A miner's X-ray

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Normal X-ray

Steve Day's X-ray

An X-ray of Steve Day’s chest, taken in 2009, shows two large masses (indicated by arrows). On previous films, Dr. Paul Wheeler said the masses likely were caused by tuberculosis or a fungal infection from bird and bat droppings. A half-dozen doctors have interpreted the masses as complicated black lung. Dr. John E. Parker, who used to run the government’s X-ray surveillance program, said this X-ray shows a classic case of the severe disease. Mouse over the X-rays to magnify the images.

Images: Yale Rosen (left), licensed CC BY-SA; courtesy of Steve Day family (right)