Quotes by Barry Marshall

Barry Marshall

Australian physician, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology

Alive from: 1951-

Category: Science

Quotes 1 till 15 of 15.

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    Before the 20th century, the ulcer was not a respectable disease. Doctors would say, 'You're under a lot of stress.' Nineteenth-century Europe and America had all these crazy health spas and quack treatments.
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    Dad always explained the car engine when he repaired it, and he had many technical books, so I was making electromagnets by age eight as well as reading my mother's medical and nursing books. I suspect I was born with a boundless curiosity, and this was encouraged through my childhood.
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    Everything that's supposedly caused by stress, I tell people there's a Nobel Prize there if you find out the real cause.
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    If humans evolved in a tiny area of Africa, they only saw plants and animals within a 100-kilometre radius for a million years. When they began to migrate, there would have been different animals and plants - and potentially a lot of allergy issues.
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    In high school I had B's and C's, not too many A's, but I must have done well on that medical school test, and I must have had some charisma in the interview, so I ended up in medicine. Being a general practitioner was all I aspired to.
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    In medical school, it's quite possible to get taught that you can diagnose everybody and treat everything. But then you get out in the real world and find that for most patients walking through your door, you have no idea what's causing their symptoms.
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    It was so frustrating to see ulcer patients having surgery, or even dying, when I knew a simple antibiotic treatment could fix the problem.
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    My favourite book as a child was an old 'Newne's Children's Encyclopaedia' which my grandfather had bought just before World War II and donated to our family after seeing how interested we were in it. Each volume had special chapters called 'Things Boys can Do.' My brothers and I would pick out interesting projects.
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    My mother was a nurse, and in her era, most diseases weren't understood; people put mustard plasters on knees and rubbed camphor on your chest if you had a cough and did funny things to you if you had tuberculosis - all these things that really made very little difference once proper treatments were brought in.
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    Peptic ulcers became more common in the 20th century at the same time that these theories of Freud and other psychoanalysts became popular. And somehow those meshed, and this tradition emerged that ulcers were caused by stress or turmoil in one's life.
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    The 20th-century ulcer epidemic was a sign of good health in American people - good diet, strong acidity and healthy immune response actually make ulcers more likely. That's why businessmen eating giant T-bone steaks were prone to ulcers.
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    The politics have always been difficult in medicine. There is some truth in the way medical practice is portrayed in TV dramas.
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    There is no other prize in any country that carries the prestige that a Nobel bestows.
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    To gastroenterologists, the concept of a germ causing ulcers was like saying that the Earth is flat.
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    You can always find stress in someone's life if you want to. You ask a few questions, and eventually, it's, 'Yes, I admit, I was worried about something recently.'
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