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The Medicine Portal

The color fresco Care of The Sick by Domenico di Bartolo, 1441–1442, depicting the Santa Maria della Scala hospital in Siena, Italy

Medicine is the science and practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment, palliation of their injury or disease, and promoting their health. Medicine encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness. Contemporary medicine applies biomedical sciences, biomedical research, genetics, and medical technology to diagnose, treat, and prevent injury and disease, typically through pharmaceuticals or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints and traction, medical devices, biologics, and ionizing radiation, amongst others.

Medicine has been practiced since prehistoric times, and for most of this time it was an art (an area of creativity and skill), frequently having connections to the religious and philosophical beliefs of local culture. For example, a medicine man would apply herbs and say prayers for healing, or an ancient philosopher and physician would apply bloodletting according to the theories of humorism. In recent centuries, since the advent of modern science, most medicine has become a combination of art and science (both basic and applied, under the umbrella of medical science). For example, while stitching technique for sutures is an art learned through practice, the knowledge of what happens at the cellular and molecular level in the tissues being stitched arises through science.

Prescientific forms of medicine, now known as traditional medicine or folk medicine, remain commonly used in the absence of scientific medicine, and are thus called alternative medicine. Alternative treatments outside of scientific medicine with safety and efficacy concerns are termed quackery. ( Full article...)

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Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging is a commonly used form of medical imaging which creates images of the inside of opaque organs in living organisms and detects the amount of bound water in geological structures. It is primarily used to visualise alterations of living tissues. A functional MRI scan (shown in the image) measures signal changes in the brain that are due to changing neural activity.

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  • ...the brain itself is not sensitive to pain, because it lacks pain-sensitive nerve fibers? Several areas of the head can hurt, including a network of nerves which extends over the scalp and certain nerves in the face, mouth, and throat.
  • ...that irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may sometimes have an acute onset and develop after an infectious illness, and that this "Post infectious IBS" (IBS-PI) is drawing much clinical investigation?

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