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Swine flu, embryonic stem cells are high on these (early) top 10 lists

December 2, 2009 | 12:35 pm

MaskThe reflections on 2009 have begun.

-- This week, the Harvard Health Letter offers up its top 10 health stories of the year. Leading the list is the H1N1 influenza pandemic. Second is healthcare reform.

-- The Scientist touts its top 10 innovations of the year. Leading that list is researchers' newfound ability to convert cells to an embryonic-like state using only proteins. Second is a new machine that could be used to identify viruses or bacteria during an outbreak.

-- And AOL hands over its top 10 health-conditions searches. No link, so we'll give you the whole list: Tops is ... yep, swine flu. Followed by lupus, diabetes, pregnancy, depression, herpes, fibromyalgia, autism, HPV and breast cancer.

By my calendar, we still have about a twelfth of the year to go, but apparently no one expects much of poor December.

-- Tami Dennis

Photo: A woman wears a mask in the Beijing subway. In China, as in the rest of the world, swine flu has taken a toll. Credit: Peter Parks / AFP/Getty Images

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