Science Diction: The Origin Of ‘Tuberculosis’

When doctors autopsied tuberculosis patients, they described finding round, white swellings, especially in and around the lungs. Medical historian Howard Markel describes how those potato-like growths led to the disease being called tuberculosis, from the Latin tuber.

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How My Voice Went Silent

After coming down with a mysterious headache and a blazing sore throat, NPR science correspondent Richard Harris lost his voice. And it didn’t come back. Doctors eventually pinpointed the cause: a paralyzed vocal cord.

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What Doctors Are Telling Us Even When They’re Not Talking

Subtle gestures, body positions, eye contact, touch and expressions that pass between individuals is as critical a part of doctor-patient communication as verbal expression, new research shows.

New Tuberculosis Strain Thwarts All Antibiotics

Physicians in India have discovered a strain of tuberculosis they call ‘TDR’ for ‘Totally Drug-Resistant’–meaning there is no antibiotic available to fight it. Maryn McKenna, author of Superbug, discusses the possible origins of the strain, and what options–if any–doctors have to treat it.

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Hitting The ‘Off’ Switch On Antibiotic Resistance

Doctors are running out of effective antibiotics, as bacteria evolve ways to evade one drug after another. Now DARPA has called for alternatives to conventional antibiotics. Nanotechnologist Chad Mirkin discusses one such weapon–tiny globs of DNA and RNA that can switch off the bugs’ antibiotic resistance. Nanotechnologist Chad Mirkin discusses next-generation antibiotics that target a bacterium’s DNA.

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Being a Med Student, Take Two

In 1990, seeking to keep pace with the rapid advances in medicine, the American Board of Internal Medicine initiated the “recertification process.” Now, doctors must take an exam every 10 years.