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Can't Possibly Be True

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An Indonesian fisherman, Dede, age 35, is in reasonably good health except that his hands and feet resemble something out of the "Alien" movie series, with huge root-like growths that render his arms and legs useless, according to a November Discovery Channel TV program, "Half Man, Half Tree," reported on by London's Daily Telegraph. Dermatologist Anthony Gaspari of the University of Maryland flew to Indonesia and determined that Dede's condition was caused by a genetic inability to restrain the growth of warts ("cutaneous horns") produced by the human papillomavirus. Gaspari prescribed a regimen of vitamin A, which he said should reduce the size of the warts enough so that, with surgery, Dede could eventually use his hands again.

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