Medicine: Aid from the Armadillo

Three years ago, researchers at the Gulf South Research Institute in New Iberia, La., found that the strange, tanklike armadillos common to the Southwest were the only animals that shared man's natural susceptibility to leprosy. Now a team of scientists from Gulf, the University of Hawaii and the Republic of Zaïre's Institut Médical Evangélique report that this chance discovery has paid off. The researchers report that a single nine-banded armadillo that died recently at Gulf yielded some 300 trillion leprosy bacilli—good news for medical researchers who have been searching for ways to...

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