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Brits Find Maggots Very Helpful

Terence O'Donnell was a loyal friend and a fine writer who used to come to the house late in the afternoon leaning on his cane. He enjoyed whisky at five, and talk at any time. One summer afternoon, remembering how the Sisters of Providence used to push his hospital bed out under the trees when he was a young boy, he spoke of maggots – the maggots that had been applied by the Sisters to his leg to devour his infected, rotting flesh.

The regimen had proved effective – he had survived, though he would always be lame, with one leg shorter than the other, but the memory of his maggots had stayed with him – one could see the boy's horror in his face as he gestured toward his leg, took a sip of whisky, and laughed.

So I was interested to learn in the Telegraph that maggots are still being used to get rid of dead tissue and kill bacteria, and that "Scientists from Bradford University have discovered an extra benefit: the secretions produced by the maggots actually speed up the body's healing process." They expect to produce bandages with the juice that speeds regeneration.

Penicillin largely replaced maggot therapy. That's another story, not exactly the one you might expect, told here.

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