Focus

The mysterious, multifaceted cerebellum

Once thought to merely coordinate movement, this region of the brain is proving to exert greater influence on cognition, emotion and other functions When a 22-year-old college student turned up at the hospital after falling and hitting her head on ice, doctors conducted a CT scan that revealed a surprise: a tumor in her cerebellum, the fist-sized structure at the back of the brain. After...

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As Trump Touts His ‘Great’ COVID Drugs, the Pharma Cash Flows to Biden, Not Him

Pharmaceutical giants Regeneron and Gilead Sciences got the kind of publicity money can’t buy this week after President Donald Trump took their experimental drugs for his coronavirus infection, left the hospital and pronounced himself fully recovered. “It was, like, unbelievable. I felt good immediately,” Trump said Wednesday in a tweeted video. “I call that a cure.” He praised Regeneron’s...

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On Campus, Freedom’s Just Another Word for Before Covid

Colleges across the country are using new surveillance tools and following movements of students to blunt the spread of COVID-19. But while school administrators say the actions are necessary, civil libertarians fear the measures may last far beyond the pandemic. At Albion College in Michigan, students are tracked by an app they are required to download and must ask permission to leave town....

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It’s Not Just Insulin: Lawmakers Focus on Price of One Drug, While Others Rise Too

Michael Costanzo, a Colorado farmer diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016, has a well-honed ritual: Every six months, he takes an IV infusion of a medicine, Rituxan, to manage his disease, which has no cure. Then he figures out how to manage the bill, which costs thousands of dollars. For a time, the routine held steady: The price billed to his health insurance for one infusion would cost...

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Caring for the carers

More than 17 million Americans are looking after disabled elders they love, and many of them pay a steep price in stress, frustration and depression. What can be done to improve their lives? Nearly four years after her longtime partner’s death, Michelle Murphy still wakes at night in a panic, imagining that she forgot to help him breathe. At 61, Jeffrey Senne was diagnosed with amyotrophic...

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Making and breaking connections in the brain

Q&A — Neuroscientist Kimberley McAllister If you were to take a human brain and toss it in a blender — not that you should — the resulting slurry of cells wouldn’t be special in the way that the human brain is. No thoughts, no worries, no wonder or awe. That’s because it’s the connections between those cells that make the brain so amazing. By sending electrical signals from nerve cell to...

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