Wednesday, November 07, 2007

If you don't appreciate medicine, read this!


In 2001 mass graves was discovered in Vilnius, Lithuania. Records indicated that the graves contained French troops from Napoleon's Grand Army while they were retreating from Moscow.

Right after this discovery , a French doctor, Didier Raoult, along with his coworkers analyzed the earth and the military uniforms around these bodies and found some body parts of different lice (bugs) around these bodies. They also analyzed the teeth of many of the dead soldiers by advanced techniques examining the genetic material of the bacteria and discovered two types of bacteria, responsible for the disease epidemic typhus and Trench fever. They concluded that these disease have killed at least one third of these troops.

Whenever a study is conducted, the results should be compared with a comparison group called the control group. This control group consists of patients with very similar characteristics to the study group. Because the "patients" here were all dead, they compared the findings of the dead soldiers in Lithuania to bodies excavated from a grave in Briançon, France. The bodies in France did not carry any of the infections that the bodies in Lithuania did.

It's always been thought that typhus and fever were responsible for the death of Napoleon's soldiers but there was no clear evidence of that. This study by these physicians in the Université de la Méditerranée was able to prove that about 200 years after the death of these soldiers.

It was fascinating to make a diagnosis of an infection two centuries after it occurred. I heard Raoult speak in an international conference in Chicago last September and was honored to meet him and learn about his great achievments in different fields in infectious diseases. It was like meeting Diego Maradona or Jiries Tadros.

Ihis study was just another reminder how medicine can solve many misteries of the past, the very very past.

(P.S. Click here for a link to the full text of the study)

5 comments:

Mohanned said...

are you a fan of House?
Coz I am :)

Ola said...

Interesting! el7amdo lellah there are people whose passion is something so repulsive as infectious diseases!!

Mohannad: It's rediculous that hugh laurie didn't win the Emmy for that role!

Hareega said...

mohannad... I don't know what House is

ola... Infectious diseases is not a disgusting speciality and not repulsive at all. It is very mesmerizing at times. By the way the number of bacterial cells that you have exceeds the number of body cells!

Mohanned said...

House M.D, a T.V show..
You gotta watch it..

Anonymous said...

好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 工作总结 个人工作总结 半年工作总结 年终工作总结 单位工作总结 教师工作总结 教学工作总结 学校工作总结 德育工作总结 财务工作总结 医务工作总结 安全工作总结 乡镇工作总结 党员工作总结 团委工作总结 公司工作总结 实习工作总结 班主任工作总结 党支部工作总结 办公室工作总结 学生会工作总结 总结报告 工作报告 政府报告 述职报告 述廉报告 考察报告 自查报告 情况报告 调研报告 调查报告 申请报告 辞职报告 实习报告 验收报告 评估报告 汇报体会 工作汇报 思想汇报 汇报材料 情况通报 情况汇报 心得体会 学习心得 工作心得 培训心得 读后感 发言致辞 发言稿 开业开幕 领导讲话 动员讲话 庆典致辞 节日致词 新春致词 晚会致辞 追悼悼词 节目游戏 毕业致辞 思想宣传 组织人事 晚会主持词 会议主持词 婚礼主持词 哮喘 支气管炎 气管炎 鼻炎 肺癌 呼吸机 氧气机