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These harebrained MPs know nothing of cancer

I scratched my head when I read Dr Downs's definition of nits as empty shells (Clinical, January 15). As I recall it, nits are eggs (empty or not) and squashing live ones produces a satisfying pop; empty nit squashing is not such fun.

I have also seen monkeys grooming their fellows, nit-picking and squashing. Some monkey trainers also used to demonstrate monkey nit-picking on themselves!

In the days of my youth, lice were thought to be able to survive a week without sucking the red stuff rather than the two hours Dr Downs suggests. Have the lice become more delicate? Or, is my memory playing tricks?

Dr JK Anand


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