The biggest historical proponent of clinical trial quality conducted his first one during a war. In 1941, in Salonika, Greece, Archibald Cochrane, a soldier for the British army, was taken prisoner by the Germans. The only doctor amongst 20,000 prisoners, Cochrane observed many cases of swollen legs, his own included. He became so desperate that he decided to run his own experiment. He obtained yeast from the prison’s black market and split 40 prisoners into two groups: One received two spoons of yeast every day, and the other a vitamin C tablet. By the fourth day, he determined that the yeast group had improved more than their vitamin-treated counterparts.
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