Science & Health

The Salt
2:29 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Low And Slow May Be The Way To Go When It Comes To Dieting

Eating low-glycemic foods, or foods that take longer to digest, may help you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Robyn Mackenzie iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm

If you're dieting, you know you've got to count calories, carbs and fats. But if you really want to take off the weight and keep it off, you might want to pay more attention to the glycemic index, which is essentially a measure of how quickly foods are digested.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:27 am
Mon September 10, 2012

Doctors Take Aim At Epidemic Kidney Stones With Lasers

Henry Owens, a 69-year-old retired lawyer from Cape Cod, suffered a kidney stone attack last month. His doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital used a laser to break up the stone.
Richard Knox NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 4:17 am

The nation is in the midst of a kidney stone epidemic.

New research shows 1 in 10 American men and 1 in 14 women has had one. And prevalence of kidney stones has shot up in recent years.

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Fresh Air Weekend
11:03 am
Sat September 8, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Feathers, Cellphones As Trackers

Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone."
Thor Hanson Basic Books

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Drought Conditions
3:57 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Rains Improving Drought Conditions In Alabama

Recent rains have helped ease drought conditions but about one-third of the state remains unusually dry.
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu National Drought Mitigation Center

Heavy rains have helped ease drought conditions in Alabama, but about one-third of the state remains unusually dry.

The latest update from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows about two-thirds of the state is drought-free, a big improvement from just a few weeks ago.

But a third of the state remains abnormally dry or in a drought. Dry conditions cover a wedge-shaped area extending from the Hale-Bibb county line eastward to the Georgia line. Conditions are worst in about a dozen counties that include the Auburn area.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:14 am
Fri September 7, 2012

X-Ray Tests May Heighten Cancer Risk In Susceptible Women

Mammograms may pose a particular risk to women with genetic mutations that predispose them to breast cancer.
Bill Branson National Cancer Institute

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:53 am

Researchers report that women with genetic mutations that put them at dramatically increased risk of developing breast cancer may also face a heightened risk from radiation used during medical screening and diagnosis.

The imaging tools that help doctors identify disease, injury or damage to the body have long been known to carry some risk of cancer, in large part because ionizing radiation can damage the genetic material in the body.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:40 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

'Test And Treat' Strategy For Curbing HIV Draws Questions

Nurse Irena Majola tests Justice Mlambo's blood for HIV at a roadside AIDS testing table in a suburb near Cape Town. Under the "test and treat" strategy, about 45 million South Africans would need to be screened for HIV each year.
Rodger Bosch AFP/Getty Images

San Francisco is trying a new tactic to fight AIDS. Health workers are aggressively testing people for HIV and then immediately putting those who test positive on potent antiretroviral drugs.

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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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