Medicine: Premature Applause

Press association teleprinters chattered last week with seemingly momentous news from Boston: "Discovery of a mold extract which seeks and destroys fresh blood clots in minutes ... can be used safely on the sickest patient . . . credited with furnishing quick relief for sufferers of heart attacks." Editors front-paged the claims, which had been announced by the Massachusetts Heart Association.

No one was more dismayed by the sensational stories than Dr. Mario Stefanini of Boston's St. Elizabeth's Hospital, who had worked for two years to get the extract (an enzyme) from common molds. He has found that it dissolves the fibrous...

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