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The Year in Medical Research


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Approximately 2,000 medical studies were conducted in the year 2000--and there's still no cure for cancer. But who's complaining? The news out of medical science this year was often encouraging. Then again it was often worrisome, frequently baffling, or sometimes all of the above.

The graph below shows a year's worth of highs and lows from the world of medicine. If it proves anything, it proves that the one factor common to practically all illness is this: if you have it, or there's a possibility of getting it, somebody, somewhere, is studying it.

Good News

3/24: Headline: "Dominating, Irritable People at Risk for Heart Disease"

7/25: Life expectancy rises to 76.7 years, a record.

/1: Two studies report that "routine moderate drinking" can protect diabetics from heart disease.

/1: Chinese researchers say they have created a successful male birth-control pill.

10/12: Japanese studies prove afternoon naps result in smarter, more productive workers.

11/10: Tests on cancer drug Endostatin prove it's safe and has few side effects, show promising signs of tumor control.

12/5: Experimental pill for leukemia (Glivec) causes remission in more than 90 percent of patients.

Bad News

2/7: Researcher admits he falsified data showing bone marrow transplants helped control breast cancer.

3/3: Too much vitamin C may speed hardening of the arteries.

5/9: Evidence presented that cell phones can cause brain tumors.

7/10: Alzheimer's increasing: epidemic feared.

7/24: Death rate from hepatitis C expected to be higher than that from AIDS by 2015.

/24: Diabetes up 70 percent among people in their 30s--obesity blamed.

/29: Headline: "Type 2 Diabetes Among Children Becoming 'Epidemic'"

10/9: Global economy leading to global work-related depression.

12/5: Gonorrhea rate rises 9 percent between 1997 and 1999, Chicago among "worst-rate" cities.

Uh-Oh/Well, Duh

2/1: Drinking and standing don't mix, study says.

3/20: Misfortune and adversity can cause psychiatric disorders.

4/17: Dead harvested for products.

6/13: Study shows children are more creative when parents aren't around.

6/13: Headline: "Women Get More Sexual Satisfaction From Handsome Men, Study Says"

6/27: With entire human genetic code assembled, scientists have "thrilling to-do list" for 21st century.

7/11: Headline: "Kids in Demand for Drug Studies"

7/14: People who use the Internet to find sex partners more likely to have an STD, study says.

/7: "Great presidents" not likable, or honest, psychologists say.

9/18: Study finds New Yorkers least likely to wash hands after using the bathroom.

11/14: Big meal increases heart-attack risk.

11/28: Study finds men use only half their brain when listening.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Terry Laban.

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