Science & Health

Tar Balls
5:21 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

BP Says Old Oil From Spill Exposed By Isaac

Hurricane Isaac exposed tar balls from the 2010 Gulf oil spill that are showing up on Alabama and Louisiana beaches.
NOAA's National Ocean Servie Flickr

BP says Hurricane Isaac's scouring waves exposed deposits of buried tar on the Louisiana coast that were left over from its massive oil spill in 2010.

Louisiana officials closed a stretch of beach near Fourchon on Tuesday after scouts said they found large tar mats. BP acknowledged Wednesday the oil was from its spill.

Ray Melick, a BP PLC spokesman, said in an email that "as this area has undergone severe coastal erosion by Hurricane Isaac, much of the oil has now been exposed."

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Sports Medicine
11:40 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Safety of Young Athletes Takes Center Stage As Football Season Gets Underway

The sport of football is full of injuries, but for younger athletes special care needs to be taken to ensure player safety.
UAB Sports Medicine Children's Hospital of Alabama.

It's football season and for many young athletes that means lots of practices and training to get in shape for the big game every week. It's also a prime time for these players to get injured. Drew Ferguson is a licensed athletic trainer and Director of Sports Medicine at Children's Hospital of Alabama. Ferguson says extra care needs to be taken at youth levels to keep players safe because they lack the resources of the older counterparts.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Nearly 18 Million U.S. Households Had Trouble Getting Food Last Year

In Oswego, N.Y., this summer, a child waited at a food distribution site.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

An estimated 14.9 percent of U.S. households — 17.9 million in total — "had difficulty" at some point last year getting food because they just didn't have enough money or other resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported this morning.

In 2010, 14.5 percent of households were similarly "food insecure" at some point, USDA says.

Even worse:

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Alabama Flooding
4:37 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Flooding Causes Damage In West, South Alabama

Remnants of Hurricane Isaac caused extensive flooding in western and southern Alabama.

Flooding caused by remnants of Hurricane Isaac has caused extensive damage in parts of western and southern Alabama.


Swirling water lapped at the doors of businesses in downtown Selma. At least 20 cars filled with quick-rising water at an automotive dealership before workers could move them.


In Gordo, about two dozen houses were flooded, two bridges were washed out and several families had to be rescued in the town of 1,750 people.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:06 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

High Blood Pressure: Often Recognized, But Still Poorly Controlled

Knowing your blood pressure is just the beginning.
iStockphoto.com

After decades of encouragement, Americans are getting their blood pressure checked more often.

And there's a little more good news, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most adults with high blood pressure are being treated these days.

But, and you knew there had to be a but, more than half of all Americans with hypertension — about 36 million people, all told — still haven't got it under control.

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The Salt
1:07 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

McDonald's Goes Vegetarian — In India

Even this Maharaja Mac, made specifically for the Indian market, will be off the menu at the new vegetarian McDonald's in India.
kawanet Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:13 pm

McDonald's, home of the iconic Big Mac, is going vegetarian. Well, at least in India, where 20 to 42 percent or more of the population (depending on how you count) eschews meat, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:02 am
Tue September 4, 2012

More Employers' Health Plans Include Benefits For Transgender People

A growing number of companies are changing their health insurance plans to include benefits for transgender employees.

Yet even though professional groups such as the American Medical Association recommend coverage of services for transgender people —who identify with a gender other than the one they were born as—many companies continue to hold back. One of their big worries is cost.

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The Salt
2:22 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Why Organic Food May Not Be Healthier For You

A shopper surveys the produce at Pacifica Farmers Market in Pacifica, Calif., in 2011.
AP

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:13 pm

Yes, organics is a $29 billion industry and still growing. Something is pulling us toward those organic veggies that are grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

But if you're thinking that organic produce will help you stay healthier, a new finding may come as a surprise. A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds scant evidence of health benefits from organic foods.

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Using NASA's Infrared Telescope, Scientists Uncover Millions Of Black Holes

With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. This image zooms in on one small region of the WISE sky, covering an area about three times larger than the moon. The WISE quasar candidates are highlighted with yellow circles.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

This paragraph from NASA worried us:

"In one study, astronomers used WISE to identify about 2.5 million actively feeding supermassive black holes across the full sky, stretching back to distances more than 10 billion light-years away. About two-thirds of these objects never had been detected before because dust blocks their visible light. WISE easily sees these monsters because their powerful, accreting black holes warm the dust, causing it to glow in infrared light."

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The Salt
2:19 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Subtracting Calories May Not Add Years To Life

A rhesus monkey eats watermelon, provided by zookeepers, at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Gardens in India in May 2012.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:34 am

Scientists have known for decades that lab rats and mice will live far longer than normal if they're fed a super-low-calorie diet, and that's led some people to eat a near-starvation diet in the hopes that it will extend the human life span, too.

But a new study in monkeys suggests they may be disappointed.

The long-awaited results of this study, which started back in 1987, show that rhesus monkeys fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than normal did not live unusually long lives.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Plaquemine Parish President: Damage Is Just As Bad As Katrina

A Plaquemines Parish vehicle rides through rising floodwater behind the levee as Isaac approaches on Tuesday.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 6:08 pm

The eye of Isaac made its first landfall at Plaquemines Parish, a stretch of thin land southeast of New Orleans that extends into the Gulf from Louisiana.

According to the parish president, the damage there is just as bad, perhaps even worse, than what happened during Katrina.

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Billy Nungesser said the parish's levee had been overtopped and parts of the parish that had never flooded during a hurricane were under 5 feet of water.

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NPR Story
5:26 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Hurricane Isaac Cuts Off Power To Gulf Coast Residents

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 3:04 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The water rose so quickly along the coast of Louisiana, that it trapped two men whose job it was to keep it down.

INSKEEP: Two water pump operators were on the job in Plaquemines Parish near the mouth of the Mississippi River. The ocean spilled over a levee and surrounded them with water before they could get away.

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The Salt
2:18 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Boomer Women Prove They Can Dine Out And Still Lose Weight

Older women on a diet don't need to stop eating out; they just may need to make wiser food choices to keep weight off.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:35 am

When women go on a diet, we tend to avoid our favorite restaurants because they are filled with temptations — bread, booze and desserts. But are we doomed to sit in our kitchens eating salad alone while everyone else is headed out on the town if we want to keep the weight off?

Take heart, ladies. A new study of women in their 50s and early 60s finds they could eat out and still succeed at long-term weight loss.

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Hurricane Isaac
5:35 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Gulf Coast Residents Seek Safety In Ala. Shelters

As Hurricane Isaac zeroes in on Louisiana, Gulf Coast residents seek shelter in Alabama.
noaa.gov National Hurricane Center

Several hundred people are staying in shelters in Mobile and Baldwin counties during Hurricane Isaac.

Juana Castillo said she drove with her mother, stepdad and brother from Metairie, La., to a shelter in Theodore. She said her dad lived through Katrina and he urged the family to leave Louisiana.

A 75-year-old Mobile man, Tom Rowan, said he had the boat he calls home pulled out of the water and then went to a shelter. He said the water at Turner Marina where he docks his boat is up about a foot, but Isaac has been unimpressive so far.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:10 am
Tue August 28, 2012

An Unloved Subject During Doctor Visits: Men's Sexual Health

We need to talk.
George Peters iStockphoto.com

If men could become pregnant, they'd probably visit the doctor more often.

But without a compelling inducement like contraception to get them in the door, they often miss out on sexual and reproductive health services that could protect not only them but also their partners.

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