Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rats, cockroaches and a nobel...

We were recently talking about tissue inflammation and cancer. Well it turns out, some people attribute the idea to Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger. However the man actually thought the cancer in the rats he was studying was a result of parasites-infected cockroaches being eaten by the rodents. He got the nobel in 1926 before anyone could realise it was really a vitamin A deficiency that was the root cause, and that the nematode merely provided the gastric irritation necessary for tumour initiation... The nematode is still called Gongylonema neoplasticum, and was the first proof that an infection could inititate cancer.