Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium that infects the mucus lining of
the human stomach. Many peptic ulcers and some types of gastritis are
caused by H. pylori infection, although most humans who are infected
will never develop symptoms. The bacterium lives in the human stomach
exclusively and is the only known organism that can thrive in that
highly acidic environment. It is helix shaped (hence the name
helicobacter) and can literally screw itself into the stomach lining
to colonize it. In 1875, German scientists found the bacteria in the
lining of the human stomach, although the results were forgotten. The
bacterium was rediscovered in 1982 by two Australian scientists Robin
Warren and Barry Marshall, who isolated and cultured organisms from
mucosal specimens from human stomachs. In their original paper, Warren
and Marshall contended that most stomach ulcers and gastritis were
caused by colonization with this bacterium, not by stress or spicy
food as had been assumed before. The medical community was slow to
recognize the role of this bacterium in stomach ulcers and gastritis,
but in 1994, the National Institutes of Health published an opinion
stating that most recurrent gastric ulcers were caused by H. pylori,
and recommended that antibiotics be included in the treatment regimen.
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Today's selected anniversaries:
By the Act of Union, England and Scotland merged to form the United
Kingdom of Great Britain.
The Paris Commune was formally established.
Domnitor Carol I of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen was proclaimed the first
King of Romania.
The first of more than eight thousand episodes of the American soap
opera The Young and the Restless was broadcast on television.
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, an advocate for physician-assisted suicide, was
found guilty of murder in the death of a terminally ill patient.
Wikiquote of the day:
"Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down."
-- Robert Frost