Health

Health
3:46 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

A Field Of Medicine That Wants To Know Where You Live

A map of toxic waste sites can be combined with maps of waterways and cities to reveal potential health risks.
Bill Davenhall Esri

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 8:39 am

In 1854, an English doctor named John Snow pinpointed an outbreak of cholera in London to a single contaminated water pump.

A pioneer of modern epidemiology, Snow used information about where the sick people lived to deduce that they were drinking tainted water from that source.

And while using clues about peoples' locations is an important tool in public health, it's now set to make individual health care even more personal.

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Health
3:42 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Scientists Implicate More Than 100 Genes In Causing Autism

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 6:51 pm

The hunt to find genes that cause autism has been a long slog, one hampered by a lack of technology and families willing to be tested.

But the effort is starting to pay off. On Tuesday, researchers at more than 50 laboratories said they had identified more than 100 genes that are mutated in children with autism, dozens more than were known before.

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Health
4:36 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Corneal Implants Might Make Reading Glasses Obsolete

A corneal inlay next to a contact lens.
Courtesy of John Vukich

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 9:03 am

For Lori Bandt, who works as a medical technician and an EMT in a suburb of Madison, Wis., the print on vials of medication has become so difficult to read that if she forgets her reading glasses she has to resort to having a younger EMT worker read the directions. The 45-year-old says: "I'm just stuck."

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Health
1:03 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

Slippery When Coated: Helping Medical Devices Prevent Blood Clots

The slide on the right has been treated with a coating that repels blood.
Wyss Institute via Vimeo

A carnivorous plant has inspired an invention that may turn out to be a medical lifesaver.

Nepenthes, also known as tropical pitcher plants or monkey cups, produce a superslippery surface that causes unfortunate insects that climb into the plant to slide to their doom.

Scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering wondered if they could find a way to mimic that surface to solve a problem in medicine.

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Health
10:38 am
Wed October 8, 2014

The Great Bluff That Led To A 'Magical' Pill And A Sexual Revolution

The history of how the birth control pill was developed in the 1950s is recounted in Jonathan Eig's new book The Birth of the Pill.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 4:20 pm

In the 1950s, four people — the founder of the birth control movement, a controversial scientist, a Catholic obstetrician and a wealthy feminist — got together to create a revolutionary little pill the world had never seen before.

They were sneaky about what they were doing — skirting the law, lying to women about the tests they performed and fibbing to the public about their motivations.

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Health
3:17 am
Wed October 8, 2014

One U.S. Hospital's Strategy For Stopping Ebola's Advance

Ideally, the best place to care for someone ill with Ebola is at the end of a hall in a room with its own bathroom, anteroom and entrance, says Dr. Jack Ross of Hartford Hospital.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Dr. Jack Ross is used to seeing potentially lethal viruses, and he is used to putting patients into isolation. Still, Ebola is different.

"I think, for any hospital today, Ebola represents one step higher than anything else, if we had to do it," says Ross, who directs infection control for Hartford Healthcare's five hospitals in Connecticut.

On a tour of Hartford Hospital, Ross explains how his Ebola control plan would affect various parts of the facility — from the emergency room, to the intensive care unit, to the floors of rooms where patients stay.

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Health
3:16 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Why Saying Is Believing — The Science Of Self-Talk

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 9:27 am

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Health
3:35 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical

Daniela Chavarriaga holds her daughter Emma as Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares administers a measles vaccination at Miami Children's Hospital.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 11:02 am

When essayist Eula Biss was pregnant with her son, she decided she wanted to do just a bit of research into vaccination. "I thought I would do a small amount of research to answer some questions that had come up for me," she tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "And the questions just got bigger the more I learned and the more I read."

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Health
3:34 am
Mon September 22, 2014

NFL Looks To Training To Prevent Domestic Violence By Players

No amount of training can undo the violence someone experienced at home as a child, but it can help break the cycle.
Pamela Albin Moore iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 9:14 am

On Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell broke a week of silence following the release of a video that showed former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulting his then-fiancee.

Goodell apologized for his role in the NFL's handling of the matter.

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Health
3:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

Keith Negley for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:21 am

Chronic stress is hazardous to health and can lead to early death from heart disease, cancer and of other health problems. But it turns out it doesn't matter whether the stress comes from major events in life or from minor problems. Both can be deadly.

And it may be that it's not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it's how you react to the smaller, everyday stress.

The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years.

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Health
4:15 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Will Obama's Plan Bring The Ebola Outbreak Under Control?

President Obama meets with Emory University doctors and health care workers during his visit Tuesday to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:37 am

It is the biggest anti-Ebola effort yet.

After months of calls by aid workers for the global community to do something about the escalating crisis, President Obama has announced plans for a massive international intervention.

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Health
3:38 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Too Few University Jobs For America's Young Scientists

Victoria Ruiz (left), a postdoctoral fellow in immunology, works with Brianna Delgado, a high school student that she mentors, at the Blaser Lab, inside NYU's Langone Medical Center in New York, NY.
Ramsay de Give for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 8:21 pm

Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That's, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research.

In the United States, more than 40,000 temporary employees known as postdoctoral research fellows are doing science at a bargain price. And most postdocs are being trained for jobs that don't actually exist.

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Health
3:30 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Changing Tack, GOP Candidates Support Over-The-Counter Birth Control

iStockPhoto

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:32 pm

A string of Republican candidates for Senate are supporting an issue usually associated with Democrats: easier access to contraception.

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Health
4:03 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Rare Virus Has Sickened Hundreds More Children, Hospitals Say

PCR tests like this can tell if a virus is an enterovirus, but they can't ID the new virus that has caused a surge in serious respiratory infections.
BSIP / Science Source

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 5:33 pm

Just 82 children have confirmed cases of enterovirus-D68, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but hospitals around the country say they are treating hundreds more children who have been sickened by the rare virus.

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Health
1:32 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Some Things You Can Do In Your Sleep, Literally

After people learned to sort words while awake, their brains were able to do the same task while asleep.
Courtesy of Current Biology, Kouider et al.

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:23 am

For those who find themselves sleeping through work — you may one day find yourself working through sleep.

People who are fast asleep can correctly respond to simple verbal instructions, according to a study by researchers in France. They think this may help explain why you might wake if someone calls your name or why your alarm clock is more likely to rouse you than any other noise.

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Health
8:42 am
Wed September 10, 2014

How Could A Doctor's Death From Ebola Possibly Be 'Good'?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 2:57 pm

Here are three words you don't often see in close proximity: Good. Death. Ebola.

Yet there they stand, united in the headline for an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine this month: "A Good Death: Ebola and Sacrifice."

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Health
3:49 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

U.S. Doctor Didn't Treat Ebola Patients Yet Still Caught The Virus

Dr. Rick Sacra, who had worked in Liberia in previous years, went back in August to tend to pregnant women and to children. The 51-year-old Massachusetts family physician is the third American to contract the Ebola virus.
Courtesy of SIM

Christian aid group SIM has identified the third American to catch the disease as Dr. Rick Sacra.

The 51-year-old family physician from Massachusetts has been working on and off in Liberia with his wife, Debbie, since 1995. He joined SIM in the late '80s and between 2008 and 2010 was the acting medical director at the group's ELWA Hospital in Monrovia. He had previously served as the group's Liberia director for several years.

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Health
5:14 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Double Mastectomies Don't Yield Expected Results, Study Finds

Double mastectomy has become increasingly popular as a breast cancer treatment, but it may not reduce cancer risk.
Sladjana Lukic iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 2:30 pm

More women are choosing to have bilateral mastectomies when they are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, even though there's little evidence that removing both breasts improves their survival compared with more conservative treatments.

The biggest study yet on the question has found no survival benefit with bilateral mastectomy compared with breast-conserving surgery with radiation.

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Health
3:29 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rats! New York City Tries To Drain Rodent 'Reservoirs'

New Yorkers can take city-run classes to learn how to make their homes and businesses less attractive to these guys.
Ludovic Bertron Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am

New York City is launching the latest salvo in its never-ending war on rats.

City officials are ramping up efforts to teach regular New Yorkers how to make their streets, businesses and gardens less hospitable to rodents — in other words, to see their neighborhood the way a health inspector would.

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Health
4:16 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Scentless: Losing Your Sense Of Smell May Make Life Riskier

If you can't smell this, you could be in big trouble.
Henrik Sorensen Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:55 pm

Losing your sense of smell may not sound like a big deal, but it can increase your risk of injury, researchers say. Without the sniffer serving as early warning system, it can be hard to know if the pan is burning on the stove or the chicken has gone bad.

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