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By Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press

New standards aim to improve surgery for the oldest patients

WASHINGTON — The 92-year-old had a painful tumour on his tongue, and major surgery was his best chance. Doctors called a timeout when he said he lived alone, in a rural farmhouse, and wanted to keep doing so.

“It was ultimately not clear we could get him back there” after such a big operation, said Dr. Tom Robinson, chief of surgery at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

The scoop on how your cat’s sandpapery tongue deep cleans

WASHINGTON — Cat lovers know when kitties groom, their tongues are pretty scratchy. Using high-tech scans and some other tricks, scientists are learning how those sandpapery tongues help cats get clean and stay cool.

The secret: Tiny hooks that spring up on the tongue with scoops built in to carry saliva deep into all that fur.