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Grey's Anatomy

Medical Trauma Drama: Can Worms Really Cure Asthma?

Remember poor Mr. Fink, the researcher who suffered great pains and worm losses in the last episode to cure asthma? Maybe he was on to something. As Grey’s consultant Meg Marinis explains, an immunologist-biologist at the University of Nottingham named Dr. David Pritchard noticed that people in Papua New Guinea infected with a certain type of hookworm were seemingly immune to certain afflictions like asthma and hay fever. That was back in the 1980s, and it took a lot of time and effort for him to test this hypothesis on humans — namely, test subjects who were willing to try anything, including being infected with worms, to rid themselves of these conditions.

He’s still researching the link, but others have forged ahead, making the most of loopholes. Marinis cites the example of an entrepreneur named Jasper Lawrence, who has a business in Mexico (which is obviously outside of the Food & Drug Administration’s jurisdiction) that sells parasitic worms to people with autoimmune conditions — but only if those people happen to have $3,900 tucked away somewhere. If you don’t have that kind of money, or if the thought of worms inside you freaks you out, you might want to just stick with your inhaler.


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10.19.2010 / 01:17 AM EDT by Dan Clarendon
Related: Grey's Anatomy, Recaps

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