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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Doctors Take Aim at ... The Tooth Fairy
13 December 2012 6:30 pm
In a new article, four London doctors warn of a professional who is committing malpractice and getting away with it: the tooth fairy. They report on an 8-year-old boy who was sent to an allergist because of his epic runny nose. Regular old medical treatment didn't work, so the next step was a CT scan. The scan showed signs of inflammation in the sinuses. But it also revealed something more surprising: a tooth in his left ear canal. It turned out that 3 years before, the boy had woken up "extremely distressed" because the tooth fairy had taken the tooth from under his pillow and jammed it in his ear. His parents thought that was pretty unlikely, although the tooth had indeed gone missing. Two doctors that looked in his ear over the years failed to see anything—but the boy was right, it turned out. An ear, nose, and throat surgeon removed the tooth, the authors report in the often goofy Christmas issue of BMJ. "The patient decided to keep the tooth for posterity rather than taking the risk of attempting a further pecuniary reward," they write. They also point out that there are no standard operating procedures for the tooth fairy, and doctors should be on the lookout for his or her shoddy work.
See more ScienceShots.