BMJ 2005; 330 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.330.7492.680 (Published 17 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:680

Chronic illnesses are prolonged, rarely cured, and don't resolve spontaneously, according to a new medical journal called Chronic Illness. The editors say they chose the word “illness” because it conjures up not only the biomedical manifestations of medical conditions, but also the psychosocial context and the experiences of those who live with these conditions. The journal doesn't yet take a stand on the politics of chronic illness, but it recognises that this is not a politically neutral subject (Chronic Illness 2005;1: 1-6).

Women who undergo repeated abortions in Canada share a number of characteristics, apart from failure of contraception, or not using it. In a study reported in CMAJ (2005;172: 637-41) a history of physical, sexual, or violence abuse is relatively common, as is a history of sexually transmitted disease, making the times when women present with an unwanted pregnancy a good opportunity to screen for violence and sexual abuse.

Japanese scientists have identified a protein on the surface of sperm that's critical for causing the cell membranes of sperm and eggs to fuse. The team used a monoclonal antibody known to block fusion of mouse sperm and then found the protein that was bound to the antibody. …

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