Urology: Keeping the Filters Working

The victims of kidney disease who make headlines are those whose kidney breakdown is so bad that they need the most dramatic and resourceful treatment—the use of an artificial kidney, or, most daring of all, a kidney transplant. But in all the world probably no more than 300 renal-disease patients have had transplants. In the entire U.S., patients being kept alive with an artificial kidney number hardly more than 50.

But in their less spectacular form, kidney diseases are among the most common causes of illness and death. Most patients recover, but each...

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