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"giovanni battista grassi" Discussed on Lore
"At eleven a._m. But it didn't go according to plan the crown of students who had filled the medical theater were there to learn what they could from the subject on the table table but the work turned out to be more complicated than the lecturers had expected for the longest time the dead man's chest refused to give way to scalpel blades finally though shortly before the lecture was scheduled to end one of the medical instructors manage to cut through the corpses abdomen but when he did he signed with frustration it was just one more example of the same condition they had seen so many times before a sandy diaphragm ram the classroom emptied. All of the students had decided that lunch was a better use of their time and migrated out of the room when the theater was empty one student silently crept back inside his name was james paget in like all the other students he attended saint bartholomew's is in london because he wished to become a physician but he was also a bit more curious than most of them sneaking down to the corpse on the table he he carefully took a sample of the infected tissue that his instructor had called sandy diaphragm then pulling out a hand lens he gave the sample closer look and then con has breath there was more to the tissue sample than the small crystal like grains that earned the condition its name paget would later later go on to use a more powerful microscope and then right up his findings in a paper which he presented to a student group in february of eighteen thirty five sadly when he was beat to the finish line by one of his professors who discovered what paget was researching and then used his official connections to have his own paper submitted the royal society james paget's curiosity might have started the race but he lost because he didn't know the shortcuts what he discovered though confirms something that few of us are ready to accept. We like to imagine that we live in a bubble that our bodies are safe and clean and free from harm but if there's one thing that james paget's and others over the centuries have learned it's that we are far from the masters of our our own domain. We are in fact constantly at risk a heartbeat away from losing control vulnerable to a chance encounter that could threaten our wellbeing all being our comforts or our very lives. It's a threat that has taken the lives of countless people over the course of history and while some have made their life's work to study it most have been woefully unprepared for just how insidious it can be. We'll never see it coming but the effects have the potential to be absolutely devastating. I'm erin monkey and this is <hes> <music> <music> in the world of the ancient greeks one of the most important places in society where the temples they were places of worship and sacrifice build with those who came to pay their respects and those who worked within them to help make sure everything ran smoothly. There were priests as you might expect but there were also assistance known as acolytes who helped them do their job and one of the things we've learned about acolytes is that they weren't necessarily paid for their work instead. They were allowed to earn a living through a barter system in exchange for regular meals and place to stay. They showed up and perform their jobs. They lived off the system so to speak and that earned them another name peres sita's which literally means eating at another table in the millennia sense that term has trickled down to us from greek to latin and then to the french finally giving us a word. We've all heard before parasites today. That word has a bit of an unhappy connotation and for good the reason but back in the days of the ancient greeks it was originally a neutral term these acolytes metaphorically eight from another person's table in order to support it themselves and that was a normal and accepted part of temple life but around the fourth century b._c. That started to change the writers of a number number of greek comedies began to use the term in their place to refer to dinner guests who turned out to be a bit too difficult to kick out freeloaders we might say and the connotation stuck but etymology assign cultures around the world have been aware of parasitic relationships for thousands of years and in many cases they've treated them with respect in ancient china the relationship between a master and a student was often represented by the image of a wasp and the worm room in the literature of india that same respect can be found through positive use of the parasite and host metaphor then they built those metaphors by watching watching the world around them modern historians have studied ancient egyptian documents that describe intestinal worms and roman physicians recorded observing observing similar creatures inside farm animals and fish even though they had yet to be bundled under the modern term of parasites people have known about them for a very long long time and have studied and labeled them like any other creature for nearly as long but the real scientific exploration began when people i started to study how parasites spread for a very long time everyone subscribed to a theory known as spontaneous generation it was an idea put forward by aristotle's and his followers to explain where lower life forms came from humans and animals are born through reproduction but less complex life he suggested simply arose spontaneously for a very long while that theory was applied to parasites creatures like worms and bugs seem to thrive been a wet muddy environments so naturally they must spontaneously appear there but in eighteen thirty two french scientists discover that parasitic worms i actually lay eggs and most horrifying of all that ingesting those eggs can cause someone to become infected. Naturally there were <hes> brave scientists who wanted to put that idea to the test the italian scientist giovanni battista grassi infected himself with roundworms james and then studied his own feces days later looking for new eggs. Which of course he found and i know that sounds disgusting but he's far from the worst i defender in medical history that prize could very well belong to shimizu keough he was a japanese physician and scientist has to conducted his own experiment in nineteen twenty two by eating over two thousand roundworm eggs then he gathered hundreds of eggs from parasite he found inside a pig and fed those to his brother and while half of me wants to know how the other half of me just wants to stop thinking about it. Entirely what's fascinating about kino's work though is that when the eggs began to reappear it wasn't just in his feces both he and his brother developed bad coughs and they found parasites in the mucus that was expelled from their lungs. The worms had burrowed out of their digestive system and into their lungs which is horrifying yes but it also widened our understanding of how these creatures work but even that simple idea that someone needed to ingest the eggs of a parasite in order to become infected was eventually thrown out the door in eighteen ninety six german scientists named arthur loose was managing managing his own experiment when he became infected even after being careful not to eat his subjects it turns out his infection happened in a much more frightening way hi touch his parasite of choice happened to be the hookworm and after accidentally brushing his hand over part of the sample he developed an intense pitch in that hand the hookworm said latched on drilled in and then began to burrow into his body as a scientist. I'm sure he was absolutely the fascinated as a human being though i can't help but wonder if he screamed even just a little one last story about these wonderful a little hookworms the discovery that loose made was terrifying yes but it provided answers to an age old medical mystery for a very long time miners and laborers in the construction industry who spent a lot of time in the mud and soil would sometimes develop what was referred to as plumbers each or tunnel disease red had issued lines that grew just below the surface of their skin. It's probably safe to assume that it was called tunnel disease because of where they contract it but there's there's also a bit of irony there because what was happening was literal tunneling you see some forms of hookworms can't burrow from the skin to the digestive system get trapped just below the surface in sort of dig their way along leaving those red infected tunnels behind them clinically it all makes sense since and giving it names like ground itch or tunnel disease certainly helps remove the mystery. There's one other name for the infection that masterfully captures the full horror of the symptoms also hinting at something darker and more terrifying they called it the creeping gene eruption uh it's one thing to know that parasites exist we can accept that and even find a way to move forward but we're the true darkness creeps in is when we realized just how devastating they can be and we can thank one of the students of arthur loose for showing us that charles wardwell styles tells wasn't german like his mentor he was born in spring valley new york in eighteen sixty seven and after studying with loose at the university of leipzig he returned to to america to continue his work in the field of parasitology and it was just a few years after that in nineteen to that he applied his skills to a civil war mystery.