RESOURCES: Majority Report

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Science  09 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5583, pp. 903
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5583.903c

Is angioplasty a better way to open plugged coronary arteries than clot-busting drugs? Does the much-touted herb echinacea really defeat colds? Instead of plowing through the literature, visit the Cochrane Library to find answers to health questions such as these.

For the last decade, experts belonging to the Cochrane Collaboration, an international, nonprofit research consortium, have been systematically reviewing the effectiveness of treatments and procedures, scrutinizing the literature and weighing sometimes-contradictory studies to reach a conclusion. Their goal is to provide doctors, patients, researchers, and policy-makers with the best information for health care decisions. The more than 1400 Cochrane reviews now completed assess everything from vitamin A for preventing HIV transmission during childbirth (doesn't work) to acupuncture for tennis elbow (data are inconclusive). Nonsubscribers can peruse abstracts here; paying subscribers, including many university libraries, have access to the full reports.

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