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Winter 2010

proto cover winter 10


Eating Away at You

Avoid gluten, and celiac disease loses its sting. But research continues, and breakthroughs might treat other disorders too.

The Science Factory

At Singapore’s gleaming Biopolis complex, researchers get all the money and lab support they need. What they don’t get is time.

Collaborative Care

Could “medical homes,” where every patient has a physician-led support team, improve health and reduce costs? Early evidence says yes.

Still Beyond Reach

The protein endothelin shows up everywhere, so scientists hoped blocking its action could treat many diseases. It hasn’t happened—yet.

Hope in Sight

When the retina fails, the body’s window on the world slams shut. These futuristic treatments may pry it open again.

Message from the MGH

Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana sound off on the potential of health care reform.

Second Opinion

Readers share their take on criticizing physicians, genetic testing, and cancer’s deadly spread.

Getting Out the Gout

An underdiagnosed condition gets its first new drug in 40 years.

Paying It Forward

Each year, several thousand people die waiting for a kidney transplant. Could a new strategy that relies on altruistic donors help reduce that number?

The Literary Physician

Rita Charon, director of a new program in narrative medicine at Columbia University, discusses how developing narrative skills can create better physicians.

A Pungent Problem

Americans spent $6.7 billion on mouth-freshening products in 2007, but popping a mint or gargling green stuff is no match for hardcore halitosis.

A Hands-On History

Fifty years ago, a landmark paper by William B. Kouwenhovendescribed a lifesaving technique that would come to be known as CPR—and lead to the development of the first closed-chest defibrillator.


A movement to ban uncredited contributors is growing among medical journals.

The Cost of Free Drugs

Handouts from drug companies might seem helpful, but some experts contend that they create conflicts of interest and raise prescription costs.

Lyrics to Save Lives

Public health messages reach remote areas in a musical manner.

Radioactive Me

For one mother, getting her thyroid under control could also mean forgoing a second child.

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