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Guide Index

Image-Guided Surgery

Virtual Fear

Bypass Genes

Cyber Surgery

Nerves of Steel

Viewer Challenge
in the classroom

21ST CENTURY MEDICINE: Viewer Challenge

Watch SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN FRONTIERS Show 605, "21st Century Medicine," and test your knowledge by answering these questions. (Answers are below.)

Image-Guided Surgery

    1. Why was the procedure to remove the tumor in Lynda Tolve's brain considered so risky?

    2. What is the purpose of the magnetic wand?

Virtual Fear

    3. What are two of the drawbacks to the traditional treatment of phobias?

    4. List two ways Chris Clock's fear of heights affected his life.

Bypass Genes

    5. What are Lillian Cooper's doctors trying to achieve through the use of gene therapy?

    6. What clues might indicate that the gene therapy has been successful?


    7. What is the key to saving lives on the battlefield?

    8. What would the electronic device worn by soldiers monitor?

Nerves of Steel

    9. Why don't the muscles function when a person is paralyzed?

    10. Why is Erik's electrode stimulation system more complex than Dan's?


  1. Tumor was located near areas in the brain that control movement and sensation.
  2. Map the brain and pinpoint the exact location of the motor region.
  3. Not practical; therapist has to be with the person; takes too long.
  4. Would not use elevators; avoided hotel rooms above first floor; would not go near windows.
  5. To stimulate growth of new blood vessels.
  6. She can walk better; blood vessels filling faster.
  7. Reaching trauma victims within "golden hour."
  8. Vitals; position on battlefield.
  9. Nerve-brain connection is severed.
  10. Erik's system designed for walking.


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