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Summer 2006

Proto Summer 2006 cover


Out of Despair

Once a last resort for the severely depressed, electroconvulsive therapy has been joined by a new generation of less shocking alternatives.

Medicine Gets Personal

Understanding the patient's genetic makeup is leading to better, more precisely targeted treatments.

Understanding Anesthesia

The waning of consciousness during surgery is a mysterious as it is routine. Finally, the curtain may be about to part.

The Placebo Problem

In some trials, subjects have responded just as well to sugar pills as they have to real treatment. So how can we trust any real results?

An Epidemic of Excess

The link between obesity and diabetes is well established. But it's not the only reason for the skyrocketing incidence of the disease.

Message from the MGH

Reflecting on Proto's first year, by Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana.

Second Opinion

A reader challenges Proto's take on the necessity of surgery.

Coral Reef's Promise

Coral reefs house millions of species, and each holds the possibility of millions of cures.

In Praise of Rules

With the constant flow of new technology, the public wants to know when it will reach them, but this begs the question, how will it be regulated?

Generic Drugs

Half of all prescription drugs purchased in the U.S. are generic.

Wrong Number

Drug advertisements are laden with claims of the benefits of the drug. Here is an example of how the numbers are crunched and the stories they tell.

Improving Life, Predicting Death

Improving mobility after a stroke, predicting death, improved memory, bioengineered bladders and risk of asthma.

Cheating Science

An excerpt from Allegra Goodman's novel, Intuition, traces the fallout as Cliff Bannaker comes under suspicion for omitting data to magnify the success of a cancer drug.

The Costs of Care

Physicians analyze the monetary and ethical costs of care.

Chilled to the Bone

As more people receive joint implants, one company hopes to make a synthetic bone that works with the body, not against it.

The Kid Inventor

The author explains the connection between her appearance on Late Night with David Letterman and the problem of unsupervised drug-taking by the elderly.

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