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A century ago, chemist Søren Sørensen invented what would become a crucial diagnostic tool: the pH scale.
At her great-uncle's bedside, the author considers the genetic disorder that binds her family.
Why geneticists hate the term dark matter.
Peter L. Slavin and David F. Torchiana on the science and importance of Lyme disease.
Psychiatrist Paul Appelbaum talks about the factors that can contribute to violent behavior.
School nurses see to a variety of ailments, and there aren’t enough of them.
Eighty years ago, what he perceived of as a telepathic experience led Hans Berger to create the electroencephalogram.
Readers weigh in on the challenges of medical literacy and issues with replicating research.
“Smart bubble wrap” could help lead to better prosthetics.
Where do scientific prizes fit in the research funding landscape?
Some countries have the problem of resistant staph well in hand; others don’t.
Attitudes towards hormone therapy have shifted toward a more nuanced approach.
Three physician bloggers consider where social media and medicine meet.
A new approach to in-home care turns to EMS providers.
A young woman's uncomfortable experience in the hospital and the memory it forged.
“Lung washing” is keeping donated lungs alive longer.
Three physician bloggers discuss how to treat patients with imagined ailments.
The Supreme Court ruled on whether genes can be patented. But the answers aren't crystal clear.
An impending helium shortage could greatly raise the price of helium, an element used to chill MRI scanners.
In this short story, an IT guy reveals the human angle of dealing with new health care technology.
Sharply pared budgets could kill the Framingham Heart Study—after 50 years of astonishing research breakthroughs.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Rebecca Lee Crumpler became the first black woman to receive a medical degree in the United States.
The fallout from exposure to Agent Orange—used to defoliate jungles during the Vietnam War—continues to be felt.
Epidemiologist Carolyn Greene aims to use electronic health records to track chronic disease trends.
Aiming tiny bursting bubbles at tumors could pave the way for new treatments.
A brief history of the observation and study of PTSD
Cartoonist Ben Schwartz discusses the visual side of learning medicine.
A funding shift may encourage more fundamental brain research.
Medical guidelines aim to encourage best practices, but these physician bloggers argue that guidelines shouldn’t determine treatment.
Researchers in Scotland have used stem cells to culture blood artifically
The mysteries of celiac disease prove to be more intricate than expected.
Readers weigh in on more efficient methods of coding medical conditions and current debates in hormone therapy.
The use of 3-D printing technology in hospitals and labs has raised new regulatory issues for the FDA.
Reflections on being a minor character in a disaster drill.
Physicians and faxes have a long, complex relationship.
Simplifying fecal transplants could make the treatment safer and more accessible.
The first angioplasty procedure was performed 50 years ago. But it was some time before the work of "Crazy Charlie" Dotter caught on.
Telehealth could be coming to a computer near you.
China's air pollution provides chilling statistics on air quality and its relationship to disease and life expectancy.
Lucian Leape, the father of the modern patient safety movement, talks about the culture of disrespect in medicine—and how to fix it.
Evidence for fecal transplants as effective treatment for stubborn C. diff. infections.
After 50 years, we take a look back at the pharmaceutical industry's first $100 million brand.
As resistance to antibiotics grows, might phages, a treatment that fell out of favor decades ago, be the answer?
As concerns about cyber attacks on medical devices and hospital networks rise, a new system aims to detect malware intrusions.
Three physician bloggers bemoan—and cope with—administrative headaches that impede caregiving.
Can a new vaccine, injected intravenously, put the brakes on malaria?
After her husband's first heart attack, the author cannot escape the fear that it will happen again.
Oncologist Donald Abrams confronts cancer with both conventional and integrative methods.
A prototype program aims to improve adverse event reporting by giving patients, family members and others a voice in the conversation.
In an excerpt from physician Danielle Ofri's latest book, a heroin addict makes a group of medical residents rethink their assumptions.
A woman assaulted with a box-cutter finds a friend and guide in her plastic surgeon.
Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow discusses the current state of the health care industry.
With his creation of the American College of Surgeons 100 years ago, Franklin Martin introduced a vital aspect to surgery: regulation.
Physicians routinely prescribe drugs for uses not approved by the FDA. But should drug reps be allowed to tout those uses?
Although drug shortages have lessened in recent years, some key classes of medications remain in short supply.
Against all odds, a husband stands by his wife to fight the ultimate battle: cancer.
Help for Parkinson's patients from an unlikely corner: the Mark Morris Dance Group.
Cardiologist Barbara-Natterson Horowitz explains why the most humanistic medicine today is being practiced by veterinarians.
To quarantine or not to quarantine? To this day, difficult public health case Typhoid Mary still begs the question.
Solutions to the shortage of home health workers can't wait much longer.
Several drugs that stop the virus by blocking different pathways are nearing FDA approval.
Researchers have discovered 93 strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a cave in New Mexico.
Economist Larry Summers argues that, despite the need to limit government spending overall, health research must remain a top priority.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection. We pay it a visit.
After instituting “disclosure, apology and offer” policies, hospitals have seen a drop in malpractice lawsuits.
The world of medical apps is still imperfect, these physician-bloggers say.
Who will be the first to tap the potential of brown fat?
A drug approved for type 2 diabetes may also target cancer’s wayward metabolism.
The author undergoes her first ultrasound, her anxiety heightened by her past as a genetic counselor.
A professor of medicine explains how medical students can learn the art of clinical reasoning from the hosts of NPR's Car Talk.
Massachusetts General Hospital's Merit Cudkowicz discovered a key to jumpstarting ALS research: pooling resources.
Modern emergency care finds its roots in the Army of the Potomac.
New avian flu work has sparked debate among researchers and security experts.
Another possible disruptor of our circadian clock: aging eyes that admit less light.
With her daughter fighting cancer, a mother relies on a support system of friends and family to remind her of the world outside.
The use of 3-D models to track a patient’s pain has roots in a sixteenth-century sketch by a German master.
A cholesterol test for 10-year-olds could show early signs of cardiovascular disease, yet critics warn that this could lead to unnecessary treatment.
The bacteria inside us may form a symbiotic relationship that not only affects metabolism, but emotions and brain development as well.
A mother assures doctors who tried to save her son from an incurable disease that their compassionate care was a true success.
Lacking a standardized test to assess a baby’s health at birth, anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar created a simple rubric that persists more than a half century later.
Harvard psychology professor Matthew Nock has undertaken a large-scale study to understand why people take their own lives and find ways to assess those at risk.
Researchers found that a stroll over hot coals affects not just the person doing it, but the loved ones looking on as well.
To treat her young patients, Nadine Burke uses research on how adverse childhood experiences affect health.
Repeatedly waking up costs sufferers not only a good night’s rest, but their health and money as well.
A father and son fight through the ordeal of multiple surgeries to repair the boy's skull.
Internist and researcher Martin Blaser believes that disturbances in the gut may underlie several modern maladies.
Deep in Central Russia and down in Atlanta are the two remaining stocks of the eradicated virus that's killed millions—should they be destroyed?
Primary care physician Eric Weil directs a program that shows that more attentive care for high-risk patients may be the most effective way to control costs.
There's never a quiet moment for the millions suffering from a persistent buzzing in their ears.
Doctors use Facebook and Twitter just like the rest of the public, but their participation brings ethical and legal risks.
Could living cleaner actually make us sicker?
As her mother’s memory fades, one writer watches it go, one handwritten note at a time.
Scientists say they’ve confirmed the bacteria behind the pestilence that killed millions in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Douglas Farrago’s bimonthly collection of top-ten lists, editorials and “True Stories of Medicine” provides a sharp satire of the health care system.
Treating delirious patients can be costly and difficult, where hospitalization itself may exacerbate the disorder.
The city's first hospital was founded to treat the poor—and serve as a teaching locale for Harvard Medical School.
Medical bloggers discuss how smartphones and iPads will change the way they practice medicine.
New AIDS research and the study of asymptomatic HIV-positive patients has brought optimism to those looking to cure the disease.
Trials that involve new drugs being compared to existing versions could let inferior treatments slip through.
When a doctor becomes addicted, colleagues may not be equipped to spot or treat it.
A new documentary explores health care inequality in rural America, and why the Affordable Care Act isn’t enough.
New digital systems can help keep infectious agents at arm’s length—or further away.
Treating the epidemic means re-evaluating a public health tool with a storied past.
With insomnia drugs yielding bizarre side effects, sleepwalking has wandered back into public consciousness.
Longitudinal studies have provided both puzzles and insights about human health and well being.
New research suggests that having a positive outlook may improve health and longevity.
Jack Szostak, Carol Greider and Elizabeth Blackburn win the Nobel Prize in medicine for their work with telomeres.
Jeffrey Segal and his firm, Medical Justice, are using waivers to combat what they see as unfair online reviews of doctors.
Pharmaceutical companies are finding that reducing waste in drug manufacturing can also save them millions of dollars.
The need for a U.S. joint replacement registry is urgent, but should the government or orthopedic surgeons control the data?
An all-in-one medication reduced such cardiovascular risk factors as blood pressure and heart rate.
In his new novel, The Spirit of the Place, Samuel Shem explores what it means for physicians to meet high expectations.
When it comes to breast cancer predisposition, one woman decides she’d rather not know.
These glasses offer a low-tech, low-cost, no-doctor solution for poor eyesight.
Paul A. Offit, an infectious disease specialist, discusses the costs of not vaccinating children for fear of autism.
Some drugs lend extreme wakefulness and focus—but are the enhancements worth the risks?
To save money and increase quality of care for Medicare patients, the government is considering denying payment to hospitals for certain procedures.
Recent procedures bring new hope to face transplant candidates.
Sometimes being overbearing can save a life.
Artists with a certain neurological condition put all their senses to work.
How an electrified, 660-pound behemoth became a common diagnostic tool: the ECG.
Michael G. Fitzsimons, head of the drug-testing program at the Massachusetts General Hospital’s Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care, discusses preventing fallout from addicted physicians.
In an excerpt from his novel <i>Cutting for Stone</i>, Abraham Verghese examines the importance of words of comfort.
Confronted with her son’s diagnoses with three rare diseases, a mother contemplates luck—good and bad.
A simple technology nets a decline in malaria incidence and deaths.
Risk expert David Ropeik argues that despite constant headlines, Americans’ health worries are largely misplaced.
In 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to graduate from medical school.
New studies aim to determine what consumers do—or don’t do—after they’ve had a mail-order genome test.
A unique shape could hold the key to repairing heart tissue.
A rare tumor places the author in an uncomfortable spotlight.
Can bees smell disease?
With their online Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine, editors Christian Pfeffer and Bjorn R. Olsen are encouraging physicians to re-evaluate clinical practices based on negative data.
From hand-drawn illustrations to CD-ROM technology, Gray’s Anatomy has advanced with medicine throughout its 150-year existence.
The United States is launching a database to remedy a lack of transparency in clinical trial results.
Getting the various pieces of operating room equipment to communicate with one another could save lives—but it’s easier said than done.
Forty-three years after his death, a renowned physicist has an unexpected hand in extending his grandson’s life.
Photographer Diane Covert sheds light on victims of terrorist attacks with her photography exhibit featuring x-ray photos of the victims.
Eric Chivian, founder of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, worries that some medical mysteries may remain forever unsolved as a result of global climate change.
The most popular drug in the world—aspirin—would never have won FDA approval. Fortunately, the active ingredient was isolated in 1828.
Pharmacists propose a third category of drugs—“behind the counter”—which they, not doctors, would prescribe.
Researchers have found the first strong genetic cause to be specifically associated with autism.
Scientists have had only a glimmer of an idea how microbes affect our bodies; a $115 million National Institutes of Health project aims to find out.
The first dermatologist told the writer that she was just seeing things. But finally, magically, the second dermatologist saw what the writer saw.
In one metric—inpatient stays—hospitals are seeing a steady decline.
Thirty years ago, the first test-tube baby made medical history.
Engineering students at Duke University created the BlueRay, which is being used experimentally on jaundiced babies in the developing world.
As Elliott Fisher of the Dartmouth Atlas Project has discovered, more money does not always mean better health care.
Point: Yes, they are key in the nation’s efforts to develop a value-driven health care system. Counterpoint: No, because the wrong kind of measurements can do more harm than good.
The radioactive isotope, used in some 20 million medical scans each year, briefly found itself amid controversy.
As a daughter discovers, her mother’s personality seems to drift, but she still can appreciate the important things: a wonderful sentence, the snow as it falls outside her bedroom window.
The beauty of a dappled steed comes at a cost to its health.
Tending to recent immigrants and other travelers, Carlos Franco-Paredes diagnoses diseases that few other physicians in North America have ever seen.
Will consumers continue to have the power to question a drug’s safety?
The level of dental care we now enjoy dates back to the arrival of plug-in electric drills.
Dialysis clinics could be a thing of the past with the development of a portable, wearable device.
In depression, family members are helpless spectators looking on.
Robert Barron, who once created masks for CIA agents, now uses his talent for a different purpose: bringing people disfigured by trauma and disease out from hiding.
Medical-drama characters may have evolved from saintly to sexy, but at least one aspect of these shows has remained constant: the will to get the medicine accurate.
Disgraced stem-cell scientist Woo Suk Hwang has become exhibit A in the case for tightening scrutiny of apparent medical advances.
The origins of the hearing aid began with a centerpiece (flowers optional).
A virtual map of the veins eases the job of those drawing blood.
Brain surgery unexpectedly impaired a writer/illustrator’s abilities to speak, read and write, leaving her to wonder if she would ever get her old self back.
A wounded World War II veteran transformed thinking about artificial limbs.
Photographer Max Aguilera-Hellweg’s most demanding assignment was one he gave himself: to understand doctors not by taking their pictures but by becoming one.
In 1792, a clever French army surgeon devised the “the flying ambulance.”
Years ahead of schedule, doctors perform on humans a surgery that involves reaching internal organs via the mouth or other natural orifices.
One research team is working to make prosthetics more practical.
Point: Yes, it will help prevent diseases; Counterpoint: No, it was inadequately tested.
A solution to a sub-Saharan public health crisis is also…a merry-go-round.
The author climbed a mountain against doctor’s orders—but not against his better judgment.
Stephen Friend is looking for new cures in the genes of a million volunteers.
What is empathy, and how can it be taught to young doctors?
New approaches can combat the steep costs of caring for dementia patients.
A shortfall has repercussions in policy and an international black market.
An immigrant physician’s daughter defines her American dream.
Researchers have harnessed the power of the immune system to remove foreign pathogens from the blood.
Animals may hold a key to cancer’s origins and treatment.
Five state legislatures now allow terminal patients to circumvent the FDA. Will this new path to experimental drugs help or hurt?
Wilhelm Röntgen stumbled upon one of medicine’s first imaging techniques 120 years ago.
The University of Calgary’s CAVEman, a computer-generated hologram, can display human body parts in ultrasharp resolution.
When controversy erupts over the safety of a drug, chances are, Steven E. Nissen is not far away.
In 1907, a surgeon and an intern discovered why cells sickle after they noticed something odd.
New research sheds light on the mystery of prions: misfolded proteins that promote a lethal chain of events.
On the football field and battlefield, a better way to assess concussion damage.
When the author’s macular degeneration worsened, physicians offered cold facts, not help. She had to find her own answers.
MRSA infections are down by more than half, and new treatments are on the way. But the pathogen still takes a deadly toll.
Disappearing ink could allow tattoo removal without the scars.
Doctoring for Kenneth Kamler isn’t limited to his office in New York—or the Amazon rainforest, or the mountains of Bhutan, or even the reaches of space.
Television portrays ERs as high-tech places where everyone gets saved. But what’s the real deal?
The testing of artificial blood has sparked controversy over individual rights.
During surgery, dozens of sponges are placed in the body. One company wants to ensure that they all make it out.
Surgeons report on which songs help them get pumped in the operating room.
After the panic, the author of our article on avian flu discusses developments in the story.
An everyday doctor’s device, the stethoscope, has its roots in preserving propriety.
The author talks about the trials of caring for her mother—at age 73.
Coral reefs house millions of species, and each holds the possibility of millions of cures.
Debora Spar of the Harvard Business School argues that new medical technology can't go unregulated forever.
No-name drugs may be cheaper than brand names, but they have some drawbacks as well.
An excerpt from Allegra Goodman’s novel Intuition.
As more people receive joint implants, one company hopes to make a synthetic bone that works with the body, not against it.
The author explains the connection between her appearance on Late Night with David Letterman and the problem of unsupervised drug-taking by the elderly.
Why do scrubs look they way they do?
In an environment where doctors are paid by the test, Nortin M. Hadler is convinced that many tests are useless, or worse, harmful.
The need for—and dearth of—one precious commodity.
Point: Race is a social construct, not a genetic indicator; Counterpoint: Race correlates highly with genetic variation.
The National Institutes of Health fund much of U.S. medical research. Could budget cuts stem the flow of breakthroughs?
The author ponders her argumentative relationship with her doctor.
In an interview pre-scandal, stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang explains his methods and motivation.
Starving mice, drugs in the water and sighing.
Readers weight in on the promise of 3D printing in medicine and the importance of telehealth technology.
Artificial intelligence may also prove key to the future of research, as computers serve up relevant studies and make connections that humans might miss.
Researchers are learning more about the unique biomes of medical spaces.
MGH researcher Biju Parekkadan may have discovered a breakthrough treatment for this global killer.
One group of patients, also known as frequent fliers, account for a disproportionate share of health care spending: super-utilizers.
The American College of Physicians’ new ethical guidelines has its members separating prudent cost controls from ones that may adversely affect patient care.
Critics say a certain type of statement allowed on food labels could mislead—rather than inform—consumers.
With zinc finger technology, scientists might be able to “cut and paste” DNA to fight certain diseases.
A movement to ban uncredited contributors is growing among medical journals.
More than half of infectious diseases pass through animals first. A strain on their natural habitats may be making these ailments more dangerous.
In this photo series, the imagination is the only limit for Luka, a young boy with spinal muscular atrophy.
The sounds of talking and footsteps, overhead paging, and beeping equipment can add up to quite a cacophony.
Percutaneous injuries among medical students and health care workers hurt in more ways than one.
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.
Caring for patients is what registered nurses signed up to do, not dealing with patients’ inconsiderate families, defensive colleagues and red tape, as these nurse bloggers explain.
Despite high patient demand, doctor bloggers argue that complementary alternative medicine may provide more harm than help.
Medical bloggers discuss their fears and worries.
As these medical bloggers relate, care exacts an ethical toll as well as a financial one.
Medical bloggers muse on futuristic hospital devices, getting paid and ER drug seekers.
Repeat blows to the head can have serious—and long-term—implications for football players.
One writer planned to write a book about the willful overmedication of children, but what she found was the opposite.
One hundred and fifty years ago, Florence Nightingale opened a school that would revolutionize nursing.
Does the recertification process prove physicians’ expertise or just waste their time?
The world’s hospitals rely on technetium-99m for imaging, but the isotope is in short supply.
One father’s emotional limits are put to the test when his newborn son is found to be severely disabled.
A team of researchers in New York is working on a sweet solution—based on the structure of cotton candy—to help engineered tissue survive.
An author and seasoned pilot talks about what aviation can teach hospitals about safety.
Storing newborns' blood for research creates a valuable resource—but some parents are trying to put a stop to the practice.
The aftermath of the January 12 earthquake in Haiti had these medical bloggers pondering everything from the quiet courage of patients to wider issues in health care.
An underdiagnosed condition gets its first new drug in 40 years.
Rita Charon, director of a new program in narrative medicine at Columbia University, discusses how developing narrative skills can create better physicians.
Handouts from drug companies might seem helpful, but some experts contend that they create conflicts of interest and raise prescription costs.
For one mother, getting her thyroid under control could also mean forgoing a second child.
Marianne J. Legato, founder of the field of gender-specific medicine, is only beginning to uncover how different the sexes are.
Silk’s strength makes it an asset in the medical field.
In 1966, the anaesthetist-in-chief of Massachusetts General Hospital published a paper that would yield greater protection for clinical trial subjects.
More than 2,000 objects remarkably unfit for consumption lodged in throats, lungs and stomachs. One physician has retrieved them all.
A century ago, MGH pathologist Richard Cabot made an event out of physicians identifying illnesses—and greatly improved diagnostic methods as a result.
A strain of the sometimes-deadly bacteria is defying antibiotics.
A pioneer in meditation reflects on the past and future of research into the mind body connection.
Thomas Hunt Morgan's discoveries won him the Nobel Prize and forever altered American Laboratories.
A federal court recently ruled that they couldn't, whereas supporters and critics continue to debate whether patents foster or hinder innovation.
High-tech mannequins and simulation software are becoming more prevalent in medical schools.
For one woman, a scar left behind by her husband's cancer treatment isn't a disfigurement, but a mark of survival.
Deciding to keep her medical condition a secret from her parents becomes a declaration of independence for one woman.
Medicina Curiosa, the first English-language medical journal, mixed the technical with the practical.
A Ferrari team has taught surgeons a thing or two about efficiency and error elimination.
In 1857, Sir Charles Locock first prescribed bromide, the first effective medication for epilepsy.
Another way to ensure patients take their medication: implant a dental prosthesis that releases drugs directly into their mouths.
For the author, her illness gave her authenticity, a kind of ability to be.
An excerpt from Wendy Moore’s <i>The Knife Man: The Extraordinary Life and Times of John Hunter, Father of Modern Surgery.</i>
The world’s most recognizable birth control method, the Pill, turns 50.
While the author’s mother battled cancer, he took portraits that reflected more than just her cool green glasses.
Elegant in its simplicity, saline solution is a staple in hospitals.
The popularity of C-sections is on the rise.
Genetic tests can be fraught with false positives and insignificant findings that may undermine their effectiveness.
UV light proves itself as an annihilator of germs.
A new approach for restoring blood flow to the brain is having unprecedented success.
Psychiatrist and Jesuit priest Ned Cassem discusses death and dying.
What was once treated with a lung compression device is now solved by antibiotics.
Body parts, made quickly out of long-lasting materials, could be the future of prosthetic organs.
The painkiller named after the Greek god of dreams has a big birthday.
The author gets a very thorough, very pleasant checkup in Thailand.
Researchers may have discovered a way to restore vocal cords using a polymer found in moisturizing creams.
Scientists looking to block HIV's evasions of the immune system found an unlikely source of inspiration: the spam filter.
When Paul Ehrlich developed the first clinically tested syphilis treatment in 1910, he sparked hope and controversy.
Energy to run diagnostic tests could come from an unexpected source.
Implanted devices are just one approach to neuromodulation therapy. Transcranial stimulation is achieving results and reaching new audiences.
The misuse of opioid painkillers has become a major health crisis. How can the tide be turned?
What role do brain mechanics play in opioid addiction?
Mahzarin Banaji explores the role of personal bias in medical care.
When it comes to the cost of treatments, hospitals struggle to give customers a straight answer.
Prescription abuse has reached epidemic levels. So why is the FDA approving powerful new painkillers?
A new foam technology might prolong life for those wounded on the battlefield.
A new organizational approach views medical errors in a whole new light.
The final illness of the physician and author happens 100 years after the greatest outbreak of encephalitis lethargica.
Bad behavior in children may come from a lack of certain cognitive skills. Studies show that those skills can be taught.
The teaching cadaver is as old as the study of medicine. Is there a better alternative?
A power lifter ponders a lifetime of self-inflicted injuries.
A cross disciplinary approach has begun to pay dividends for endometriosis research.
Readers weigh in on the promises of artificial intelligence in medical diagnosis and the shortcomings of end of life care in the U.S.
Researchers are still searching for answers about how best to diagnose and treat childhood concussions.
Whether it’s smoking and cancer or vaccines and autism, the Bradford Hill guidelines celebrate 50 years of tracing diseases to their proper roots.
A graph that outlines the gap between physician supply and demand between 2013 and 2035.
Culturing bacteria in the soil from which they came could lead researchers to breakthrough antibiotics
Cigarette labeling hits a big milestone, but the battle continues over the perception of tobacco’s risks.
An excerpt from Matt McCarthy’s tales of being a medical resident: The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly.
Will rent-by-the-hour robotic labs change the way that medical research happens?
The Cures Act wants to put more tools in the hands of those who fight drug-resistant bacteria. Can this war be won?
Who should shoulder the cost of training new residents?
The lobotomy won its inventor the Nobel prize, but remains a shadowy chapter in the history of mental health.
A cancer patient struggles with the tyranny of too much choice.
Advances in pacemaker technology are making the devices safer, smaller and longer-lived.
The science behind placebos has come a long way since the sugar pill. Ted Kaptchuk is leading the revolution.
A Proto feature about changing screening protocols draws a vigorous response.
A new genetic test may hold the promise of greatly reducing unnecessary treatment in prostate cancer.
Advocates rally around a new standard for cancer drug pricing. But will it have the desired effect?
A special kind of synesthesia helps physician Joel Salinas feel what his patients feel.
Does the body have a hidden highway between a mother’s digestive tract and the milk she produces?
A Boston lab looks to the plucky and omnipresent red blood cell for a new generation of therapies.
The beloved author’s first great gift to children was medical, not literary.
Pilot programs teach kids and parents skills for coping with stressful lives.
Research on chemical treatments for cancer began in the ashes of a world war.
Throwing antibiotics at viral infections is bad and sometimes dangerous medicine. Tests based on gene expression may help.
Proto’s first issue came out in 2005. The decade that followed brought landmark changes to the world of health care.
Drug-resistant bugs have spurred research into a promising—and surprisingly simple—treatment.
Fighting mosquitoes is no walk in the park. A disease ecologist describes the landscape of mosquito-borne diseases here in the United States.
Gun ownership is highest among the elderly. When dementia strikes, few laws can step in to keep these patients and their caregivers safe.
Researchers debate the link between marijuana and mental illness.
Brian Herriot on building a robot-friendly hospital
New laws address how physicians should follow up on prenatal tests.
What role do evolutionary forces play in vaccine efficacy?
Readers weigh in on a national pain strategy and innovative new technologies that could help the blind see.
A community lab in New York City creates a portrait of Manhattan.
Two experts face off on new legislation that aims to speed up the approval process for drugs and medical devices.
The 50-year crusade to prove the link between viruses and cancer
An atheist patient reflects on compassion in a Catholic hospital.
Adding or tweaking genes can improve the nutritional value of everyday foods.
When a company in the electronic health records industry interferes with its clients’ ability to access, exchange or use the data the company stores.
Children are the most vulnerable during a disaster. So why isn’t the emergency response system better at helping them?
Cousins close the gap of three decades by sharing an organ.
Cancer travels through the body in surprising ways, new research shows. That discovery comes with both good news and bad.
Soon it will be both easy and inexpensive to screen a newborn’s whole genome. But that could be a terrible idea.
Can a video game really improve cognitive function? One company holds out hope for the holy grail: the blessing of the FDA.
Which U.S. president left the biggest mark on modern medicine? Four historians cast their votes.
Every incapacitated patient needs someone to help make medical decisions on their behalf. But some lack any friends or family members who could help.
The quest to find an objective measure for physical pain may be getting closer to its goal.
Xóchitl Castañeda looks for the immigrants invisible to the U.S. health care system.
After major breakthrough in gene editing, pig organs show new promise for use in humans.
A living bandage offers a revolutionary new way to manage diabetes.
Drug prices are increasing at a historic rate. Should (and can) they be capped?
Geneticist Hermann Muller was one of the first skeptics of the Atomic Age.
A mother details her internal struggles during her son's battle with clinical depression
A photography exhibit profiles veterans who return home with life-altering wounds.
Readers weigh in on the expanding field of community paramedicine and the role of chaplains in hospitals.
Jack Geiger discusses the importance of physician activism in promoting community health
One recent diagnostic advance may be guilty of stalling the fight against food-borne illness.
A new way to understand and treat hearing loss comes from the deep waters of comparative biology.
The homeless are the most vulnerable population in the country. How can health care reach them?
A new Proto podcast explores the effects of pot on the teen brain and how one woman became part of the do-it-yourself medical device movement.
Coming of age when you’re transgender isn’t easy. A mother and son discuss how they’re meeting the challenges.
Researchers are looking into a simple, promising way to boost the immune system. But the price is steep.
Prized for more than 10,000 years as loyal companions, domestic dogs now also become a powerful ally in the fight against cancer
Warming temperatures may be causing a global wave of kidney disease.
Caring for her father after his stroke helps the author heal old wounds.
Mummies give up new secrets with the help of cutting-edge medical imaging tools.
Samuel J. Sinclair studies the deep scars left by terrorist attacks.
Telehealth programs are changing how people get better—and sometimes the way they die.
Ten years ago, researchers coaxed normal adult cells into stem cells for the first time
Readers weigh in on the importance of social activism amongst physicians and the various approaches to childhood transgenderism
A nationwide program advocates that patients should have seamless access to their doctors' notes. But not everyone thinks this is a good idea.
Burnout is on the rise among doctors. Is medical school the place to make a difference?
Data from patients’ everyday medical records can also be mined—anonymously—to offer new insights on how diseases work.
Next-generation sequencing may have to overcome a few hurdles
Margaret Sanger was a lifelong pioneer for birth control—and drove major innovations in the devices that made it possible.
Fifty years ago, Terje Lømo made a breakthrough in how we understand learning and memory.
A drug that reverses overdoses saves thousands of lives. Does its prescription status keep it from saving more?
Health Story Collaborative explores the value of letting patients talk about their illnesses. Also: how terrorist attacks affect us.
An ambitious data project may help doctors predict when a patient’s diabetes will take a turn for the worse.
Aspirin can keep some cancers from growing and spreading—that much we know. Now it’s a race to find out why.
The best place to observe the building blocks of the human body might be in outer space.
The Food and Drug Administration tries a fresh approach to medical devices suspected of falling short.
When Eisenhower came clean about his heart attack, it allowed one physician to change the nation’s views on cardiac health.
Bacteria in the body produce their own powerful antibiotics. Some may lead to new tools for fighting superbugs.
A new shape-shifting material would let surgical implants grow in place.
Public health physician Barry Levy sends a warning about climate change.
Antirejection medicines may someday be unnecessary for transplant patients. But some body parts pose more of a challenge than others.
These medical breakthroughs made a penis transplant possible.
Across the country, meals served to patients get an update.
Photographer Cara Phillips captures skin damage, beautifully.
Readers weigh in on the risks of data sharing and the promise of the OpenNotes program.
A women with diabetes struggles to be heard in the emergency room.
A measles outbreak in 1917 inspired the blueprint for fighting the devastating Spanish flu.
Author Mike Jay discusses the improbably poetic rise of nitrous oxide.
Genetic databases have helped medicine make great leaps forward. But is it really possible to keep the identities behind those genes a secret?
A discovery about the “tails” of tuberculosis antibodies may help in the fight against other diseases as well
Next-generation MRI machines can look far inside the brain, and map in minute detail where things go wrong.