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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Monday, October 22, 2007
Today's Globe: annual physicals, genes in mental illness, a better IVF 'womb,' instinct and eating, Dr. W. Jack Mitus
For decades, the yearly physical for adults has stood as an iconic fixture on the healthcare landscape, right next to tongue depressors and stethoscopes. But researchers and some health plans increasingly voice deep skepticism about the value of scheduling a separate annual exam for a healthy person.
MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research will announce today that it has received $20 million to help crack the biological basis of serious mental illness.
Teruo Fujii and his colleagues believe their "womb-on-a-chip" is superior to growing embryos in the static environment of a Petri dish, the way in-vitro fertilization clinics now prepare embryos for implantation into a mother's womb. Eventually, they hope it will lead to better outcomes for infertile women.
Deirdre Leigh Barrett (left) has one piece of advice for people struggling with their weight: Don't listen to your instincts. Humans are hard-wired to prefer the kinds of foods that were scarce on the savannas where we evolved, says Barrett, 53, a psychologist with Cambridge Health Alliance. But now that those foods are readily available, if we listen to our instincts, we'll all be obese.
Dr. W. Jack Mitus (left) survived the Nazi invasion of Poland, jumped out of airplanes to fight the Axis powers, and taught generations of Tufts University medical students how to be good doctors. His family liked to call him "Super Jack." Dr. Mitus died at his home in Brookline on Sept. 20 after a brief illness. It was his 55th wedding anniversary, and he died with his wife, Anna, by his side. He was 87.