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Summer 2009

proto magazine, summer 2009


Born Again

Creating a medicine from scratch takes years and may cost $1 billion. One alternative: recycling failed compounds for new applications.

The Future of Obesity?

A long campaign halved the percentage of U.S. smokers. Could a similar effort succeed against the nation’s obesity epidemic?

When the Drug Fits

Therapies that focus on tumors’ key proteins have had miraculous but often short-lived effects. New strategies could extend their usefulness.

Digital Gold

Using natural language processing and other advanced search tools, bioinformatics experts are mining patient files—and striking paydirt.

Life Altering

Synthetic biologists go far beyond genetic engineers, creating cellular computers, microbial drug factories and cancer-hunting bacteria.

Message from the MGH

What a hospital can do in the face of America's growing obesity problem, by Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana.

Second Opinion

Readers discuss hormone replacement therapy and the ethical use of robots.

No Prescription is Necessary

These glasses offer a low-tech, low-cost, no-doctor solution for bad eyesight.

Why Wait?

Saving time at the doctor’s office with same-day scheduling takes time to implement.

Resistance Fighter

Paul A. Offit, an infectious disease specialist, discusses the costs of not vaccinating children for fear of autism.

Egg Hunt

Compelling ads offering loads of cash to perfect donors obscure much that is unknown about egg donation.

Curious Medicine

Medicina Curiosa, the first English-language medical journal, mixed the technical with the practical.

Cosmetic Neurology

Some drugs lend extreme wakefulness and focus—but are the enhancements worth the risks?

Is No-Pay the Way?

In an effort to save money and increase quality of care for Medicare patients, the government is considering denying payment to hospitals for certain procedures.

More Faces Saved

Recent procedures bring new hope to face transplant candidates.

The Health Nag

Sometimes being overbearing can save a life.

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