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Reinventing Discovery by Michael Nielsen

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CHAPTER 6

All the World’s Knowledge

Don Swanson seems an unlikely person to make medical discoveries. A retired but still active information scientist at the University of Chicago, Swanson has no medical training, does no medical experiments, and has never had a laboratory. Despite this, he’s made several significant medical discoveries. One of the earliest was in 1988, when he investigated migraine headaches, and discovered evidence suggesting that migraines are caused by magnesium deficiency. At the time the idea was a surprise to other scientists studying migraines, but Swanson’s idea was subsequently tested and confirmed in multiple therapeutic trials by traditional medical groups.

How is it that someone without any medical training could ...

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