I100322 []

This is a protection element, and is not the cause of ulcers, but they are related.

I thought... (5, Funny)

AgentPhunk (571249) | about 9 years ago | (#13711462)

He infected /himself/? I thought that was what TA's and Post-grads were for.

Nobel awarded on merit of utility or tenacity?? (4, Interesting)

Otheus (897195) | about 9 years ago | (#13711463)

Nobel once again is playing politics with science. This discovery's utility is dubious. Referring to the Scientic American article [] earlier this year, there is strong evidence to suggest that eliminating H. pylori is worse than the symptoms created by too much of it. In fact, the article's authors suggest, the key is a proper balance of the bacteria. A strong dose of H. pylori-targeted antibiotics may likely lead to other digestive problems.

And concerning the awardees "tenacity". Well, according to Kimball Atwood IV of Skeptical Inquirer (here [] ), the H. pylori discovery "against all odds" success is more hype than reality. Oddly enough, the hype is most likely (IMHO) created by those continuing to practice anti-science and pseudo-science.

So I ask the question: Why was this discovery worthy of the Nobel prize?

Diagnosis and treatment (2, Informative)

DarkFencer (260473) | about 9 years ago | (#13711503)

Fortunately, this is a very easy thing to diagnose and treat. I'd never had a problem with heartburn, but in the past several months it has become unbearable. The doctor gave me a blood test for H. Pylori, which came with very high levels of the bacteria

I'm actually currently taking a treatment for it. One of the common ones is a combination of three drugs. Two antibiotics (for me Amoxicillin and Clarithromycin), and a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor - like Nexium, Protonix, or a few others - I'm taking Prevacid).

The only draw back to the treatment is its a LONG 14 days of strong medicine. Makes your stomach feel horrible to say the least.

But the point is, I'd rather a couple weeks like this, then years of popping antacids. My thanks go out to these pioneers.

COLD FUSION research will be awarded with Nobel ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13711576)

"The Nobel citation praises the doctors for their tenacity, and willingness to challenge prevailing dogmas"
It's now obvious for me that Cold Fusion is real but the researchers still have to fight with similar dogmas.
Hope, that in a few years this case will be finally clarified.

Documents library: []

Recent news: []

Book about CF: pdf []

There is conference planned in Japan (November 27 - December 2): []

Have a nice reading!

Interesting book on experiments (2, Interesting)

elgatozorbas (783538) | about 9 years ago | (#13711665)

Be coincidence I read about this research a week ago in a book called "Das Buch der verrückten Experimente" ('The book of weird experiments'). When looking for a gift for a geek or if want to have an interesting read yourself, look no further. About ALL weird experiments you have ever heard ebout, and many more are described in there (Milgram experiment, prisoner/guard experiment, rat race, spiders on drugs, biological warfare, chances of having sex with complete strangers,...).

I am not sure if there is an English translation, but the web site [] has some excerpts.

This was discovered in 1999?? (0, Offtopic)

mebollocks (798866) | about 9 years ago | (#13711675)

This discovery was made in 1999 at Trinity College Dublin? ori+trinity&hl=en&lr=lang_en [] What's been done here that's any different?

Re:This was discovered in 1999?? (1)

Large Green Mallard (31462) | about 9 years ago | (#13711740)

We discovered it in 1982.

-- Staff member from the winner's institution :)

Never mind the badge (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | about 9 years ago | (#13711679)

How come the good Dr hasn't patented this method of curing stomach ulcers ? He should by rights be a very rich man by now, the fact he has been awarded a Nobel prize for his discovery proves it was certainly non obvious.

What the hell is "stress"? (1)

brian0918 (638904) | about 9 years ago | (#13711747)

What exactly is "stress", and why is is still being used as an explanation in the medical establishment. This sounds less like science and more like voodoo. (apologies to any voodoo priests in the audience)

First they ignore you ... (0)

barfomar (557172) | about 9 years ago | (#13711766)

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

Mohandas Gandhi

It sounds like 19th century medicine (3, Interesting)

deuterium (96874) | about 9 years ago | (#13711767)

"We propose that this condition is not precipitated by an agitated state of humors, but by tiny microbes". The stress model of disease has always been a bit too subjective and artificial for me. Stress is still generically cited as being responsible for heart disease and depression. It's not even so much that stress is blamed, but the assumed endpoint of a personal reaction. Stress is supposedly something we can control... a reaction to the events of our day. Treating as it presently is, it's almost like a supernatural power. Stress may be associated with events and feelings, but it's also a cascade of chemical messengers that are amenable to study. Why not dig deeper into what reactions and dynamics the release of glucocorticoids and norepinephrine induce? There is a medical prejudice against things brain related. If diabetes was primarily associated with a mood disorder, would it have been researched as well? I guess the special case argument for the ignorance of microbes in ulcers has to do with the assumption that bacteria don't grow well in the environment of the stomach, but still. Any identifiable condition that is currently written off as an intangible artifact of one's personality type seems ripe for rediscovery, and there are still plenty, especially in gastroenterology and physchiatry. It's no surprise to me that this discovery was in the GI field. It's this lack of basic research that keeps open a market for herbalists, homeopaths, and their ilk.


brian0918 (638904) | about 9 years ago | (#13711810)

Well said! The sooner we accept that we are no different from plants or animals (ie: just a bunch of chemical reactions), the sooner we'll start doing real science.

A Cure!? (1)

NetNinja (469346) | about 9 years ago | (#13711811)

Do we really want that? I am looking forward for another high budget commecial telling me the side effects of taking thier drug will do to me. The treament is worst than the disease.

Chris Rock said it best. "The last thing in this country that was cured was pollio." "thier ain't no money in the cure."
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