Medicine: Corn & Sleeping Sickness

When Alma Jessie Neill was a girl on an Illinois farm, the corn she raised won prizes. Alma Neill left her farm to study physiology, is now professor of her subject at the University of Oklahoma, but she has never lost her interest in corn. Five years ago, when an epidemic of what doctors called encephalitis killed 60 people in and about St. Louis, befuddled and paralyzed many more, Professor Neill suspected that infected corn was the cause. Last week a convention of biologists in Baltimore listened respectfully while she explained her diagnosis.

She first suspected that infected sweet corn might have...

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