Claudia Kalb

Home: A Thorny Pastime

Ah, the joys of gardening: spring sunshine, muddy knees, gorgeous pink peonies. It's good for both body and soul. But tending to your flower or veggie bed can also do damage--especially to your back and joints.

The Great Back Debate



It was more than just a scientific feat. Last week Harvard biologist Doug Melton announced the creation of 17 new lines of human embryonic stem cells, ready to ship to any scientist who wants them.


It was an electric moment--the declaration of a milestone--couched in the precise language of science. "I am happy to announce the successful derivation of human embryonic stem cells from cloned human blastocysts," Dr.

Brave New Babies

Parents now have the power to choose the sex of their children. But as technology answers prayers, it also raises some troubling questions.

A Step Past Chemotherapy

Cancer researchers are a stubborn lot. They know the numbers: more than 16,000 people die from cancer every day. They know the enemy: an insidious disease that ravages virtually every organ in the body.

A Step Past Chemotherapy

Cancer researchers are a stubborn lot. They know the numbers: more than 1,500 Americans die from cancer every day. They know the enemy: an insidious disease that ravages virtually every organ in the body, killing children and adults alike.

Growing Up Healthy, Afterward

New cancer drugs may have their biggest impact on the littlest patients. Conventional treatments have worked wonders in children with cancer: before 1970, young patients had little chance of survival; today, three quarters make it past the critical five-year mark.

Faith & Healing

Can Religion Improve Health? While The Debate Rages In Journals And Med Schools, More Americans Ask For Doctors' Prayers

Dalai Lama: Moment For Meditation

The Dalai Lama always stirs up plenty of karmic excitement when he comes to town. But a sold-out conference--"Investigating the Mind: Exchanges Between Buddhism and the Biobehavioral Sciences on How the Mind Works"--held last week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had a bunch of Western scientists downright giddy.

Playing Ye Olde Way

It is 7 p.m. in Cleveland, and the Knotts family is living it up in the warm summer air. Dad's grilling, Mom's weeding the flower beds and the kids are zipping around on their wheels. "I'm Spider-Man, yay!" yells Erik, 4, as he speeds by on his scooter.


There is Hollywood's too-perfect version of mental illness--"Ordinary People," "Rain Man," "A Beautiful Mind." And then there's the raw stuff of "West 47th Street," a documentary airing this week and next on public-television stations nation-wide (check local listings at

Race And Anorexia

Eating disorders are generally thought of as a plague of affluent white girls, but minorities aren't immune. In a study of just over 2,000 women (average age: 21) published in The American Journal of Psychiatry last week, Ruth Striegel-Moore of Wesleyan University found that whites were more likely than blacks to suffer from bulimia (23 cases to 4) and anorexia (15 to 0).

Challenging 'Extreme' Shyness

It starts out just fine. You get invited to a party. You plan what you're going to wear, dream about whom you might meet. Then the big night arrives and, wham, the excitement sputters into nervousness.

Safety: Summer Survival

We hate to be a buzzkill. But the great outdoors can be as dangerous as it is beautiful. Dr. Paul Auerbach, author of "Medicine for the Outdoors," gives his top tips on staying out of trouble this season:First, the obvious.

Treating The Tiniest Patients

Samuel Armas, a chattering, brown-eyed 3-year-old, has no idea what "fetus" means. Nor does he realize that he was one of the most celebrated in medical history.

Taking A New Look At Pain

Why Do We Hurt? Scientists Are Gaining Bold New Insights Into The Nature And Dynamics Of Pain--And They're Racing To Develop Stronger, Safer Treatments. Here's What The Future May Hold

From Needle To Nose

First, there's the brilliant idea: figure out a way to inhale insulin, so diabetics can ditch the dreaded needle. But then comes the long slog to market. For John Patton, cofounder and chief scientific officer of Nektar Therapeutics in San Carlos, Calif.--and a pioneer in the technology known as pulmonary or inhaled-drug delivery--the journey began in 1990.

Stopping A Killer

What is a pulmonary embolism? We hear about them occurring on airplanes--some airlines have started handing out exercise tips to prevent them on long-haul flights--and they're a potential side effect of birth-control pills and hormone therapy.

The Mystery Of Sars

As This Strange New Virus Continues Its Spree, Killing Hundreds And Infecting Thousands More, Scientists Are Working Overtime, Trying To Keep People From Harm

Viagra: Don't Feed The Yaks

Scientists are testing Viagra on Mount Everest climbers. No, not for that. For pulmonary hypertension (PHT), a dangerous disorder in which blood pressure in the lung's main artery increases, impeding breathing.

Stopping A Killer

It is impossible to know whether NBC reporter David Bloom's death could have been prevented. But one thing's certain: we should all learn more about the ailment that killed him, says Dr.

Preemies Grow Up

Next month Danny Schuster will celebrate his 10th birthday. His parents, Carol and Jim, will celebrate his resiliency, his spirit--his life. Born more than three months early, at 1 pound, 15 ounces, Danny entered a world of needles, tubes and sensors.

Coping With Anxiety

There's Cipro, potassium iodide and the smallpox vaccine to ward off biological agents. But is there an antidote to anxiety? "I'm very frightened," said Julie White, as she exited Manhattan's Sonic Yoga last week.

An Old Enemy Is Back

It was supposed to be on its way out. Just four years ago, syphilis--the "great pox" of the 15th century--had declined to rates so low in this country that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a bold new plan to eliminate the disease by 2005.

Farewell To 'Aunt Flo'

Ask a bunch of women if they enjoy getting monthly periods and a significant majority (at least according to our own water-cooler survey) will answer "No!" Still, a woman's cycle has long been seen as a healthy and inevitable part of reproductive life.

Research: The Gift Of Stem Cells

Go west, young scientist. Last week California offered its latest thumbs up to stem-cell research when Stanford announced it had received a $12 million anonymous donation to fund the new Institute for Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine.

Cruise Virus:Why Ship Happens

It's not pretty out there. Last week a fourth cruise ship departing a U.S. port since October reported vomiting and diarrhea among passengers and crew. And a ship that had been cleaned after an initial outbreak, Carnival's Fascination, returned to land on Friday with a small new batch of victims.