Hungry for health info?, "a metasearch engine for the medical search engines," draws from 32 estimable databases, including PubMed, MedLine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plus health news providers and sources of medical images.


The searches are fast and productive. Extras include a dictionary of health terms, a list of health organization acronyms, a catalog of medical journals and the fields they cover and, just for fun, a list of topics -- from "hammertoes" and "discovered polydactyly" to "crotch rot" -- recently researched by other visitors to the site.


The site's a work in progress, with some seemingly missing links. The Merck Manual, for instance, isn't included in the main search but in a separate listing of other "Searchable Databases." And unless you fine-tune your search, you may get way more info than you need, presented in no apparent order.


A general search for "common cold" turns up 110 links, starting with the useful WebMD document "Cold Treatments, Remedies and Prevention," followed by a somewhat less useful listing of a clinical trial of echinacea for its possible cold-curing abilities, some helpful cold-and-flu guidelines and, oddly, something about breast cancer.


An overview section helps users tailor searches: Doctors and researchers can target academic sources, while the general public can limit searches to a few layman-friendly sites like WebMD. Doing so with the "common cold" search cuts out the clinical trials and other oddball links to produce a list of 60 useful links.