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People Top 5
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PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- August 18, 1975
- Vol. 4
- No. 7
Sherri Koning can't spell and had a B-minus average as she graduated from high school in June. That didn't stop the American Medical Association from whisking her from her home in Battle Creek, Mich. to address the annual AMA convention in Atlantic City two weeks later. Sherri's senior biology project had resulted in a significant medical advance: a way to detect cancer in plants through the use of Kirlian photography. It captures on film the auras, thought to be electromagnetic, that surround living matter and was developed by a Soviet couple (named Kirlian) in the '30s. But Sherri was one of the first to demonstrate how Kirlian images can differentiate cancerous cells from healthy ones. Though the AMA conventioneers were fascinated by the possibility that the diagnostic technique could be refined for use on human tissue, homespun Sherri staunchly resisted frequent suggestions that she make a career in medical research. The daughter of a grocer, Sherri, 18, is happy waitressing in a pizza shack until she begins courses in occupational therapy at a local community college this fall.
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