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The Legend of the Underwater Panther - Leg Regeneration in a Time of War by Michael Duff

The Legend of the Underwater Panther - Leg Regeneration in a Time of War

by Michael Duff

228 pages
Underwater Panther limb bud (blastema) transplants regenerate human legs.

Paperback $19.95   + $5.95 shipping & handling (USA)
(add $2.00 S&H per additional copy)
Category: Fiction:Historical
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About the Book
Te Ga, Cherokee for tadpole, was an orphan left behind in Missouri during the Trail of Tears. She was rescued by Granny Pittman one brutally cold December day in 1837. As she grew up, Te Ga went with Granny Pittman on her neighborhood rounds to deliver babies and put poultices on sores. Te Ga loved to play in the riffles of the river catching critters under the rocks. It is here that she first saw baby Underwater Panthers, a type of salamander. Te Ga had a vision of limb regeneration after her Grandfather, Red Wolf, told her of the drawings of the Underwater Panther on the bluffs above the Mississippi River. She joined Doc, a country surgeon, after Granny Pittman passed, and moved in with him to assist in his practice. Together they began using the Underwater Panther as a source of limb buds to transplant to the stumps of loggers and soldiers to regenerate their arms and legs.

The book is heavily illustrated with 60 images. Enjoy the lively art of Alison Hughes. She enhanced our vision of the Underwater Panther. I regret we could not include the colorful art of Norval Morriseau in this work. I would also recommend looking at the book "Before and After the Horizon Anishinaabe Artitsts of the Great Lakes" published by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in 2013, edited by David Penney and Gerald McMaster. There is a strong Canadian (Anishinaabe) contribution to the folklore and art of the Underwater Panther, witness the Agawa Rock pictograph. Carol Diaz-Granados is publishing a new book this spring (2015) on Picture Cave that will be worth reading and I am told it has images of all the pictographs in that marvelous cave in Warren County, Missouri.

The second part of this book is a collection of the folklore and Native American art of the Underwater Panther. An introduction to the science of regeneration biology and blastema formation is also presented in the background section with key experiments illustrated. Quotations regarding regeneration biology by prominent scientists are included. Most of the quotations are from published scientific studies. There are images of hospitals in St. Louis that were used during the Civil War, including the rarely seen Fifth Street Military Hospital, now Kiener Plasa near the Gateway Arch. Medical innovations provoked by the large number of injured are discussed, including women nurses in military hospitals, hospital ships on the Mississippi, railway ambulances, and triage centers at train stations. The innovative use of bromine, as a wound antiseptic to treat gangrene, during the Civil War is described. Savor the unique brew of Underwater Panther art, folklore, history, and science this book presents.

 

 

About the Author
Michael Duff was raised near Ozark rivers and springs and spent his youth floating and wading their clear waters. His wish is that the rivers and their denizens be protected. After attending Westminster College, he travelled to Oxford University as a Rhodes scholar and explored physiology. Following studies at Washington University and the University of Utah he became a general surgeon in the Ozarks studying trauma resuscitation, wound healing, and spider bites.

 

 

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