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 The man who grew a finger

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Aaron
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PostSubject: The man who grew a finger   Thu May 01, 2008 9:34 am

Pretty amazing stuff.

Quote :
The man who grew a finger
By Matthew Price
BBC News, Ohio

In every town in every part of this sprawling country you can find a faceless sprawling strip mall in which to do the shopping.

Rarely though would you expect to find a medical miracle working behind the counter of the mall's hobby shop.

That however is what Lee Spievak considers himself to be.

"I put my finger in," Mr Spievak says, pointing towards the propeller of a model airplane, "and that's when I sliced my finger off."

It took the end right off, down to the bone, about half an inch.

"We don't know where the piece went."

The photos of his severed finger tip are pretty graphic. You can understand why doctors said he'd lost it for good.

Today though, you wouldn't know it. Mr Spievak, who is 69 years old, shows off his finger, and it's all there, tissue, nerves, nail, skin, even his finger print.

'Pixie dust'

How? Well that's the truly remarkable part. It wasn't a transplant. Mr Spievak re-grew his finger tip. He used a powder - or pixie dust as he sometimes refers to it while telling his story.

Mr Speivak's brother Alan - who was working in the field of regenerative medicine - sent him the powder.

For ten days Mr Spievak put a little on his finger.

"The second time I put it on I already could see growth. Each day it was up further. Finally it closed up and was a finger.

"It took about four weeks before it was sealed."

Now he says he has "complete feeling, complete movement."

The "pixie dust" comes from the University of Pittsburgh, though in the lab Dr Stephen Badylak prefers to call it extra cellular matrix.

Pig's bladder

The process he has been pioneering over the last few years involves scraping the cells from the lining of a pig's bladder.

The remaining tissue is then placed into acid, "cleaned" of all cells, and dried out.

It can be turned into sheets, or a powder.

How it works in detail

It looks like a simple process, but of course the science is complex.

"There are all sorts of signals in the body," explains Dr Badylak.

"We have got signals that are good for forming scar, and others that are good for regenerating tissues.

"One way to think about these matrices is that we have taken out many of the stimuli for scar tissue formation and left those signals that were always there anyway for constructive remodelling."

In other words when the extra cellular matrix is put on a wound, scientists believe it stimulates cells in the tissue to grow rather than scar.

If they can perfect the technique, it might mean one day they could repair not just a severed finger, but severely burnt skin, or even damaged organs.

You can see a video of the finger growing back in the attached link...


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7354458.stm

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Gnomon
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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Thu May 01, 2008 1:09 pm

Praise the Lord. It's a miracle . . . of science.
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kiwimac



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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Fri May 09, 2008 3:09 am

What a neat development!
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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Fri May 09, 2008 3:37 am

I wonder if this technology will be able to make organs longer and thicker. Wink
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Fri May 09, 2008 10:13 am

Schizophretard wrote:
I wonder if this technology will be able to make organs longer and thicker. Wink

Smile Yes, but it only works if you're willing to cut it off first. Smile

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Fri May 09, 2008 11:26 am

Cool, but once everyone has huge penises who will buy all the Corvettes?
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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Fri May 09, 2008 3:45 pm

Uriah wrote:
Cool, but once everyone has huge penises who will buy all the Corvettes?

Remember "huge" is a relative term. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Mon May 12, 2008 1:44 pm

I have no need to cut it of first but I bet the less fortunate would be willing. Whistle
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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Mon May 12, 2008 1:46 pm

Uriah wrote:
Cool, but once everyone has huge penises who will buy all the Corvettes?
Women Question
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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:14 pm

Schizophretard wrote:
Uriah wrote:
Cool, but once everyone has huge penises who will buy all the Corvettes?
Women Question

Or not.
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ReinGatto



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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:17 pm

I feel left out in this conversation, but at least it's making me feel even better that I'm a girl. Laughing Razz
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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Sun Jun 08, 2008 7:03 am

ReinGatto wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
Uriah wrote:
Cool, but once everyone has huge penises who will buy all the Corvettes?
Women Question

Or not.

Ok, Junk yards Question
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ReinGatto



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PostSubject: Re: The man who grew a finger   Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:52 pm

Schizophretard wrote:
ReinGatto wrote:
Schizophretard wrote:
Uriah wrote:
Cool, but once everyone has huge penises who will buy all the Corvettes?
Women Question

Or not.

Ok, Junk yards Question

There you go! Laughing
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