Modern Medicine

Thanks to modern medicine, we have at our disposal countless medications and techniques for overcoming health problems. Learn about recent innovations in modern medicine techniques and how they have transformed the medical world.


Humans make mistakes, and in an operating room, mistakes can be fatal. The idea behind robotic surgery is that it helps eliminate human error. So, are human surgeons' days numbered?

At one time, a cancer diagnosis was a death sentence. But there are numerous treatment options for most types of cancer. See how epigenetics is providing another option in preventing cancer.

Now, doctors can replace every part of the human body, from skin and bones to organs, hands and faces. It's no longer science fiction to imagine that we could slowly replace our organs as they wear out. But surely there are limits?

Completely eradicating a disease is difficult. It's so complicated, in fact, that it's only been accomplished once, with smallpox. So what exactly does it take to eradicate a disease?

In the future, nanotechnology may allow us to inject nanobots -- or tiny robots -- into our bloodstream to deliver medicines and battle all types of diseases. And one of the most promising medical purposes for nanobots appears to be their potential to treat cancer.

Back in the day, we thought an ice pick through the eye and an ice-cold bath might just cure your mental ills. In a century, what medical practices of ours will our descendants contemplate in horror?

Our heart is a complicated organ made up of many parts that sometimes don't always work as they should. Take a look at what can be used to keep a heart on a healthy beat.

Behold the humble maggot! While almost universally reviled, it has a noble part to play in wound healing. And in this age of drug-resistant bacteria, maggot therapy is back in style.

Peter Pan? Besides the fact that he can fly, he never grows up. But in real life, aging is inevitable, no matter how we rage against the dying of the light. Or is it?

A torn elbow ligament once signaled the end of a pitching career. But a groundbreaking surgery named after Hall of Fame pitcher Tommy John changed that bleak scenario, and the mound hasn't been the same since.

In the history of desperate time and desperate measures, you'll find Jeff Getty's story. After getting FDA approval and finding a willing doctor, Getty had a baboon bone marrow transplant in 1995. The results? A mixed bag of success and skepticism.

The top 2008 medical mysteries HowStuffWorks tried to solve go from wisdom teeth to height. Check out the top 2008 medical mysteries and health questions.

Inkjet printers might be doing a lot more for doctors than just printing medical forms. This technology combined with microneedles could create a drug patch that might replace hypodermic needles.

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but tarantula venom may prevent you from having a heart attack. Could some of the world's most fearsome creatures be harboring cures for disease?

Doctors and researchers continually develop new methods to fight against brain damage caused by strokes. But is it possible for lasers to bust up the clots? How can a laser get into your brain, anyway?

It's hard to imagine that the pills handed to you by the pharmacist in the pristine white lab coat were derived from the darkest, muggiest depths of the rainforest.

Amputations have been performed since ancient times, but did you know anesthesia wasn't developed until the 1840s? Mountaineer Aron Ralston amputated his own arm after being trapped by a boulder. Could you do it?

It's as easy as checking "yes" when you register for or renew your driver's license. But organ donation is actually a complex and serious process.

Your face is how the world sees you. But what if something awful happened to it? In 2005, Isabelle Dinoire was the first recipient of a face transplant. How do doctors transplant a face, and is it a good idea?

Some call it body piercing. Some call it acupuncture. Some call it absurd. But could a piercing help you lose weight?

While your iPod may bring you hours of enjoyment it, could also cause health problems. Read our list of seven health problems for the modern age.

Hearing aids -- small electronic devices that amplify sound -- can help restore many of the sounds that hearing-impaired people are missing. Find out how hearing aids work in this article.

In a July 2007 study, scientists detailed their use of gold nanoparticles to detect breast cancer. Nanoparticles may also form the basis of future cancer treatments.

An ingenious new method of creating artificial bone makes use of something many people have in their home: an inkjet printer. Find out how an inkjet printer can turn out artificial bones.

Radiation therapy for cancer is based on the idea of selective cell destruction, and it destroys cells using energy. As it turns out, protons release energy in a different way than X-rays do.