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BOSTON — The surgeon had already maneuvered into the patient’s nose like a caver. The journey had begun with bristles of moustache magnified on two different screens, each hair pitch-black and alarmingly large. Then came the great opening chamber, with blood vessels running red along the sides like ancient etchings. But he soon arrived at a spot that seemed impassable — little more than a crack between pink walls of flesh.

“That’s where the brain lives,” said Dr. Benjamin Bleier, as he poked his metal tool into the folds of nasal lining.

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