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Health & Disease

The unexpected diversity of pain

It comes in many types that each require specialized treatment. Scientists are starting to learn how to diagnose the different varieties.

Singular science

“N of 1” studies aim to answer medical questions one person at a time

Sell-by dates | Things to Know

VIDEO: Time stamps on packaging prompt consumers to toss a lot of food, but what do they actually say about safety?

Winding the body’s clock

Medicines and other small molecules may play a role in fixing rhythms gone awry

The workout drug

As researchers learn more about how exercise fights chronic ills like heart disease and diabetes, doctors may soon be able to treat physical activity as the powerful medicine it is

A preventable malignancy

Some parts of the world are on the path to largely eradicating cervical cancer, but the story is less rosy for other populations, including US Hispanics. Why, and what can be done about it?

In the bank

Britain is profiling the genes, health and lifestyles of its citizens and handing the results to scientists across the world.

Living with chronic illness: Why some cope and others don’t

What helps some people diagnosed with cancer, heart disease or diabetes stay relatively happy and healthy, while others are devastated? Psychologist Vicki Helgeson explains the traits and mindsets that can make the difference.

Getting the microbe story, straight from the mouth

A trio of researchers has mapped the living things that make the tongue, gums and palate home

Profiling the perpetrators of past plagues

The ancient pathogens in old graves are as dead as the people they once infected. Still, they tell a vivid tale.

Measuring surgical quality

Not all surgeons are equally skilled with a scalpel. Doctors are developing new ways to test — and improve — operating room performance.

Polymers promise a more flexible artificial retina

Organic semiconductors can link up with brain cells to send and receive signals. They may find a use in sight-restoring prostheses. 

The quest for better baby formula

Replicating human milk is no easy feat — nor is separating the science from the hype

How maternal mood shapes the developing brain

Stress and anxiety during pregnancy can mean a higher risk of offspring developing ADHD, depression or other conditions. Medical psychologist Catherine Monk explains how prenatal mental care benefits mothers and babies.

Now in development: off-the-shelf stem cells

Their potential as universal donors promises to make regenerative medicine more broadly practical

Going gentle

A sociologist explains how to get the most out of the final months of life

Getting “exhausted” T cells back into action against cancer

When a malignancy or chronic infection sets in, a kind of immune combat fatigue can follow. Finding ways to recharge immune cells can restore their ability to fight deadly diseases, says immunologist John Wherry.

Curious cure: Human waste

Studies point to the life-saving record of fecal transplants for patients infected with C. diff, despite a recent death. Doctors are now testing the procedure for other conditions.