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"21st Century Medicine" Guide & Resources

Scientific American Frontiers explores some of the remarkable frontiers of medicine on "21st Century Medicine" (Show 605). Find out how the computer is revolutionizing medicine, from brain surgery to phobias and gene therapy. "21st Century Medicine" features five individual stories.

Here are the topics and running times of stories on this show and a brief description of related activities you'll find in this online teaching guide:

  • Image-Guided Surgery (running time: 13:07) - A revolutionary high-tech procedure developed by radiologists at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital enables neurosurgeon Dr. Peter Black to map the brain before cutting it open.

  • Virtual Fear (running time: 7:57) - An experimental therapy that uses virtual reality technology is helping to cure people with acrophobia (fear of heights).

  • Bypass Genes (running time: 8:09) - Gene therapy may one day enable patients with blockages near their hearts to grow their own bypasses.

  • Cybersurgery (running time: 9:49) - In the operating room of the future, surgeons will be able to perform surgery by remote control.

  • Nerves of Steel (running time: 13:39) - FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) is giving paralyzed patients hope of regaining the use of their muscles.

  • Viewer Challenge -- After you watch "21st Century Medicine," test your viewing skills with ten questions about the show!


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.