Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Teeth and Scheherazade

There's been insurance invented for practically everything you can think of, from the ordinary life insurance and mechanical breakdown insurance to extraordinary insurance that covers having to pay for everyone in the clubhouse if you hit a hole in one at golf, or, if you're Mariah Carey, insurance to cover your legs (which seems odd, since it's her voice that people focus on....I think).

As far as I know there's been no insurance taken out by the average parent to cover the loss of their children's adult teeth. Yet this is something most of us experience as some point. You could have partial cover (just the wisdom teeth), or cover for those ones that are most annoying when lost (the molars, or the grinders), or full cover for losing the lot.

Well, be that as it may, in the future there's a possibility that if/when you lose your teeth, you'll be able to grow them again. Yes, you read that right. In The Guardian online this week, Paul Sample writes: "Instead of false teeth, a small ball of cells capable of growing into a new tooth will be implanted where the missing one used to be."
"The procedure is fairly simple. Doctors take stem cells from the patient. These are unique in their ability to form any of the tissues that make up the body. By carefully nurturing the stem cells in a laboratory, scientists can nudge the cells down a path that will make them grow into a tooth. After a couple of weeks, the ball of cells, known as a bud, is ready to be implanted. Tests reveal what type of tooth - for example, a molar or an incisor - the bud will form."

Of course it's all going to be too late (and no doubt too expensive) for me. But it will be great for all those people who discover that the wisdom teeth they'd spent so long growing have to come out because they just don't fit. (What was God thinking of?)

And since I've been reminded about this just now - the piece is playing on the radio - does anyone else think that Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade music is one of the most boring in the musical canon, with its constant use of the same 'rolling sea' phrase? It must be tedious to perform. Even its better parts are repeated and repeated....and repeated.

No comments: