The blog of Xeno, a slightly mad scientist
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. …
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. 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. Dede’s counts of a key type of white blood cell are so low that Dr Gaspari initially suspected he may have the Aids virus. But tests showed he did not, and it became clear that Dede’s immune condition was something far rarer and more mysterious. …
Here are some photos from before his first treatment:
Dr Gaspari, who became involved in the case through a Discovery Channel documentary, believes that Dede’s condition can be largely cleared up by a daily doses of a synthetic form of Vitamin A, which has been shown to arrest the growth of warts in severe cases of HPV.
“He won’t have a perfectly normal body but the warts should reduce in size to the point where he could use his hands,” Dr Gaspari said. – telegraph
This guy really freaks my friend out. I like trees, so I think it would be great if he turned all the way into an Ent. But seriously, we are not so amazingly different from trees:
Dr. Eleanor White
It’s hard to believe, but each tree has unique DNA. Tree DNA is surprisingly similar to human DNA. It has the same basic building blocks. It has the same bases. They’re arranged in the same way. The genetic code is the same in trees and in humans. There’s a surprising similarity. – science.gc.ca