Surgeons in Sweden replaced an American patient's cancerous windpipe with a scaffold built from nanofibers and seeded with the patient's stem cells. Lead surgeon Dr. Paolo Macchiarini discusses the procedure and the benefits of tissue-engineered synthetic organs.
Each tear you shed contains an army of enzymatic Pac-Men, ready to chase down and gobble up germs before they infect the sensitive tissues around your eye. Now scientists have found just one molecule of the germ-fighting enzyme is a potent defender.
Supporters of the product say they help quit smoking. Opponents maintain it's a gateway to cigarettes. Both groups are making their case to the Food and Drug Administration, which is studying the flavored melt-in-your-mouth products.
The 69 new laws limiting reproductive rights in 2011 were one short of the record set in 1999. And action is already heating up for 2012, with several states looking at "personhood" ballot amendments, which define life as beginning at fertilization.
When faced with a major medical decision, it can be difficult for patients to determine when it's appropriate to seek a second opinion. Asking another doctor can help catch misdiagnoses or prevent unnecessary treatments, but they can also be a waste of time and resources.
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