Regrown Finger Called 'Absurd'

Scientist blast man's claim that pig-bladder 'pixie dust' restored digit
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted May 1, 2008 7:36 PM CDT
Reports that an American man had regrown his severed fingertip with a special powder were denounced as "junk science" by a prominent UK plastic surgeon.   ((Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images))
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(Newser) – A UK plastic surgeon repudiated claims by an American company that a powder made from a pig’s bladder spurred regrowth of a man’s severed fingertip, the Guardian reports. Stories circulated this week of Lee Spievack’s “miraculous” recovery thanks to what he called “pixie dust,” but Simon Kay, professor of hand surgery at the University of Leeds, said the reports were “junk science.”

“It looked to have been an ordinary fingertip injury with quite unremarkable healing,” Kay said. "There's no clinical evidence to support the claims. … It really is junk science. If you could regenerate body parts like this, your first port of call would be a serious science journal like Nature because it would be a Nobel Prize-winning revolution."