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Bernhard Schlink

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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Where's My Time Machine? 

I spent seven years wearing braces, and my orthodontist had early-stage Parkinson's; you can imagine how much fun that was. Now, researchers may have found a way to cut orthodontic procedure substantially and eliminate the need to wear a retainer (which, as far as I can tell, nobody does for long anyways).

How? By injecting patients mouths with recombinant Relaxin, the hormone that relaxes a woman's pelvis during labor. The idea is that the treatment will stop the mouth from pulling itself back into its natural state, and allow the braces to work with less resistance. Then, at the end of treatment, the relaxed connective tissue will not want to spring back, eliminating the need for a retainer. Cool.

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