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calendar   Thursday - May 01, 2008

“olds” as “news” again

Haven’t these MSM types figured out that, like diamonds, the Internet is forever? Here’s another one of today’s top stories, being reported around the world, that wasn’t even new news more than a year ago. Does it need some publicity? Sure, why not, it seems like a really promising medical breakthrough. But don’t put it in the “Breaking News” column, cuz it ain’t.

‘Pixie Dust’ From Pig’s Bladder Regrows Man’s Finger

With the help of an experimental powder, a man’s severed finger has regrown to its original length in just four weeks, reports London’s Daily Mail.  Lee Spievack, of Cincinnati, who sliced almost half an inch off the top of one of his fingers, described the powder as “pixie dust,” according to the newspaper. The “pixie dust” is actually extra-cellular matrix, bursting with collagen and is made from a dried pig’s bladder, the newspaper reports.

Medicine’s Cutting Edge: Re-Growing Organs

Three years ago, Lee Spievack sliced off the tip of his finger in the propeller of a hobby shop airplane.  What happened next, Andrews reports, propelled him into the future of medicine. Spievack’s brother, Alan, a medical research scientist, sent him a special powder and told him to sprinkle it on the wound.

The amazing ‘pixie dust’ made from pigs bladder that regrew a severed finger in FOUR weeks

image

Scientists are claiming an amazing breakthrough - regrowing a man’s severed finger with the aid of an experimental powder. Four weeks after Lee Spievack sliced almost half an inch off the top of one of his fingers, he said it had grown back to its original length. Four months later it looked like any other finger, complete with “great feeling”, a fingernail and fingerprint. The secret to the astonishing regrowth is said to be the powder described by Mr Spievack, a Cincinnati model shop salesman, as “pixie dust”. More properly known as extra-cellular matrix, it is bursting with collagen, the protein that gives skin its strength and elasticity, and is made from dried pig’s bladder. It was developed to regenerate damaged ligaments in horses. “The second time I put it on I could already see growth,” said Mr Spievack, 69.

“Each day it was up further. Finally it closed up and was a finger. It took about four weeks before it was sealed.” Mr Spievack damaged his finger in the propeller of a model plane three years ago. He turned down a skin graft in favour of the “pixie dust” recommended by his brother, a former surgeon and the founder of the firm that makes the powder.

While it is not entirely clear how the powder works, its developers believe it kick-starts the body’s natural healing process by sending out signals that mobilise the body’s own cells into repairing the damaged tissue. Dr Stephen Badylak, of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, told the BBC: “There are all sorts of signals in the body. We have got signals that are good for forming scar tissue and others that are good for regenerating tissues. One way to think about these matrices is that we’ve taken out many of the stimuli for scar tissue formation and left those signals which were always there for constructive remodelling.”

In other words, the powder directs tissues to grow afresh rather than form scars.

The New York Daily News is running it too, as are other papers and online news sources. Why not? It’s a great story - this guy cut off his fingertip when he accidently stuck it in the path of the propellor on a running model airplane. By pure luck his own brother is a research scientist working on limb and organ regrowth. Brother sent brother some “magic powder”, actually made from pig collagen, sprinkled it on, and in a month the fingertip grew back. Pretty darned amazing, but it isn’t a new story today. It wasn’t a new story when Esquire ran it last September:

A Doctor, a Pig, and a Magical Pixie Dust That Could Regrow Fingers

Once upon a time (last month), in a distant land (Pittsburgh), there was a medical breakthrough that could regrow fingers. Happily, this was no fairy tale.

It may have actually been news when MSNBC ran it back in February 2007, but I have my doubts:

Researchers are trying to find ways to regrow fingers — and someday, even limbs — with tricks that sound like magic spells from a Harry Potter novel.

There’s the guy who sliced off a fingertip but grew it back, after he treated the wound with an extract of pig bladder. And the scientists who grow extra arms on salamanders. And the laboratory mice with the eerie ability to heal themselves.

This summer, scientists are planning to see whether the powdered pig extract can help injured soldiers regrow parts of their fingers.

Why am I running on and on about this? Because these are all “professional journalists and reporters” doing exactly what they accuse the pajamas-clad blogosphere of doing - dogpiling (blogswarming) on a story, and just passing it around. Worse, they aren’t even reporting something new. It’s an old story that’s just being recycled. They aren’t even adding anything new. So this is crap work by the MSM, and I’m probably one of the few bloggers who will even spot the recycle. What’s next, Breaking News that President Kennedy was just assasinated?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/01/2008 at 02:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and DiscoveriesNews-Briefs •  
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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