Medicine: The Mysteries of Aspirin

Of all the medicines known to man, perhaps none is more widely used than aspirin. Since 1900, the ubiquitous white pills have been taken by the millions to relieve headaches and cold symptoms, help fight fevers and ease the pain of arthritis. But despite its universal use, aspirin remains a mysterious medicine. Though few question that it works, generations of scientists have sought without success to explain how.

Persuasive Proof. Now a group of British researchers have come up with a partial answer. In a series of papers published recently in the scientific journal Nature, they report that aspirin and its...

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