Couldn’t resist sharing this news which I heard on the BBC this morning.
As disgusting as it may seem, we all know that maggots feast on dead tissue and spurn the healthy so why not try the obvious to heal wounds, ulcers, etc. Doctors in Kenya are successfully breeding flies–whose eggs hatch into “maggots”– and using them in the clinical setting with verified healing results. Turns out flies on a good diet can lay a new batch of eggs in as soon as 2 days. The maggots are then installed in an the infected area, begin feasting on the dead and infected tissue and when the doctor observes that the healing is sufficiently complete, he removes them. The result, good natural healing, no absurd cost of antibiotics and no dangerous build-up of resistance over time like we’re dealing with in the western countries where antibiotics have been so liberally prescribed for decades.
Also relevant, a recent New Yorker article about Ebola economics with an interesting idea of how to promote good drug development—not surprisingly, a change in the business model to incentivize drug companies to plan for the public good.