Whatever happened to …

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Science  16 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6305, pp. 1198-1201
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6305.1198

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Hydrogen sulfide, ghrelin, and a handful of molecules made naturally in our bodies were, if you believed press stories and some researchers in recent years, going to trim our waistlines, spare our hearts, build up our muscles, and even allow deep space travel. But the molecular circuits that control our physiology are almost always more complex than they appear at first glance. Plucking out a single molecule and turning it into a drug or drug target is an ambitious goal. So Science decided to check in on whether some of these substances delivered on their initial promise. We found that although a few have spawned drugs that patients are now taking, none has lived up to its hype.

  • * Illustrations by Freak City