Science & Health

Health Overhaul-Alabama
5:06 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Legislators Hear Comments On Ala. Medicaid Bill

State legislators heard from community groups and managed care companies regarding efforts to reorganize Alabama's Medicaid Program.
Credit Microsoft images

Representatives from community groups and managed care companies are lauding the Legislature's efforts to reorganize Alabama's Medicaid program.


Speakers told House and Senate members Tuesday that the proposal is a major first step, but they also voiced concerns for the bill before it goes to committees for public hearings and revisions.


The bill would change Medicaid from a fee-for-service program to a program where private-sector contractors develop care networks in up to eight regions of the state.

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Science & Health
11:39 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Sorting Out The Mammogram Debate: Who Should Get Screened When?

A woman gets a mammogram in Putanges, France.
Mychele Daniau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 3:21 pm

Mammography outcomes from nearly a million U.S. women suggest which ones under 50 would stand the greatest chance of benefiting from regular screening: those with very dense breasts.

That's been a bone of contention ever since a federal task force declared nearly four years ago that women younger than 50 shouldn't routinely get the test.

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Science & Health
10:56 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Breast-feeding Mothers Living In First Food Deserts

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:34 am

Most people are aware of the positive effects of breast-feeding. But in many areas of the country, breast-feeding is not the cultural norm, and there's little support available for mothers. Host Michel Martin talks with Kimberly Seals Allers, the co-author of a new report on so-called "first food deserts," and a nursing mother, Areti Gourzis.

The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Australia's Heron Island: A Canary In The Coal Mine For Coral Reefs?

Heron Island is located on the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 25 miles off the northeast coast of Australia.
Ted Mead Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:02 am

NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 1: Richard gets a hefty dose of bad news.

I've seen the future, and it isn't pretty.

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Shots - Health News
2:15 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Alzheimer's 'Epidemic' Now A Deadlier Threat To Elderly

Social worker Nuria Casulleres shows a portrait of Audrey Hepburn to elderly men during a memory activity at the Cuidem La Memoria elderly home in Barcelona, Spain, last August. The home specializes in Alzheimer's patients.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:44 am

Alzheimer's disease doesn't just steal memories. It takes lives.

The disease is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and figures released Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association show that deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent between 2000 and 2010.

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Science
3:43 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Internet Pioneers Win First-Ever Queen Elizabeth Prize For Engineering

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 4:54 pm

The winners of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering were announced Monday in London. Five Internet pioneers — Marc Andreessen, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Vinton Cerf, Robert Kahn, and Louis Pouzin — will share the honor and the one million pound prize. The new U.K.-based award aims to be a "Nobel Prize" for engineering. Robert Siegel talks to Lord Browne of Madingley about the winners.

The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Indonesian Zoo Breeds Rare Komodo Dragons

Four of seven baby Komodos born at the Surabaya Zoo in Indonesia last week.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 1:26 pm

A zoo in Indonesia is now home to seven bouncing baby Komodo dragons. Before you recoil in disgust, have a look at this video from the BBC — "cute" may not be the operative word, but the hatchlings do exude a certain endearing quality.

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The Salt
12:42 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Synesthetes Really Can Taste The Rainbow

A select group of synesthetes can truly "taste the rainbow."
Photo illustration by Daniel M.N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:23 am

Plenty of us got our fill of green-colored food on St. Patrick's Day. (Green beer, anyone?) But for some people, associating taste with color is more than just a once-a-year experience.

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Research News
3:06 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Scientists Catalog Individual Dust Particles

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 11:38 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, even if you do not suffer from asthma, it may still be a good idea to reduce your exposure to dust. Invisible tiny particles are constantly swirling around in the air we breathe.

And as reporter Gretchen Cuda Kroen reports, depending on what's in those particles, they may be affecting our health.

GRETCHEN CUDA KROEN, BYLINE: Take a deep breath.

(SOUNDBITE OF INHALATION)

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:05 am
Sat March 16, 2013

The Naming Of The Shrew

Carl Buell

It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?

It's an act of edited, elegant imagination.

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Organ Transplants
4:38 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Ala. Children's Hospital Begins Organ Transplants

Children's of Alabama says the hospital has begun to perform organ transplants this week.
Credit Google

Officials at Children's of Alabama have announced the hospital has begun performing organ transplants.


Hospital spokeswoman Kathy Bowers says the hospital performed its first heart transplant earlier this week.


Before getting approval from the United Network for Organ Sharing, patients who needed heart, liver or kidney transplants were transferred from Children's to UAB Hospital, then back to Children's of Alabama for post-operative treatment.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

A Peek Into Exoplanet's Atmosphere Offers Clues To How It Was Formed

The 10-meter Keck II (right), a twin of the world's largest optical telescope, was used to study the atmosphere of HR 8799c.
Richard Wainscoat AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 2:06 pm

Scientists peering into the atmosphere of a giant planet 130 light years away believe their findings bolster one theory of how solar systems form.

The planet, orbiting the star HR 8799, is part of a solar system containing at least three other "super-Jupiters" weighing in at between five and 10 times the mass of our own Jupiter. The nearby system features a brash, young 30-million-year-old star (by contrast, our Sun is in midlife at about 4.5 billion years old).

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Space
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Curiosity Hits Paydirt: New Clues To Life On Mars

Microbes may once have happily existed on the surface of Mars, according to chemical analysis of a sedimentary rock in the Red Planet's Gale crater. NASA geologist and exobiologist David Blake discusses evidence for an ancient freshwater lake in the crater, and describes the mineral-chomping microbes that may have thrived there.

Health Care
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Improving Healthcare, One Search At A Time

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. We've all been there, sitting at the computer late at night, clicking on those websites that offer medical opinions, trying to convince ourselves that our headache must be caused by a brain tumor, right? Yeah, that dry skin you've had for the last couple of months, of course it's due to a thyroid disorder because that's what you're finding out on the Web. Recognize yourself?

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Author Interviews
12:03 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

'Bones' Inspires A New Generation Of Crime Fighters

Kathy Reichs, the writer and scientist behind the TV show Bones, is back with a new novel for young adults. Code: A Virals Novel stars Tory Brennan, great-niece of Reich's famed crime-solving heroine Tempe Brennan. Reichs discusses the book, co-written with Brendan Reichs.

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