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Blind to Reason

"The lemurs are pretty animals and very liable to suffer from cataract," the surgeon John Bland-Sutton once recalled. "I was very much attached to a ring-tailed lemur with a cataract in each eye, and asked the Superintendent to allow me to remove them. He asked me if I had removed a cataract from a man's eye successfully. I replied, 'No.' He said indignantly, 'How can you expect me to let you operate on a lemur, if you have not operated on a man successfully! This lemur is worth 50 pounds.'"

[The world's first successful cornea transplant was performed in 1835 by a British army surgeon in India -- on his pet antelope. Cataract operations, on the other hand, were performed in India and Babylonia as early as 1000 BC. (A Babylonian surgeon could lose his hand over a failed operation.)]

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