XKCD tells it truly

I’ve recently been a bit under the weather. After having a cold I couldn’t shake and getting a week or so worth of antibiotics, I was having a host of appetite and gastrointestinal problems, so I went back to the doctor. In the sixteen days that had passed between visits, I’d lost ten pounds.

Now, having repeatedly fallen off the wagon with respect to my calorie-counting and exercise regimen, I was surprised to learn that I’d lost any weight at all, let alone what I knew was an unhealthy amount. Needless to say, my doctor was concerned. He ran some tests, and among the things he said he’d be looking for was the bacteria H. pylori.

I recognized the name immediately, though I wasn’t sure of the connection until he elaborated that H. pylori is associated with peptic ulcers. My initial thought on making that connection was “Cool! I might be infected with H. pylori!” I proceeded to tell my doctor about the Nobel Prize that resulted from the discovery of H. pylori and its association with peptic ulcers (previously thought to be caused by stress and spicy food). Taking a page from comic books, and apparently just to prove a point, researcher Barry Marshall experimented on himself with the bacterial culture, giving himself gastritis, then demonstrated that antibiotics could treat it. Certainly it was a small sample size, but confirmation earned Marshall and partner Robin Warren the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine, and I suspect the 2005 Nobel Prize in utter badassery as well.

So the thought of being connected, even tangentially, to such an overwhelmingly hardcore demonstration of science excited me, despite the stomach aches.

Or, as explained by the illustrious Randall Munroe:

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One Response to XKCD tells it truly

  1. Bronze Dog says:

    Yeah, I liked that comic, too. I've dealt with my share of idiots who whine that I know how something works and how it takes the mystery out of life.How I should respond from this point on: "Get with the times, you old fogey! We've got NEW, more nuanced mysteries that need solving! Stop holding us back!"

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