Health

Health
12:18 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Caution: Walking Under The Influence Of Mobile Devices

He better not be talking to his mom.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 5:50 pm

Here's an experiment you can try. But please be the scientist and not the test subject.

Watch people cross the street and note whether they're yakking on the phone, texting or bopping to tunes while they do it. If you're really ambitious, time how long it takes them to cross.

This past summer researchers from the University of Washington did it. They watched more than 1,100 pedestrians at the 20 intersections in Seattle that racked up the most pedestrian injuries over the last three years.

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Health
9:53 am
Wed December 12, 2012

A Guarded Thumbs Up For Sugar To Ease Tots' Pain From Shots

Does a little sugar water before shots really help ease a babies' pain? If only they could tell us.
Dmitry Naumov iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 4:21 pm

Nobody likes to see a baby in pain. But it's been surprisingly hard for doctors to figure out how to make shots and other medical procedures hurt less.

The solution might be as simple as giving a baby a bit of sugar water before the shot. Or it might not be so simple at all.

How do we know when a baby's hurting? A parent might be able to tell the difference between a cry of pain, the wet diaper cry, and the boy I'm tired cry. Doctors and nurses lack that intimate knowledge.

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Health
3:57 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Perfection Is Skin Deep: Everyone Has Flawed Genes

When researchers looked at the genetic sequences of 179 individuals, they found far more defects in the patterns of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs than they expected.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 10:19 pm

We all know that nobody's perfect. But now scientists have documented that fact on a genetic level.

Researchers discovered that normal, healthy people are walking around with a surprisingly large number of mutations in their genes.

It's been well known that everyone has flaws in their DNA, though, for the most part, the defects are harmless. It's been less clear, however, just how many mistakes are lurking in someone's genes.

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Health
2:42 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Genome Sequencing For Babies Brings Knowledge And Conflicts

By sequencing a newborn's genome, doctors could screen for more genetic conditions. But parents could be confronted with confusing or ambiguous data about their baby's health.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 11:21 am

When Christine Rowan gave birth prematurely in August, her new baby was having problems breathing. So Rowan brought her daughter, Zoe, to the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., for genetic testing.

"It's funny because when we first had the testing done, we didn't even really think about the fact the testing was going to lay out all of her DNA," says Rowan, 32, who lives in Northern Virginia.

But while Rowan and her husband were waiting for the results, questions started popping into their heads.

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Health
4:58 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

A Risky Mix: Grapefruit And Quite A Few Drugs

Grapefruit can make for a tasty addition to breakfast. But it can also interfere with some medications.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:44 pm

Grapefruit sprinkled with a little sugar has just the right amount of kick for a morning meal. But when the bitter fruit is mixed with medication, things can get a bit tricky.

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Health
4:49 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us

A Hare Krishna distributes food gifts from a chariot during a festival in London in 2011. The religious group began distributing books, flowers and gifts to strangers in the 1970s, drawing on the rule of reciprocation to raise money.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:44 am

In 1974, Phillip Kunz and his family got a record number of Christmas cards. In the weeks before Christmas they came daily, sometimes by the dozen. Kunz still has them in his home, collected in an old photo album.

"Dear Phil, Joyce and family," a typical card reads, "we received your holiday greeting with much joy and enthusiasm ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's. Love Lou, Bev and the children."

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Health
4:45 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Making Sense Of Colors And Shapes In The Toilet

A physician examines a patient's urine flask in this 17th century print by Isaac Sarrabat.
CollectionImages from the History of Medicine (NLM)

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:30 pm

If you haven't heard, yesterday was World Toilet Day, and its sponsors, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council and the World Toilet Organization, suggest you take a moment to consider the profound luxury of good sanitation. A mind-boggling 2.6 billion people on Earth don't have toilets, and WSSCC and WTO are among the parties set on bringing that number down.

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Health
3:26 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Can You Move It And Work It On A Treadmill Desk?

Employees at at Salo, a Minneapolis-based financial consulting firm, walk while working on treadmill desks. The firm offers treadmill desks for employee use and encourages an active workplace environment.
Salo LLC

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 10:38 am

As we've reported, there's a backlash brewing to sedentary office life as more people realize how sitting all day can do a body wrong.

I work at home and often sit in front of my computer doing research and writing. So I thought I'd give a treadmill desk a try.

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Health
9:48 am
Wed November 14, 2012

I, Robot: Paraplegics Get An Assist

Brian Shaffer tests an exoskeleton developed by researchers at Vanderbilt University at a rehabilitation center in Franklin, Tenn. The exoskeleton locks around the legs and feet. To stand up, a paralyzed person simply leans forward.
Joe Howell Vanderbilt University

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 11:41 am

A robotic suit that gives the wearer superhuman powers sounds like the stuff of science fiction. But technology like that is making the leap from fantasy to reality.

Though much of the gear is still experimental, the equipment is giving some paraplegics a chance to walk again.

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Health
6:39 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Life-Saving Tips to Keep Children and Pets Safe During Severe Weather

http://www.americanhumane.org American Humane Society

Disclaimer: This is a press release from the American Humane Society, a credited organization, and not is not a reviewed story from the WCBE newsroom.

Even as the giant Red Star truck drives toward its staging area, American Humane Association President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert ordered the issuance of life-saving tips to families in the hurricane’s path.

“It is very important that families take action now to protect the most vulnerable among us,” she said. “There are things that can be done before, during, and after a storm to keep children and pets safe.”

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The Salt
5:57 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Data Linking Aspartame To Cancer Risk Is Too Weak To Defend, Hospital Says

Diet soda
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 6:06 pm

We almost brought you news today about a study that appeared to raise some troubling questions about aspartame, the popular sugar substitute found in many common foods like diet soda. Note the key word — almost.

A study due to be published at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and released to reporters earlier in the week under embargo found some correlation between drinking diet soda and an increased risk of leukemia and Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as a few other rare blood-related cancers.

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Shots - Health News
12:53 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

HIV Finding Opens New Path For Vaccine Research

The HIV-1 virus cultivated with human lymphocytes.
C. Goldsmith, P. Feorino, E. L. Palmer, W. R. McManus CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 12:55 pm

Researchers in South Africa have learned something new about how antibodies fight off HIV in research that could advance the quest to develop a vaccine against the virus.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:06 am
Mon October 8, 2012

When Should Seniors Hang Up The Car Keys?

More elderly drivers will hit the road in the next decade, but family members wonder: When is it time for elderly loved ones to move to the passenger seat?
Martin Novak iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 4:35 am

With a growing population of baby boomers, officials are bracing for a surge in senior drivers. Statistics tell us that accidents increase after the age of 65, and fatal accidents are more likely after the age of 75.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

In Nigerian Gold Rush, Lead Poisons Thousands Of Children

Women and their children wait for medication and instructions on how to use it at the clinic in Dareta, Nigeria. Treating children with high levels of lead is a painstaking process that works only if their environment at home is free from lead.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:26 pm

Across a swath of northern Nigeria, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding, as lead from illegal gold mines sickens thousands of children.

More than 400 kids have died, and many more have been mentally stunted for life.

Doctors Without Borders, which has set up clinics to treat the children, is calling it one of the worst cases of environmental lead poisoning in recent history.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:32 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Nail Biting: Mental Disorder Or Just A Bad Habit?

Pathological nail biting may be a form of grooming on steroids, but it also makes the biter feel good, unlike fear-driven OCD.
Andrea Kissack for KQED

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:54 am

Do you bite your nails? For 30 years, I did. We nail biters can be "pathological groomers" — people for whom normal grooming behaviors, like skin picking or hair pulling, have become virtually uncontrollable.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:33 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

For Best Toilet Health: Squat Or Sit?

A contractor designed the Squatty Potty to help his mother get closer to the squatting position on the john.
Courtesy of Squatty Potty

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 2:50 pm

We at Shots don't shy away from talking about poop, as Michaeleen Doucleff demonstrated last month with her post on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's investment in fake feces.

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The Picture Show
10:29 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Losing 160 Pounds, One Photo At A Time

No. 1 (Wedding Dress)
Courtesy of Julia Kozerski

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 11:23 pm

After her wedding in 2009, artist Julia Kozerski decided to drastically change her lifestyle. She lost 160 pounds in one year — and documented the transition with her iPhone.

Her series — called "Changing Room" — was shot in various dressing rooms in 2010 and 2011. Her body was changing so rapidly that she kept trying on clothes as a way of exploring her identity.

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The Salt
10:35 am
Mon September 17, 2012

U.S. Kids Eat Nearly As Much Salt As Adults, Putting Health At Risk

It's going to take a lot more than emptying the salt shaker to cut back on the sodium U.S. kids are getting.
L. Marie Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:42 pm

Yes, we love salt. It makes everything taste better. But as a society, we're eating way too much of it. And, so are our children.

A new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that children in the U.S. between the ages of 8 and 18 are eating, on average, 3,387 mg per day. That's about the same amount as adults. But it's a lot more than the 2,300 mg daily limit recommended by the federal dietary guidelines.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:36 am
Mon September 17, 2012

Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform

Teachers interact differently with students expected to succeed. But they can be trained to change those classroom behaviors.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 9:52 am

In my Morning Edition story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:42 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Where Traffic Noise Takes A Toll On Health

How much does noisy traffic in Atlanta affect people's health?
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 11:29 am

Living next to a noisy highway can be annoying. The racket can also disrupt your sleep.

Too many bad nights' sleep can raise the risk of heart attack, high blood pressure and other ailments.

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