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Researchers grapple for Alzheimer’s cure as it threatens to overwhelm health care system

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gasps were audible as the images flashed before a gathering of scientists at a recent UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center pathology conference. On the screen before them were photos of a brain severely wasted with age, with what looked like silver rivers of atrophy cutting deeply through the tissue. Even for the experts, it can be shocking to see the damage that Alzheimer’s disease inflicts on the aging brain.

Lost sense of smell often invisible, untreatable problem

CHICAGO — Mimi Koberlein woke up one morning unable to smell the bacon her husband was frying for breakfast. Confused, she ran to the shower, grabbed her shampoo and inhaled deeply. Nothing. Two years later, Koberlein, 47, still can’t smell lemons, freshly cut grass, her three boys or any other fragrances of life. Diagnosed with anosmia, or smell loss, she has tried decongestants, nasal irrigation, oral steroids and acupuncture. But nothing has worked.

House passes NASA budget with calls for manned flights to Mars

WASHINGTON, D.C. — With bipartisan support, the House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill authorizing $17.6 billion in fiscal 2014 spending for U.S. space programs, roughly matching President Barack Obama’s budget request and underscoring the nation’s commitment to sending American astronauts into deep space.