Science & Health

Shots - Health News
3:54 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Breast-Feeding Is Still Difficult For Many Moms

Amber Medel weighs her 3-week-old baby, Elijah, as lactation consultant Carol Chamblin takes note. Medel had problems breast-feeding and Chamblin encouraged her to use a breast pump to get the milk flowing more easily.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 4:03 pm

When Elizabeth O'Connell was expecting her first child, she knew she wanted to breast-feed. And, she says, she sort of expected it to just happen, naturally.

That's not quite how it panned out. "I was experiencing very tremendous pain," she says.

At first she figured that was normal — but soon it became too much to handle. "I was devastated," she says. "The reality is nursing is a wonderful bonding experience, but when you're in pain, you aren't really thinking about that."

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Goats and Soda
12:21 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

How Cultures Move Across Continents

Maximilian Schich & Mauro Martino, 2014

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 12:43 pm

They may look like flight paths around North America and Europe. Or perhaps nighttime satellite photos, with cities lit up like starry constellations.

But look again.

These animations chart the movement of Western culture over the past 2,000 years, researchers report Friday in the journal Science.

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Shots - Health News
7:03 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Caffeine Gives Athletes An Edge, But Don't Overdo It

Peter Kennaugh of SKY Procycling enjoys an espresso ahead of first stage of the Tour de France 2013, in Corsica.
Scott Mitchell teamsky.com via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 3:31 pm

After winning the Tour de France last Sunday, Vincenzo Nibali was tested for a bunch of performance-enhancing substances. But Nibali and his fellow competitors were welcome to have several cups of coffee (or cans of Red Bull), before their ride into Paris; caffeine is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list.

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The Salt
3:21 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Should We Return The Nutrients In Our Pee Back To The Farm?

More than 170 volunteers in the Brattleboro, Vt., area have contributed urine to the Rich Earth Institute field trials.
Mike Earley/Courtesy of Rich Earth Institute

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 1:11 pm

Let me guess how you feel about your urine: Get that smelly stuff away from me as fast as possible?

A small group of environmentalists in Vermont isn't as squeamish. Instead of flushing their pee down the drain, they're collecting it with special toilets that separate No. 1 and No. 2.

Then they're pooling the urine of the 170 volunteers in the pilot project (a quart or so, per person, daily) and eventually giving it to a farmer, who's putting it on her hay fields in place of synthetic fertilizer. The goal is to collect 6,000 gallons this year.

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The Two-Way
1:50 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Kentucky Buoys Noah's Ark Park With Millions In New Tax Breaks

Mike Zovath, co-founder of Answers in Genesis ministries, poses for photos at the Ark Encounter headquarters, in 2011. Kentucky has granted the project tens of millions in tax incentives.
Dylan Lovan AP

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:10 pm

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

Kentucky has approved $18 million in new tax breaks for a controversial Christian theme park that is to feature a 510-foot-long replica of Noah's Ark.

Maryanne Zeleznik of member station WVXU in Cincinnati reports that the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the incentives for the Ark Encounter, to be built in Williamstown. The legislature must still OK the plan.

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Shots - Health News
11:36 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Hospitals Fight Proposed Changes In The Training Of Doctors

Chief Medical Resident Dr. Julia Vermylen (right) critiques interns during an "intern boot camp," held at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital in June.
Stacy Thacker AP

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 4:10 pm

An influential report that urges sweeping changes in how the federal government subsidizes the training of doctors has brought out the sharp scalpels of those who would be most immediately affected.

The reaction also raises questions about the sensitive politics involved in redistributing a large pot of money –mostly from Medicare — that now goes disproportionately to teaching hospitals in the U.S. Northeast. All of the changes recommended would have to be made by Congress.

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The Two-Way
10:27 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Scientists Say The Moon Is Hiding A Lumpy Middle

The full moon rises above the castle of Somoskoujfalu, northeast of Budapest, Hungary, earlier this month.
Peter Komka AP

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 1:48 pm

What shape is the moon? When it's full, we'd all agree that it looks perfectly round. But careful measurements by a team of scientists have shown that's not the case.

Like many an Earth-bound observer, it turns out that our nearest neighbor in space is hiding a slight bulge around the waist. It's less like a ball and more like a squashed sphere, with a lump on one side.

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Science & Health
6:37 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Cold Air Sets New Records Across Alabama

Ok, not quite "Brr..."

Unusually cold air is setting records -- breaking some marks that have stood for more than a century -- for low temperatures across Alabama.

The National Weather Service reports that several record low temperatures for July 30 were shattered early Wednesday morning.

In Anniston, Wednesday morning's low of 54 was far lower than the previous record of 61 for the date, which was set in 1903.

Birmingham's low of 57 Wednesday broke the previous record of 61 from 1994.

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U.S.
5:33 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Is Fracking To Blame For Increase In Quakes In Oklahoma?

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 7:12 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
4:37 am
Thu July 31, 2014

What Somebody's Mummy Can Teach You About Heart Disease

Eduard Egarter-Vigl (left) and Albert Zink (right) sample Italy's mummified iceman for genetic analysis in November 2010. Previous research suggests he, too, was predisposed to heart disease.
Samadelli Marco/EURAC

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 1:47 pm

We think of heart disease as a modern scourge, brought on by our sedentary lifestyles and our affinity for fast food.

But a few years ago, a team of researchers discovered something puzzling — CT scans of Egyptian mummies showed signs of hardened, narrow arteries. Further scans of mummies from other ancient civilizations turned up the same thing.

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Shots - Health News
12:54 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Problem Drinking In Midlife Linked To Memory Trouble Later

How much is too much?
Robert S. Donovan/Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 1:58 pm

To ward off big memory problems in your 70s and beyond you may want to cork the bottle more often now.

In a study of 6,500 people published this week, adults with a midlife history of drinking problems were more than twice as likely as those without alcohol problems to suffer severe memory impairment decades later.

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Science & Health
11:33 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Report: Working People Would Benefit from Medicaid Expansion

Credit arisecitizens.org

A new report details who exactly would benefit from expanded Medicaid in Alabama.  The advocacy group Alabama Arise and the national Families USA are highlighting the professions of the people who are being caught in the so-called “Medicaid Gap.”  Those are people who make too little to qualify for subsidies under the healthcare law but too much to qualify for Medicaid.  Authors of the Affordable Care Act had planned for states to expand Medicaid but many Republican-leanin

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The Salt
5:49 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Farming The Bluefin Tuna, Tiger Of The Ocean, Is Not Without A Price

Yonathan Zohar, Jorge Gomezjurado and Odi Zmora check on bluefin tuna larvae in tanks at the University of Maryland Baltimore County's Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology.
Courtesy of Yonathan Zohar

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 2:21 pm

In a windowless laboratory in downtown Baltimore, some tiny, translucent fish larvae are swimming about in glass-walled tanks.

They are infant bluefin tuna. Scientists in this laboratory are trying to grasp what they call the holy grail of aquaculture: raising this powerful fish, so prized by sushi lovers, entirely in captivity. But the effort is fraught with challenges.

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The Salt
4:07 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Want To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint? Choose Mackerel Over Shrimp

A fisherman pulls a basket filled with anchovies aboard a fishing boat off of Peru's northern port of Chimbote, in 2012. Peru is the world's top fishmeal exporter, producing about a third of worldwide supply.
Enrique Castro-Mendivil Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 3:05 pm

Small fatty fish like mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies are high in omega-3s, vitamin D and low on the food chain.

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Animals
3:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The 30-Foot High Pile Of Bones That Could Be A DNA Treasure Trove

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 6:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO: From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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