The Problem with Using the Term “Fake News” in Medicine
While misinformation can sway elections and threaten public institutions, medical falsehoods can threaten people’s health, or even their lives.Photograph by Ugo Cutilli / Flickr Here’s one way to rid society of “fake news”—abandon the term altogether. That’s what a U.K. committee recommended that Parliament do last fall. It argued that the concept has lost any […]
How Doctors Use Poetry
A Harvard medical student describes how he is learning to both treat and heal.
Why New Antibiotics Are So Hard to Find
A dispatch from the front lines of the war against antibiotic resistance.
Meet Harvard’s Own Poet-Physician
Rafael Campo on finding the humanity in medicine and science.
Why Synthetic Protein Research Needs More Funding
The ability to create and explore such synthetic proteins with atomic level accuracy has the potential to unlock new areas of basic research and to create practical applications in a wide range of fields.Image by G. Indelicato, P. Burkhard, R. Twarock / Royal Society Open Science Proteins are the workhorses of all living creatures, fulfilling […]
A Little Paternalism in Medicine Is a Good Thing
Informed consent has its limits. It isn’t always ideal to treat the patient as a consumer in the decision-making process.Photograph by Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock My family had lived in America for only a handful of years when my grandfather had a heart attack. It was the early 1980s, before statins and baby aspirins […]
The Slower, Gentler Version of IVF
Microscope image showing selection of an embryo for IVFScience Photo Library – ZEPHYR via Getty Images For women who have trouble conceiving, being told they’ll need assistance is often accompanied with a sense of dread: what they hoped would be a natural, quick, and inexpensive process (what’s cheaper than natural conception?) can change into a […]
Big Data Helps Find the Achilles Heel of Each Individual Cancer
In January, the pharmaceutical company Roche paid more than a billion dollars to buy about half of a small company called Foundation Medicine. Foundation has not invented any new drugs or life-saving devices. Most insurance companies won’t pay for its main product, and like a lot of biotech companies, it loses money. The big bucks are […]
Being Mortal: Atul Gawande’s Rx for How to End Our Lives
Atul Gawande sits across from me in a cafe in Berkeley, California, sipping an Izze fruit drink and trying to catch his breath. He just came from an appearance across the bay, in San Francisco, and is soon headed to a radio interview down the street, followed by a drive via the Golden Gate […]
Stop Developing Drugs for the Cancer That Killed My Mother
Funding drug development for rare cancers can hurt patients.