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  1. Aging nuclear reactors often struggle to stay on line, a fact that’s just as true for small research reactors as it is for massive power plants. So it shouldn’t have been surprising that during 2008...
  2. M uch of what science knows about the human brain has come through deduction. If a stroke or trauma has destroyed a particular area, researchers can look at what that person can no longer do—talk,...
  3. O n December 28, 1981, two days before his 71st birthday, gynecologic surgeon Howard Jones wrote a news release he hoped he wouldn’t have to use. The first baby created by in vitro fertilization in...
  4. There’s a long and winding road to Food and Drug Administration approval for a new drug. First the medication has to be tested in animals, followed by three phases of human clinical trials with...
  5. Its nine million members make Kaiser Permanente a giant of American health care. They also put the health maintenance organization in a position to create one of the nation’s most expansive...
  6. Almost 100 years ago, in a Paris laboratory, Félix d’Hérelle peered at cultures packed with dysentery bacteria. He had cultured the organisms from the stool of people with the disease, and usually...
  7. Developing a malaria vaccine is a particularly knotty problem: Vaccines typically can target only one or a few antigens—proteins produced by infectious organisms, against which the host’s immune...
  8. About one in five prescriptions is “off label”—that is, a drug prescribed to treat a condition for which it hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. That’s a legal option for...
  9. In this era of cancer genetics, we’ve come to think of cancer as something like a car. Runaway cell proliferation is driven by accelerators, or oncogenes, that are stuck on go—in collusion with...
  10. I t’s a sad fact of modern medicine that many diseases—cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s—remain difficult to treat. But for many of the most prevalent disorders, chronic diseases that affect large...

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