Friday, November 30, 2007

The man who grew roots

Via Daring Fireball, this piece about "the man who grew roots" is absolutely extraordinary.
An Indonesian fisherman who feared that he would be killed by tree-like growths covering his body has been given hope of recovery by an American doctor—and Vitamin A.

Dede, now 35, baffled medical experts when warty "roots" began growing out of his arms and feet after he cut his knee in a teenage accident.

After testing samples of the lesions and Dede's blood, Dr Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland concluded that his affliction is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a fairly common infection that usually causes small warts to develop on sufferers.

Is it worth pointing out that we now have a vaccine for HPV, which is also responsible for many cases of cervical cancer?
Dede's problem is that he has a rare genetic fault that impedes his immune system, meaning his body is unable to contain the warts.

The virus was therefore able to "hijack the cellular machinery of his skin cells", ordering them to produce massive amounts of the substance that caused the tree-like growths known as "cutaneous horns" on his hands and feet.

And here's some footage.

It's extraordinary, I think you'll agree.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

>It's extraordinary, I think you'll agree.<

Yeah, if by "extraordinary" you mean "fucking revolting".

Burn the witch!

The very model of a modern scientific man

Your humble Devil was thoroughly amused by Neil Ferguson's fall from grace, and is very pleased to have found the time to outline Fergus...