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May 02, 2008

So, Did He Miraculously Grow Back His Finger or Not?

I missed getting to post this apparently awesome story about a man who grew back about a half inch of severed finger, supposedly using some "cellular matrix" which he calls "pixie dust" which induces cells not to grow scar tissue, the useless hole-plugging spackle of the human body, but instead grow the missing tissue back just the way it had been.


Instapundit has updates, with some saying it's junk science and nonsense, and others arguing this might be real.

It sounds a bit like cold fusion to me. If it's this easy, how come it's never been done before? Before penicillin was refined into a true drug, people did use mold on bread to attempt to stop infections; they noticed it worked sometimes. If something as simple as ground-up pig bladder matter can induce regeneration of lost digits, how come no one ever in the history of medicine ever noticed a similar but lesser effect before? Even if this "cellular matrix" is a refined and potent tissue-growing agent, surely less refined and less potent analogues should have been discovered to have lesser, but noticeable, tissue-growing properties before.

Shouldn't there be a whole trove of folk wisdom about the benefits of rubbing pig-guts on cuts to reduce scarring and so forth?

It's also a bit sketchy that the man who grew back the finger... just happens to have gotten the pixy dust from his brother, who's working on his magic regenerative powder.


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posted by Ace at 08:42 PM

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