Medicine: A Chip off the Old Cadaver

Using specially treated bones, doctors make repairs in humans

A child is born with a putty face: gaping hole for a mouth, eyes spaced widely apart, the facial bones not yet developed. Another, born without any bone in his nose, has nostrils projecting forward so grotesquely that his face resembles that of a pig. A third youngster loses his jawbone in an accident, and, as a result, his teeth are about to fall out.

For children with such horrific structural defects, the only solution is extensive and grueling surgery. Doctors take bone from the patient's...

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