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Spring 2007


At Home in Hospice

As more of us choose a different way to die, a philosophy has become an industry, raising questions about access, quality—and profits.

In Pursuit of Prions

Kuru, scrapie, a fatal form of insomnia—all caused by renegade proteins. Cure one and other, more familiar diseases may follow.

The Body in Pain

Genetic variations, it turns out, explain why everyone experiences pain differently. Now medicine can push toward personalized relief.

Is Heart Surgery History?

Treating the heart today involves less cutting and more cutting-edge technology. But where does that leave cardiac surgeons?

More Questions Than Answers

Esophageal adenocarcinoma is increasing at a rate unmatched by any other cancer. There’s no simple explanation—just many complex clues.

Message from the MGH

How hospice is quietly transforming the way many people spend their last days, by Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana.

Second Opinion

Readers reject organs for sale.

Pit Stop

A Ferrari team has taught surgeons a thing or two about efficiency and error elimination.

The Real Gender Gap

Marianne J. Legato, founder of the field of gender-specific medicine, is only beginning to uncover how different the sexes are.

All Too Common

The simple rhinovirus has quite an economic impact.

At the Extremes of Life, Extremes of Cost

Focusing on the beginning and end of life may point to ways to save substantial health care costs.

Stopping Seizures

In 1857, Sir Charles Locock first prescribed bromide, the first effective medication for epilepsy.

Should prisoners participate in medical research trials?

Point: Not if you respect science and human rights. Counterpoint: Prisoners should not be excluded from the benefits of science.

A Useful Cavity

Another way to ensure patients take their medication: implant a dental prosthesis that releases drugs directly into their mouths.

The Health Within Illness

For the author, her illness gave her authenticity, a kind of ability to be.

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