Building a New Marcus Welby To Cut Costs

Marcus Welby, M.D. was a popular TV drama that ran from 1969 to 1976. The titular character was a symbol of a traditional physician archetype that was already fading from reality — the cradle-to-grave general practitioner that took care of patients in the clinic, in the hospital and at their homes. In the very first […]

Where We Split From Sharks

Over 400 million years ago, fish went through an evolutionary divorce that would someday be very relevant to humans. The split produced the two major groups of fish we see in our world today: those with skeletons of bone, which make up the majority of aquatic life, and those with cartilaginous skeletons, which today include […]

Alan Turing’s Underrated Biology

By Rob Mitchum Alan Turing is best known as the father of the modern computer, a skillful World War II codebreaker, and a pioneer in the study of artificial intelligence. But in the last years before Turing’s death at age 41, he  aimed his genius at a different target: the then-stalled field of developmental biology. […]

Professionalism and Ethics, Day Two: Prize and Prejudice

Even in the court of ethics and medical professionalism, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional honor or award. On day two of the conference, the Maclean Center awarded its first Prize in Clinical Ethics and Health Outcomes – at $50,000, the largest such prize in the ethics field – to John Wennberg, the Peggy Y. […]

Lactose Tolerance in the Indian Dairyland

The ability to drink animal milk into adulthood is something that most of us take for granted.  But lactose tolerance is a genetic marvel, an exclusive human trait facilitated by a genetic mutation that only appeared in the last 10,000 years. In fact, the persistent production of the enzyme lactase (which digests lactose) has been […]

The Curve That Changed the World

Let’s start with a statistic: almost 2,000 citations a year. One paper by Paul Meier, the Ralph and Mary Otis Isham Distinguished Service Professor emeritus of statistics, pharmacological and physiological sciences, medicine, and the college, has been cited more often, by a wide margin, than any other paper in the field. At last count it […]

Medical Ethics Summer School

It has been a couple months since the end of the spring quarter, and the with it the end of many of the Medical Center’s weekly lecture series. But a recent batch of videos posted to the website of the MacLean Center for Medical Ethics brought a whiff of the school year to the dog […]

A Face Only a Biologist Could Love

In evolutionary biology today, it’s the ugly guys who get famous. But that hasn’t always been the case. When paleontologists were assembling a library of prehistoric life in the 19th century, they wanted to find the fossils they could easily categorize. The freaks, the weirdos, and the oddities were less well received, square pegs that […]

Linkage 7/8: Eyes on the Prizes and More

At 1:30 pm, on Monday, December 12, at its Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, The American Society of Hematology will recognize Janet Rowley of the University of Chicago Medical Center, and Brian Druker of Oregon Health & Science University, with the 2011 Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize for their significant advances in the […]

Linkage 7/1: How to Do Heart Surgery, A Visit from Delilah, & More

Popular Mechanics typically offers step-by-step guides for changing your oil or building a bookcase. But in a recent feature they seriously upped the instructional ante with an “Extreme How-To” – How to Perform Open Heart Surgery. The expert chosen to guide their readers through this don’t-try-this-at-home process was Medical Center cardiac and thoracic surgeons Jai […]


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