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William Heisel's Antidote: Investigating Untold Health Stories

William Heisel, former investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, writes about investigative health reporting. He is currently the director of global engagement at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

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When it comes to addressing disorders of the brain, the medical toolkit is weak. But new mapping projects underway could gradually change our ability to treat many common brain disorders.
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The U.S. has moved decisively toward fluoridation in water, which shows that it’s possible to move out of an area of doubt and confusion and into an era where good science is accepted and basic public health measures are taken.
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Clinton referred to some Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables” and quickly alienated a large swathe of voters. Are journalists making a similar mistake with those who have doubts about the safety or efficacy of vaccines?
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In a recent Reuters series, a team of reporters exposed what we still don't know about superbugs and highlighted a huge hole in that knowledge: the inaccuracy of death certificates.
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Legislation recently signed into law in California requires doctors to check a state database before prescribing narcotics. A key advocate behind the effort says increasing media attention was crucial in winning the bill's passage.
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Football fan culture is changing, writes contributing editor William Heisel, as the consequences of repeated hard collisions become common knowledge. "Knock his block off!" the old refrain went. Or maybe don't?
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Despite their benefits, the use of sensors has stalled amid concerns that inaccurate readings could lead to sidelined players. Some worry games or even careers could be cut short by false positives. But is that a valid objection?
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Last week, Carolina Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton got a ton of ink for what were perceived as repeated concussion-threatening hits to the helmet. Why did this story get so much attention?
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A quick primer on the science of how obesity and high cholesterol can break down cartilage and bones, spurring the development of arthritis.
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One of the biggest ways obesity can lead to arthritis is the way it works on joints. The extra pressure that comes with more pounds tends to break down the cartilage in the knees, hips and other joints.

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