April 3rd, 2009

The ultimate whodunit:

Agatha Christie's whodunits have entertained the masses for close to a century. Now, in an unexpected plot twist, the British author's life work itself is shedding light on one of medicine's great mysteries – Alzheimer's.

The sleuth-work in this case was revealed last month at the Rotman Research Institute Conference held at Toronto's Baycrest, a leading research centre on aging. There, Ian Lancashire, an English professor at the University of Toronto, and his colleague Graeme Hirst, from the computer sciences faculty, presented an abstract of their ongoing investigation of linguistic patterns in Christie's novels. They conclude the later novels reveal signs of encroaching Alzheimer's. […]

You just know that even as we speak someone, somewhere, is applying those same analytical tools to Terry Pratchett's oeuvre.

[Via James Nicoll]

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