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Inflammation Bares a Dark Side

Science  17 Dec 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6011, pp. 1621
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6011.1621

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Summary

Not long ago, inflammation had a clear role: It was a sidekick to the body's healers, briefly setting in as immune cells rebuilt tissue damaged by trauma or infection. Today, that's an afterthought. Inflammation has hit the big time. Over the past decade, it has become widely accepted that inflammation is a driving force behind chronic diseases that will kill nearly all of us. Cancer. Diabetes and obesity. Alzheimer's disease. Atherosclerosis. Here, inflammation wears a grim mask, shedding its redeeming features and making sick people sicker.