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From bad clover to great medicine

From bad clover to a great medicine (not so great for rats.) Seventy-five years ago this February, a Wisconsin dairy farmer brought some sweet clover hay to University of Wisconsin-Madison biochemist Karl Paul Link. The farmer suspected the clover had killed his cattle, which died from uncontrollable bleeding. From one farmer”s misfortune, much good has come. In this batch of spoiled hay, Link discovered an anti-clotting agent. This, in turn led to the development of Warfarin, a blood thinning agent. The product was initially marketed for rat control, but that application has been dwarfed by its use to aid patients around the world who suffer from thrombosis and other clotting disorders.