Video: The obligatory, mindblowingly awesome “magic dust regrows severed finger” clip

posted at 2:55 pm on April 30, 2008 by Allahpundit

Like the man said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Trust me when I say you’re doing yourself a disservice if you only watch the clip without reading the article: The deeper in you go, the more conceptually amazing it is, until we finally reach the possibility that this might be obsolete before it hits the market. So amazing is it, in fact, that I’m half convinced it’s a hoax. Although if it is, they really went all out on the details, huh?

Still not as cool as a $200 3G iPhone, though. Click the image to watch.

Update: Good lord. When it rains, it pours.

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Mr Bobbit is on his way over there.

jgapinoy on April 30, 2008 at 3:00 PM

Whole new breed of “Male Enhancement” ads in 5…4…3…2…

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 30, 2008 at 3:04 PM

That’s pretty incredible.

WisCon on April 30, 2008 at 3:04 PM

Let’s hope this pixie dust works wonders for the guys over in Walter Reed.

rbj on April 30, 2008 at 3:07 PM

I’d have to see a stop motion film of this regrowing or maybe video of this sped up. But wow. Amazing.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2008 at 3:07 PM

Could someone use some of that on Barack so he can grow a spine? Also…..can I have some to sprinkle on my wife’s boobs?

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on April 30, 2008 at 3:08 PM

Well, I’m glad I didn’t have to be the one to make male enhancement jokes.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on April 30, 2008 at 3:09 PM

Nurse Pomfrey’s SkeleGro!

The skin part doesn’t surprise me — they’ve been growing ears and stuff for years, right? — but the bone? And the fingernail?! Madness. So cool.

Tanya on April 30, 2008 at 3:09 PM

Pigs are cool.

Geronimo on April 30, 2008 at 3:12 PM

I hope I live to be old enough to see “Pixie Dust” pass its trials and become part of everyday medicine. Wow.

RushBaby on April 30, 2008 at 3:14 PM

I’m calling hoax on this, because if it were true, every drug company on the planet would be throwing untold billions at whoever came up with this.

MadisonConservative on April 30, 2008 at 3:16 PM

Whoa!

Zetterson on April 30, 2008 at 3:19 PM

hmmm. . .so is the treatment considered kosher or halal?

2klbofun on April 30, 2008 at 3:19 PM

Pigs are cool.

Geronimo on April 30, 2008 at 3:12 PM

You infidel…sarc/

I agree, pigs are cool, especially when force-fed to jihadists!

Liberty or Death on April 30, 2008 at 3:21 PM

Liberty or Death on April 30, 2008 at 3:21 PM

And proud of it my friend.

Geronimo on April 30, 2008 at 3:33 PM

I’m calling hoax on this, because if it were true, every drug company on the planet would be throwing untold billions at whoever came up with this.

MadisonConservative on April 30, 2008 at 3:16 PM

It comes from the University of Pittsburgh lab and the U.S. military is reportedly interested in the development. They’re only now beginning official clinical trials.

amerpundit on April 30, 2008 at 3:33 PM

Oh, and “awesome” doesn’t even begin to describe this. They’re talking about using this on organs, full limbs, etc..

They hope soon to start a clinical trial in Buenos Aires on a woman who has cancer of the oesophagus…

In the trial they will place the extra cellular matrix inside the body from where the portion of oesophagus has been removed, and hope to stimulate the cells around it to re-grow the missing portion.

amerpundit on April 30, 2008 at 3:38 PM

I had a friend in high school who had a severe ingrown nail on his big toe. They kept removing the nail, and it kept growing back into the wound. So finally, they removed the left half of his big toe. I never saw it without the bandage, but it was pretty clear that the toe was half gone.

It grew back in a few weeks.

JS on April 30, 2008 at 3:42 PM

I call B.S.

One of the most encouraging signs that human limb regeneration is a feasible goal is the fact that our fingertips already have an intrinsic ability to regenerate. This observation was made first in young children more than 30 years ago, but since then similar findings have been reported in teenagers and even adults. Fostering regeneration in a fingertip amputation injury is apparently as simple as cleaning the wound and covering it with a simple dressing. If allowed to heal naturally, the fingertip restores its contour, fingerprint and sensation and
undergoes a varying degree of lengthening.

Sounds like a researcher that is in desperate need of funding and is willing to side-step the peer-review process to get it. For heaven’s sake, the guy was scraping the bladders on the table top like he was at a butcher shop.

spmat on April 30, 2008 at 3:47 PM

This is not the first instance of this new “dust” working. I am glad the BBC found something it liked about the US, if you read their web site on any given day, you might think we are a nation of illiterates and snake-handling religious extremists.

And I hope that the guys at Walter Reed get first crack at it. Penicillin was used there, in its earliest years. The hospital staff would extract it from the soldiers urine to recycle it, it was so precious. And they guessed at dosages.

We can hope for the same here.

65droptop on April 30, 2008 at 3:47 PM

So, can you put it on other, ahem, parts of the body? I think we found our next male enhancement product…

Wyznowski on April 30, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Never let anyone tell you the free market isn’t a beautiful thing.

emailnuevo on April 30, 2008 at 3:51 PM

Whole new breed of “Male Enhancement” ads in 5…4…3…2…

TheUnrepentantGeek on April 30, 2008 at 3:04 PM

Heh. That makes me imagine the following phrase spoken in a “Monty Python” voice: “But what exactly are the commercial possibilities of tissue regeneration?”

Hopefully this story isn’t a hoax. If it’s true, I think it conclusively proves Man’s superiority to God. Sure, Jesus allegedly healed lepers, but did He ever grow back one of their limbs? The New Testament is unclear…

:)

Enrique on April 30, 2008 at 3:55 PM

So, can you put it on other, ahem, parts of the body? I think we found our next male enhancement product…

Wyznowski on April 30, 2008 at 3:51 PM

I hear you. I always wanted pointier nipples and, oh, I see.

Geronimo on April 30, 2008 at 4:00 PM

Enrique on April 30, 2008 at 3:55 PM

What is referred to today as leprosy was only a subset of what the Bible referred to as leprosy.

Jesus restored sight to the blind. And healed the lame. And basically founded Western civilization single-handedly.

He’s also a man.

Next time try to make sense when you blaspheme.

spmat on April 30, 2008 at 4:20 PM

Can somebody rub this on Obama’s and Hillary’s
nose for the next debate,and sit back,and oh my
their lying again!haha

canopfor on April 30, 2008 at 4:26 PM

It would be really nice if we could have one thread around here that involve the Bible or any other religiousness for just a couple of days.

JFS61 on April 30, 2008 at 4:29 PM

Will it let me graft condor wings?

- The Cat

MirCat on April 30, 2008 at 4:44 PM

JFS61 on April 30, 2008 at 4:29 PM

…why?

MadisonConservative on April 30, 2008 at 5:01 PM

Give it to the liberals, maybe they will grow a backbone…

right2bright on April 30, 2008 at 5:04 PM

I almost severed the tip of my left middle finger when I was a teenager. The only thing left of my ordeal is a small scar. The skin grew back, my nerves grew back, and the nail doesn’t curl any more than my other nails.

Sekhmet on April 30, 2008 at 5:38 PM

So, if the pixie dust were put in the ventilation system during the dem. convention, they could possibly grow brains?

oakpack on April 30, 2008 at 5:46 PM

Being born and raised in Missouri I have to words to say, “Show Me”. Don’t believe it and won’t until I see the actual proof, till then it’s a hoax.

srhoades on April 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM

Pigs are cool.

Geronimo on April 30, 2008 at 3:12 PM

Ha! I was going to say, this wouldn’t be possible if we were muslims.

4shoes on April 30, 2008 at 5:51 PM

Sorry to pop anyone’s balloon, but there’s nothing in those photo’s that looks particularly unusual. Unfortunately, the pictures are all shot looking into the wound, rather than showing the length of the finger, making it hard to judge the anatomic level of injury and severity of the loss. But it sounds like a typical distal tip amputation of some skin and underlying fat.

Leaving an amputated tip wound open, to heal by what is called “secondary intent” is pretty much standard practice; without an untreated matching amputation to compare, or at least better photo documentation, the role of “Pixie Dust” is pretty much impossible to assess in this case.

Epithelial cells (i.e. skin) will normally advance forward (he mentions the “white edge”) over a healthy open wound, steadily reducing its diameter circumferentially from the edges inward. Additionally, wounds and healing tissue contract, stretching and pulling adjacent skin and fat into the defect from all sides as well. Nerve regeneration is usually quite good at that distal level. In fact, one of the problems with resurfacing this type of injury with a skin graft or skin flap is that it often results in poorer sensation than you get with simple spontaneous healing like this.

The nail plate grows from the “germinal matrix” which is the white colored area of the “half moon” you can see at the base of the nail. The rest of the nail bed (“sterile matrix”) just keeps the plate adhered to the finger and keeps it shaped correctly; you can tolerate the loss of some of the sterile matrix, especially out toward the end of the finger, without much of an effect on the nail.

We often see this type of injury from guys cleaning meat slicers. The important thing to remember when treating those is to ask the name of the deli they work at, so you don’t order a sandwich from there for the next few days!

bofh on April 30, 2008 at 6:06 PM

I think it’s real. The Sunday before Easter, I was watching one of those morning shows (I can’t remember which one, it’s the one with the sun logo), and they showed this guy and talked all about grafting stuff. There was even a human bladder grown on a plastic frame to be used as a transplant. Pretty cool stuff, and lots of research from actual universities and the like.

I think it’s true, and I think it’s been out for a while. I mean, Easter was a month ago, right?

the goddess anna on April 30, 2008 at 6:21 PM

Let’s hope this pixie dust works wonders for the guys over in Walter Reed.

rbj

someone should call them and ask them if they are using it…

Kaptain Amerika on April 30, 2008 at 6:35 PM

I know it’s real, it’s been around for some time. and when you research it, you’ll understand the cell structure scaffolds he explained. I can’t wait to see all the applications of it. too bad it comes from pigs… the muslim states may not make use of it.

Kaptain Amerika on April 30, 2008 at 6:38 PM

Obama needs to put some on his credibility.

That’s one stump that’s leaving his campaign stumped.

profitsbeard on April 30, 2008 at 8:23 PM

I may have got it all wrong again (common occurrence), but wasn’t it only soft tissue that regenerated – not bone?

OldEnglish on April 30, 2008 at 9:14 PM

I’d be very interested in something like this, Allah.

My poor husband had an accident a month ago. He had his hands on his sides while talking to someone at a valve shop – he’s an inspector – when one of the machines went crazy and cut up to one quarter of an inch of his left thumb. He took the severed part to the emergency room and was told there was no way to reattach it. A plastic surgeon took care of closing the exposed flesh and bone, even cutting a small bit of bone to make it even.

He took one week off for workmen’s comp, and three weeks for classes in Houston – all paid by his company. He has now returned to work, but the wound has not completely healed. My concern is that he would not be able to do as much as he used to. Even his immediate boss was concerned he had to find another line of work.

I think this “pixie dust” may help him where the surgeon could not. I would definitely want to find out more about this.

newton on April 30, 2008 at 9:26 PM

OldEnglish on April 30, 2008 at 9:14 PM

Yep. Tissue. Bone. Skin. Even fingerprint.

newton on April 30, 2008 at 9:27 PM

I see application’s here,how about smearing this on a 500
pounder!

Ah Sarge,we got a problem!,Oh sh-t how much did you put on!

What,we have to evacuate the base!

Base Commander to Pentagon,Oh that is a really big problem!

Pentagon to State Governor: Did you say evacute the State!

Governor to President: What,we gotta evac the entire lower
States!

canopfor on April 30, 2008 at 10:34 PM

I’m calling hoax on this, because if it were true, every drug company on the planet would be throwing untold billions at whoever came up with this.

MadisonConservative on April 30, 2008 at 3:16 PM

It comes from the University of Pittsburgh lab and the U.S. military is reportedly interested in the development. They’re only now beginning official clinical trials.

amerpundit on April 30, 2008 at 3:33 PM

The soldier discussed at the end of the story, Robert Henline, is also discussed in this story.

91Veteran on May 1, 2008 at 12:48 AM

Give it to the liberals, maybe they will grow a backbone…

right2bright on April 30, 2008 at 5:04 PM

…or something from the few brain cells they have left.

91Veteran on May 1, 2008 at 12:52 AM

So much for the quote…

91Veteran on May 1, 2008 at 12:53 AM

Sorry to pop anyone’s balloon, but there’s nothing in those photo’s that looks particularly unusual. Unfortunately, the pictures are all shot looking into the wound, rather than showing the length of the finger, making it hard to judge the anatomic level of injury and severity of the loss. But it sounds like a typical distal tip amputation of some skin and underlying fat.

Leaving an amputated tip wound open, to heal by what is called “secondary intent” is pretty much standard practice; without an untreated matching amputation to compare, or at least better photo documentation, the role of “Pixie Dust” is pretty much impossible to assess in this case.

Epithelial cells (i.e. skin) will normally advance forward (he mentions the “white edge”) over a healthy open wound, steadily reducing its diameter circumferentially from the edges inward. Additionally, wounds and healing tissue contract, stretching and pulling adjacent skin and fat into the defect from all sides as well. Nerve regeneration is usually quite good at that distal level. In fact, one of the problems with resurfacing this type of injury with a skin graft or skin flap is that it often results in poorer sensation than you get with simple spontaneous healing like this.

The nail plate grows from the “germinal matrix” which is the white colored area of the “half moon” you can see at the base of the nail. The rest of the nail bed (”sterile matrix”) just keeps the plate adhered to the finger and keeps it shaped correctly; you can tolerate the loss of some of the sterile matrix, especially out toward the end of the finger, without much of an effect on the nail.

We often see this type of injury from guys cleaning meat slicers. The important thing to remember when treating those is to ask the name of the deli they work at, so you don’t order a sandwich from there for the next few days!

bofh on April 30, 2008 at 6:06 PM

Ya know…I was just thinking the same thing… ;)

91Veteran on May 1, 2008 at 12:56 AM

Incredible…..WOW!

Livefreeordie on May 1, 2008 at 12:58 AM

Dr. McCoy must have stopped by and regrew some kidneys, no way humans did this on their own. It was ROSWELL DAMMIT! /sarcasm

This is awesome tho, especially for the soldiers. I hope they get this stuff on the market soon.

Bladerunner1701 on May 1, 2008 at 11:06 AM