Medicine: Cow-Dung Cure

All over two of Brazil's states, Minas Gerais and Sáo Paulo, health workers were directing homeowners last week in what looked like a most unsanitary task: coating the walls inside thousands of mud huts with a mixture containing cow dung. As a result, Dr. Mario Pinotti, running the campaign from his modernistic 18th-floor office in Rio, was confident that thousands of lives would be saved.

The enemy was Chagas' disease, named 50 years ago for the late great Dr. Carlos Chagas, who found that this misnamed "South American sleeping sickness" was caused by a trypanosome, a microscopic animal with a complex life...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!