A Letter From the Publisher: Nov. 3, 1986

It takes a special journalistic talent to make medical stories come alive. The subject matter is complex; writers and editors are confronted with jargon- filled journals and stacks of press releases touting "breakthroughs." They must quickly differentiate between true medical advances and sophisticated hyperbole. Getting the story wrong can mean giving sick people false hopes or, even worse, groundless fears. Getting it right can help them discover new pathways to healthier lives.

Associate Editor Claudia Wallis, who wrote this week's main cover story on viruses, is experienced at making such distinctions. Wallis has tackled a wide range of medical topics since...

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