Missing Fingertip Grows Media Support System

The Pixie Dust story in which the guy probably made a fortune from selling to gullible journalists and editors is nicely debunked by the excellent Ben Goodacre at Bad Science.

This isn't a genuinely significant medical event - the bloke has reconstituted a coupla millimetres of tissue, max, including what looks like a pin-hole fistula - it's all quite normal. Hardly an entire FINGER. Check the photo again, all three joints are present including a very long section of distal phalanx - so long in fact the "wound" could possibly be a fake tip stuck on the end of the finger! (Stranger things have happened. OK, that just me playing the eternal cynic!)

Gory picture here.

Half the impression of "regrowth" is caused by the foreshortening on the BEFORE photo. For all we can tell on rather elongated view of the tip shown on the AFTER photo, there is a flat spot on the end where tissue has grown straight across the once-open wound.

A good point (no finger-pun intended) in the article is that if this IS so amazing, by performing it ad hoc, possibly on a friend, the "research" group have lost the opportunity to use this case in a larger properly constructed study which could have added to the usable scientific knowledge of the world.

Now, as presented, it's just pseudo-scientific fish-wrapping, soon to be as cool as the cold fusion pan-flash.



Posted by: expat@large on May 02, 08 | 2:54 pm | Profile


Please...please...please...put pictures like this somewhere else...the incredibly (and justifiably so) squeamish amongst us...cannot handle that!!!!!

Posted by: MdmChiang on May 02, 08 | 7:08 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention - Mdme Chiang - do not look at this post!

Posted by: expat@large on May 03, 08 | 1:54 am

Thank you!! Much appreciated...now I can read your fascinating ant story without feeling I'm going to pass out!!!

On the subject of the ants.... I really think you need to get out more!!!

Posted by: MdmChiang on May 04, 08 | 12:34 pm

Oh, so you CAN log on!

I'm thinking changing to new blogging software, but it looks like a lot of hard work.

Posted by: expat@large on May 04, 08 | 1:27 pm

I can now...but is a pain in the arse... I log in...it still tells me that its an invalid page...so I have to click back and then miraculously I am logged in.... why do you torture us like this!!!?

Well the new blogging software may be hard work for you...but it may distract you from the ants!!!!!

Posted by: MdmChiang on May 04, 08 | 7:31 pm


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