Medicine: Electric Disease Detector

In 1924 died Dr. Albert Abrams, San Francisco millionaire whom officials of the American Medical Association called "the outstanding quack . . . the most polished charlatan ... of the century." Abrams made lasting contributions to the science of medicine by discovering that when the skin of the chest is irritated, the heart and lungs contract slightly. He also discovered that a clout on the spine may reduce a disabling bulge in the aorta. On the other hand, Abrams claimed without acceptable evidence that the human body was an electrochemical machine which produced...

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