World-renowned novelist Toni Morrison said that brutal violence against African-Americans was so commonplace throughout much of the 20th century that it was almost casual how it came to shape their lives in that era.
“Each is a story of humiliation, of degradation, and—very often—of blood,” said Morrison, a Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. “To revive these stories, to put them on display, is almost as important as the original justice could have been.”
Helicobacter pylori may be the most successful pathogen in human history. While not as deadly as the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, cholera, and the plague, it infects more people than all the others combined. H. pylori, which migrated out of Africa along with our ancestors, has been intertwined with our species for at least two hundred thousand years. Although the bacterium occupies half the stomachs on earth, its role in our lives was never clear. Then, in 1982, to the astonishment of the medical world, two scientists, Barry Marshall and J. Robin Warren, discovered that H. pylori is the principal cause of gastritis and peptic ulcers; it has since been associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer as well. Until that discovery, for which the men shared a Nobel Prize, in 2005, stress, not an infection, was assumed to be the major cause of peptic ulcers.