Monday, August 1, 2011

Dolphin, Heal Thyself.

"Physician, heal thyself:" Many of you (well, perhaps some of you) are familiar with this proverb spoken by Jesus (Luke 4:23, King James Bible). One interpretation of the full quote in which these words appear is that we should attend to our own failings before criticizing others. (Sadly, this is something that the President and the Congress currently seem oblivious to.) Yet another more literal interpretation is simply that human physicians, while helping others, are often unable to help themselves.

In stark contrast to our own failings as a species, both behavioral and physiological, it appears that dolphins are capable of doing just that. A recent study by a scientist at the Georgetown University Medical Center, as reported by Science Daily (reference below), has indicated that dolphins possess a remarkable ability to quickly heal from serious injuries such as shark bites without suffering infection or significant bleeding, and with apparent indifference to pain. Moreover, as these injuries heal, there is almost complete restoration of their normal body contour.

This is yet another indication of the magic and majesty of dolphins; but even as I say this, the people of Taiji, Japan, are preparing for their annual harvest of dolphins in which they will brutally slaughter 2,000 of these innocent beings. Need I say more about the contrast between our two species?

Reference: Georgetown University Medical Center (2011, July 25). Dolphins' 'remarkable' recovery from injury offers important insights for human healing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/07/110721095834.htm

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