Monday, 19 December 2011

False Flush teeth...

Severn Trent Water has posted pictures of nine sets of false teeth on their website in an attempt to reunite them with their previous owners. Recovered from a sewage processing site in Shrewsbury, it seems unlikely that many will apply to reclaim them - but Severn Trent is hoping that some people out there will email in and 'nominate their gnashers'.

Unusual suspects: Erroneously discarded dentures (Photo courtesy of Severn Trent Water)
This unusual festive campaign is part of a drive to stop and make people think about what they discard down sinks and toilets. False teeth are just one of the inappropriate objects found in the sewage system which run the risk of blocking drains and causing flooding. Severn Trent spend over £10 million every year cleaning sewers and clearing blockages - but by showcasing these dentures, they're hoping to raise awareness of the issue - finally getting to the root of the problem!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Art is tooth...

The creators of an art-science sculpture, designed to stimulate debate about stem cell research, have been putting out a call for milk tooth donations from school children across the UK.

The two metre long clear crystal resin sculpture is to be encrusted with the milk teeth of thousands of children, who are being persuaded to part with them on the understanding that a 'tooth token' or letter of explanation will suffice for the traditional financial reimbursement from a visiting tooth fairy.

The crystal resin 'palace' prior to tooth encrustation (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

The project, called PALACES, is a collaboration between artist Gina Czarnecki and Professor Sara Rankin (Imperial College London). It hopes to create a wider understanding about how stem cells within dental pulp (the squishy bit inside your tooth) and other 'discarded body parts' such as umbilical cords or fat from liposuction could be ethically used for regenerative and therapeutic clinical purposes.

A close-up of the baby teeth, the first few of thousands! (Photo courtesy of the BBC)

If you know anyone - probably around the age of seven - who would like to be involved and send in their milk teeth, go to this page here to download a form to do so. The sculpture will go on display at science events and exhibitions throughout 2012.