Massachusetts General

Several treatments are on the cusp of FDA approval…
In Alzheimer’s, amyloid-beta protein gets the blame, but is tau the true culprit?
A ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis can spur premature action, so should it still be called cancer?
A Supreme Court ruling on whether genes can be patented did not give crystal clear answers.
Eppie Lederer and Pauline Phillips were one of the most famous pairs of identical twins in the United States during the 20th century. Born 17 minutes apart, both women became wildly popular...
Xiaowei Zhuang couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Utilizing super-resolution microscopy techniques she had developed, Zhuang, a Harvard University biophysicist and chemical biologist, was trying...
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...
Nine-year-old Shan Rée of West Vancouver, British Columbia, was no stranger to hospitals. Since infancy, she had been admitted two or three times a year for the intravenous antibiotics and intensive...
Bloodless surgery is something of a misnomer. There’s bound to be bleeding, even when an operation is performed using minimally invasive techniques that require only small incisions. What bloodless...
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,...
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...
U sing breath to divine the inner workings of the human body is a practice as ancient as Hippocrates, who described the fetor hepaticus of liver failure that manifested itself in the fishy odor of...
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...
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...
D ruing the late 1990s, Linda Griffith was working in the laboratory of Joseph Vacanti, a pioneer in the field of tissue engineering, when she had a revelation. Vacanti, Griffith and their colleagues...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
It takes only a few hours to have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) placed in your chest. During the procedure, which may be performed under local anesthesia and a sedative, the...
One night a patient got out of bed, fell and hit his head; the incident report that clinicians submitted through the hospital’s patient safety reporting system simply stated that the fall occurred...
During the past 25 years, as mounting research has demonstrated the efficacy of treating patients with means that go beyond a standard physician’s prescription, “integrative medicine” departments...
Dietary therapy is prescribed most often for patients with refractory epilepsy, whose seizures have not been controlled despite trying multiple antiepileptic drugs.
For newlyweds Peter Mundel, MD, and Anna Greka, MD, PhD, the most wonderful wedding gift was learning that a paper they co-authored was accepted by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Greka...
One of the most devastating side effects of diabetes is kidney failure, and one of the earliest signs of kidney damage is a disruption of the organ's filtering capacity. Diabetes patients who develop...
Brain studies suggest that doctors learn to suppress normal responses to patients’ suffering.
A new investigational drug significantly reduced urinary cortisol levels and improved symptoms of Cushing's disease in the largest clinical study of this endocrine disorder ever conducted.
David Cournoyeris actually happy he is gaining weight. The 57-year-old North Attleboro, Mass., resident sees it as a benchmark of success after undergoing a per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM), a new...
For four years, Benard Basant didn’t know what it was like to breathe fresh air. Born with a congenital heart disease that eventually affected his lungs, the 36-year-old Connecticut resident was...

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