Originally published on Wed October 24, 2012 3:19 pm
What's the lowly house fly got to do with the $60 billion fish farming industry?
Quite a lot, says Jason Drew, a jet-setting British entrepreneur who is so enthusiastic about the potential of flies, he's just written a book called The Story of the Fly and How It Could Save the World. He thinks flies can solve one of aquaculture's most vexing issues: what to feed the growing ranks of farmed fish.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a tale of the singing whale. Scientists this week published a study of a captive beluga whale in San Diego. The whale began to sing, apparently after spending time close to people. It died several years ago, but left behind a recording that sounds like a person in the shower.
(SOUNDBITE OF WHALE SINGING)
INSKEEP: We do not know if during his lifetime the singing whale ever made it to a karaoke bar.
Now is the moment in the program when I admit that I am a total Star Wars nut. Those of you with me, you might recall that Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine enjoyed the warmth of not one but two suns. That dramatic scene, you remember Luke at dusk gazing at the weird peaceful sunset.
Diet soda. We love it or hate it. But there's no doubt that consumption is on the rise. More Americans than ever are drinking diet colas, along with other zero- and low-calorie alternatives.
While diet drink consumption is up across the entire population — about 1 in 5 of us consume them — it's higher-income, middle-aged women who are most likely to be sipping diet drinks, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey.
There's now a deeper look at young kids who got sick after eating or otherwise messing around with those laundry detergent pods that look a lot like candy.
Doctors from two poison control centers and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have analyzed more than a thousand incidents involving people exposed to the pods and other kinds of laundry detergent.
If you're one of those people who vigilantly checks the ingredient list of the things you buy at the grocery store, you may have already seen this: Some food products now contain something called "evaporated cane juice." It can be found in yogurt, fruit juices and lemonades.
So what exactly is evaporated cane juice? Well, it depends on whom you ask. We spoke with a few folks outside our local grocery store, and many of them were confused. Take a listen:
All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.
Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 12:04 pm
A small study offers a bit of cautious optimism about the prospects for treatment of tuberculosis, one of humankind's most ancient scourges.
This week's New England Journal of Medicine has a report showing that adding a 12-year-old antibiotic called linezolid, brand name Zyvox, to existing treatments cured nearly 90 percent of patients with a form of tuberculosis resistant to both first- and second-line antibiotics.
The City of Birmingham has lost the court fight to keep the Cooper Green Mercy hospital open for the poor.
The city was unable to force Jefferson County in the latest round in court Wednesday to keep hospital open and operating as usual.
Lawsuits against the county are effectively frozen in place until the county emerges from bankruptcy under Chapter 9. The city asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett to lift a stay so the city could sue the county in state court.
Alabama health officials have contacted four of the six additional Alabamians who received injections of steroid medicine from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak.
The state's deputy director of medical affairs, Dr. Tom Miller, said Wednesday that two are fine. Two are showing symptoms and will be seen by their physician to see if the symptoms are ordinary or something more serious. The Department of Public Health is trying to reach the other two patients. The six live in Alabama, but were treated in Florida.
Think you're part of the food-literati? True or false: 13 million more acres of farmland would be required to produce enough fruit and vegetables for the daily diets of all Americans to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines.
Last night's presidential debate showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaping off his barstool at the first question, and an equally charged President Obama walking purposefully around the stage and doing some strong finger waving to emphasize his remarks.
Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:53 am
Everywhere you go, you are data. You purchase an apple and suddenly ones and zeros are racing through the clickstream like they're wearing superhero capes. Someone, somewhere now knows more about when people eat apples, the likelihood that you will purchase one again, how they correlate to your longevity, your salary, your risk of disease. You shape the universe as you go.