Science & Health

The Salt
9:59 am
Tue October 23, 2012

How Fly Farming May Help More Fish Stay In The Sea

The fly larvae in the AgriProtein factory feed on cow blood and bran.
Courtesy of Jason Drew

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.

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Strange News
4:53 am
Tue October 23, 2012

A Captive Beluga Whale's Remarkably Human Song

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

Shots - Health News
11:55 am
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

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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Science
7:11 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Amateur 'Planet Hunters' Find One With Four Suns

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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.

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The Salt
3:31 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Swapping Out Sugary Soda For Diet Drinks May Help Tip The Scale In Your Favor

Drinking diet soda and other low-calorie drinks may help you manage weight, but experts say plain old H2O is still the best way to go.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:42 am

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.

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Shots - Health News
5:07 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

More Clues About Hazards From Laundry Detergent Pods

A label warns parents to keep Tide laundry detergent packets away from small children.
Pat Sullivan AP

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.

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Evaporated Cane Juice: Sugar In Disguise?

If you look very closely, you'll see "evaporated cane juice" in the ingredients list on this yogurt. A California woman is suing the Chobani yogurt company over its use of the term.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 6:08 pm

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:

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Shots - Health News
12:41 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

With An Army Of Vaccinators, India Subdues Polio

An Indian child receives the oral polio vaccine. Twice a year, an army of 2 million volunteers fans out across India to administer the vaccine. India has not reported a single case of polio in more than a year-and-a-half.
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 7:31 pm

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.

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Shots - Health News
11:29 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Old Drug Gets A Second Look For TB Fight

Under the microscope, Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. The germs that cause TB have become resistant to many drugs.
Janice Haney Carr CDC

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.

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Cooper Green
6:14 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Birmingham Loses Fight To Keep Hospital Open

Birmingham loses fight to keep Cooper Green Hospital for the poor open.
nelsonglass.com

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.

Meningitis-Alabama
5:30 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

2 Alabamians Who Got Injections Showing Symptoms

Two Alabamians who got injections show signs of meningitis symptoms.
http://www.neccrx.com/

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.

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The Salt
3:00 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Test Your Food IQ: Do We Need More Farms To Grow Fruits And Veggies For All?

Orchards like this one in Adams County, PA, and other U.S. farms face worldwide competition for their apples and apple products due to imports.
Brad C. Bower AP

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.

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Shots - Health News
2:29 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Loss Of Balance Is Leading Cause Of Falls

A recent study of people in a nursing home found that only 20 percent of falls occurred while the patient was using a walker or wheelchair.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:19 pm

Accidental falls are one of the leading causes of injury death in people over 65 worldwide, but for a long time researchers have struggled to understand just how they happen.

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The Salt
12:10 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

What's For Dinner? Fueling A Presidential Debate

Top: Saul Loeb/Nicole Branan, Bottom: Shy Man/Justin Sullivan Top: Getty Images/iStockphotos, Bottom: iStockphotos/Getty Images

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.

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Three Books...
10:36 am
Wed October 17, 2012

00110011: Three Books About The Data Around You

iStockphoto.com

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.

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