Apr
22
2009

Lung tree update: Are Russian doctors toying with our emotions?

We check for trees, da?
We check for trees, da?Courtesy Bethany L King
I know all y'all have been keeping your eyes on Science Buzz for updates in the case of the Russian dude with the tree "growing" in his lung. It's an international news event, after all, and we all like to keep up on this stuff.

Well we've got an update! (And update that appeared in the news last week, but still...)

Some South African medical professionals are calling shenanigans on the whole situation; they say it has to be a hoax.

They agree with the Russian doctors' claims that a 5 cm tree would be too big to inhale all the way into the lungs (it would be coughed out, or get caught on something long before it got so deep), but they don't think that it could have grown there either.

As several of the Science Buzz Lung Tree Task Force have likewise noticed, the South Africans find the green color of the needles a little suspicious. Usually plants growing in the dark (and the lungs are pretty dark inside) tend to be a little pale. Not so with this tree.

Also, the doctors point out that there is no precedence in medical literature for plants growing in people—it's just not the right environment.

The doctors also thought that the the tree looked "folded in to the lung tissue." Had it grown there, it should have looked more interwoven with the flesh.

Finally, they believe that the X-ray image of the man's lungs and the tree/tissue that was eventually taken out do not match. Something about how the tree showed up too much or not enough on the X-ray. (The translation from South African English to American English, perhaps, is the source of my confusion here.)

So the plot thickens. Are Russian surgeons contradicting biological laws to get attention, or are the the South Africans jealous because they've never found a tree inside someone's lung? Either way, we citizens of the Nation of Buzzahkstan are the winners.

Keep your eyes peeled for further developments. (Not literally.)

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Brittany_Todd's picture
Brittany_Todd says:

Oh dear...
If this really is a hoax, that's a really sad way to get attention!

★BRITTANY ☠BONES☠ TODD★

posted on Wed, 04/22/2009 - 8:04pm
bobby12's picture
bobby12 says:

How can it be possible ? I can't understand how this could happen growing a tree inside a man. I clearly know what it takes for a tree to grow, just say a ficus tree, it needs different kind of environment which is not inside a human body. So, this can't be real.

posted on Tue, 07/06/2010 - 10:17pm

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