The other night we sat and watched the news. One story amongst all the doom and gloom made me sit up open mouthed. The story of the man who regrew half a finger.
I had fallen into the trap I get so irritated with others for. From the BBC report, I had got the impression that the man had lost 1-2cm from his finger and the whole thing, nail, bone, nerves and all, had grown back.
Unfortunately Ben Goldacre is on hand to bring the world back down to earth. The man actually just lost a smallish, but gruesome, flap of skin and flesh- no bone or nail. Looking closely at the “before” photograph, I can see that it has been taken from an angle that over emphasises the extent of the damage. Using the complex investigative technique of looking down at my own hands, I can see that it can’t have been as much as half an inch lost.
Ah well. The chances of me decades in the future getting up off my deathbed, and transforming into a facsimile of a perfectly well 35 year old remain as remote as ever.