Medicine: Emerging from the Bubble

Houston twelve-year-old gets his first hug

He is known to the world as "the bubble boy" because he has been confined to a small, sterile room in Houston for all twelve years of his fragile life. Born without a functioning immune system, David was sealed off from the world's germs, the slightest of which could kill him. Last week, 3½ months after he underwent a bone-marrow transplant intended to fortify his body's defenses, he emerged from his germ-free cocoon. It was, quite literally, a touching moment. For the first time in his life, he...

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