Karen Springen

Personalized Health

While the Terri Schiavo case has dominated the news over the past week, medical ethicists have also been busy considering developments in personalized medicine--customizing health care to fit individual genetic profiles.

GAME OVER IN COLORADO

In nearly five years as president of the University of Colorado, Elizabeth Hoffman racked up an impressive list of accomplishments. A skillful fund-raiser, she increased the university's endowment by nearly $100 million and established new technology initiatives.

HEALTH: DON'T PAY TO PLAY

Young kids are vulnerable to sports injuries that can become chronic later in life. This month the National Athletic Trainers' Association (nata.org) and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (aaos.org) are kicking off a public-service campaign aimed at keeping sporty kids healthy.

HEALTH: MILLION DOLLAR SMILE

Kendall Ramirez, 34, always felt self-conscious about her teeth, which she thought were too wide and masculine-looking. So before her wedding five years ago, the Dallas marketing consultant splurged on MAC veneers, paying about $15,000 to cover her 10 top front teeth with porcelain.

SURGERY: A TAXING PROCEDURE

Taxing breast implants is the latest tool states are using to augment their revenues. New Jersey pioneered the idea in September, when it became the first state to levy a 6 percent tax on elective cosmetic procedures, such as liposuction and face-lifts.

BETA-TESTING PARADISE

Deep in the back of the 60,000-square-foot appliance store in suburban Chicago, Yamaha representative Chuck Lucous is performing his magic. He's working with a rectangular silver state-of-the-art speaker that's sitting on a special mount beneath a Panasonic plasma TV.

Broadway in the Loop

Even with big stars like Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce and Hank Azaria and a dynamite script by Eric Idle, the producers of the surefire smash "Monty Python's Spamalot" wanted to fine-tune their musical before it hit Broadway.

THE MISCARRIAGE MAZE

Jon Cohen and his wife, Shannon, never thought much about fertility. Their first child, Erin, was conceived easily, and Shannon's pregnancy progressed without a hitch.

PUBLISHING: A NEW 'INSPIRATION'

With a nod to God, next month Simon & Schuster will become the first mainstream publisher to launch its own religion imprint for children. Little Simon Inspirations, the new faith-based line, will go up against Zonderkidz and Tommy Nelson, established Christian publishers that now dominate the thriving religious kid's lit market.Inspirations is an answer to a Christian market that is becoming more mainstream, says Robin Corey, publisher of S&S's novelty, media and teen publishing division....

HEALTH: CARDED FOR DRUGS

Last week the uninsured caught a small break on the high price of prescription drugs. Ten pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, unveiled the Together Rx Access card, which will give some 36 million Americans without health coverage the chance to save roughly 25 to 40 percent on select prescriptions, including top sellers Lipitor, Synthroid and Zoloft.

ARTFUL AGING

On his desk at the University of Kentucky, Prof. David Snowdon displays an artistic treasure: a ceramic sculpture of Santa Claus perched atop a John Deere tractor.

TIP SHEET

Travel: Getaways with Ganache By Sana Butler Most people take cruises for the sun and exotic ports of call. Not Peter Healy. "Our focus is not where they stop," says Healy, a Tennessee retiree who last week set sail to Mexico aboard the Radisson Seven Seas with his wife, Eunie. "We picked this cruise because of the chocolate." They obviously weren't the only ones; the second annual Spotlight Cruise on Chocolate sold out all 700 spots for seven days of cooking classes and lectures, as well as...

HOLIDAYS: ALL LIT UP

It's the most wonderful time of the year... for department-store displays. TIP SHEET picks some top windows to peer into.Marshall Field's, Chicago. State Street store features an 11-window "Snow White" display--with a three-foot evil queen in leather and velvet.Neiman Marcus, Houston.

USING GENES AS MEDICINE

At 18, Ashanthi DeSilva of suburban Cleveland is a living symbol of one of the great intellectual achievements of the 20th century. Born with an extremely rare and usually fatal disorder that left her without a functioning immune system (the "bubble-boy disease," named after an earlier victim who was kept alive for years in a sterile plastic tent), she was treated beginning in 1990 with a revolutionary new therapy that sought to correct the defect at its very source, in the genes of her white...

BOOKS: GETTING RELIGION

The holidays can prompt kids to ask complex questions about religion. To help answer them, parents can turn to these new, thought-provoking books:Kaddish for Grandpa in Jesus' Name, Amen by James Howe ($16.95; ages 4 to 8).A 5-year-old girl raised by a Christian-born dad and a Jewish mom struggles with her grandfather's death.Ayat Jamilah: Beautiful Signs by Sarah Conover ($19.95; ages 9 to 12).This anthology vividly tells traditional stories from all corners of the Muslim world.Godless by Pete...

COLLEGE MAJOR: WORKOUT

Talk about sweating your courseload: Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Ind., will become the first college nationwide to offer a four-year degree with a concentration in personal-fitness training.

HIGHER ED: MAKING THE GRADE?

For the first time in more than three decades, foreign enrollment in U.S. higher-ed institutions decreased last year, according to Open Doors 2004, an annual report just released by the Institute of International Education.

IN THE NEWS: GO EASY ON THE 'E'

To reduce your risk of heart disease, exercise, eat right and stop smoking--but think twice before taking high-dose vitamin E supplements. Last week researchers reported at an American Heart Association meeting and online in the Annals of Internal Medicine (annals.org) that supplements of the popular antioxidant were associated with a higher risk of death. "If your doctor tells you to take vitamin E, say, 'What is the evidence for it?'" says Johns Hopkins University researcher Edgar Miller,...

HEALTH: IT'S OVER YOUR HEAD

An estimated 150,000 kids suffer a sports-related concussion each year. With soccer and football season in full swing, here's what you can do to help your son or daughter stay safe:Get the right equipment.

THE ECONOMICS OF THE FLU

Shortages of flu vaccine are nothing new in America, but this year's is a whopper. Until last week, it appeared that 100 million Americans would have access to flu shots this fall.

HEALTH: DON'T CALL ME 'FOUR EYES'

Earlier this year Shaina Borowicz, 13, switched from glasses to colored contacts. "I don't think I look good in glasses," she says. Naturally brown-eyed, Borowicz (right) each day chooses from her collection of five colors: two shades of blue, two shades of green and honey.

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