The discovery and loss of a cure for scurvy
Tuesday, April 30 2013 at 7:00PM
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20a Portugal Place
What's the talk about?
Of all the slang names for the British, none is more iconic than 'Limey'. While the the term provokes majestic images of the Golden Age of Sail, scurvy cost countless sailors and seamen their lives. It was once not unheard of for nine out of every ten members of a ship's crew to have succumbed to scurvy by the time it returned to port. The results of James Lind's work on the HMS Salisbury in 1747, which led to a cure, without doubt saved innumerable lives. Yet in Cherry-Garrard's account of Robert Falcon Scott's 1911 expedition to the South Pole, he writes: "There was little scurvy in Nelson’s days; but the reason is not clear, since, according to modern research, lime-juice only helps to prevent it." So why did Lind's results get forgotten?
Dr. Andrew N Holding is currently employed by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge.
Dr. Holding's website is here: http://evath.net/