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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Monday, June 11, 2007

Today's Globe: alternative therapies, spiritual needs, culture change, Alzheimer's test, biologics standards

Most cancer patients try herbs, vitamins, or other untested treatments in search of relief, or even a cure. Now, scientists are figuring out which ones might really work.

alyssarosen150.bmpAt Massachusetts General Hospital, the Clinical Pastoral Education program trains people who are already healthcare providers to attend better to their patients' spiritual needs, including Alyssa Rosen (left), a fourth year Harvard Medical School student who just graduated from the program.

brockreeve150.bmpBrock Reeve (left) was hired last year as the Harvard Stem Cell Institute's executive director to broker agreements and transform the way researchers at Harvard and affiliate institutions pursue stem cell science to treat and cure disease. So far, scientists and others give Reeve glowing reviews.

Also in Health/Science, answers about fingernails, paper cuts and Central American frog cousins.

New tests involving blood and brain scans can detect symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, and brief appraisals of real-life functioning can predict who is likely to develop it, researchers said yesterday.

The rush by some in Congress to create a new market for generic drug makers in the field of biologics, (biotech drugs produced from living cell cultures rather than synthesized chemically) would actually sacrifice patient safety over the long term, Una S. Ryan, president and chief executive officer of AVANT Immunotherapeutics Inc., writes on the op-ed page.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooney at 06:02 AM
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