Science & Health

Medicaid Enrollment
3:55 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

State Says Alabama Medicaid Monthly Enrollment Tops 1M

State officials say Alabama Medicaid's monthly enrollment has topped 1 million for the first time.
Credit PBS

State officials say Alabama Medicaid's monthly enrollment has topped 1 million for the first time.

Officials said Thursday that a review of data for the first five months of the year show the milestone happened in February. Officials attribute the increase to a federally required transfer of children from the state's All Kids program and changes in how Medicaid eligibility is determined. Officials say the numbers also reflect the first enrollment of individuals who applied for coverage through the federal health exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act.

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Environment
3:09 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Study: Surge In Okla. Quakes Can Be Traced To Drilling Operations

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 5:26 pm

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz reports on a new study that links a "swarm" of earthquakes to four specific, high-volume oil and gas industry disposal wells. It's one of several reports that show oil and gas activity could be causing a rise in earthquake activity.

All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Surrounded By Digital Distractions, We Can't Even Stop To Think

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Harvard asked people to simply sit still and think. For many, the experience was less pleasant than it sounded.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri July 4, 2014 9:11 am

It would be tough to think up a more plum assignment for a test subject: Simply step into an empty room, sit down, and think.

Just think.

But in a study to appear in Thursday's issue of the journal Science, participants found the experience within their own heads surprisingly difficult to manage — if not downright unpleasant.

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Science & Health
6:28 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Auburn University Upgrades Aviation Program

Bill Hutto, Auburn University Airport director, speaks to members of the media on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at the Auburn Regional Airport about the planned creation of a new Auburn University Aviation Center.
Credit Albert Cesare/oanow.com

Auburn University officials say upgrades to the school's aviation program will focus on research and supporting the aerospace and aviation industries.

School officials on Tuesday said a new aviation center will oversee Auburn's flight school and work with the Harbert School of Business on professional flight management and aviation management programs.

School officials say they're hoping the upgraded aviation program will support economic development in Alabama. The center will be housed at the Auburn University Regional Airport.

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All Tech Considered
5:38 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

20 Thoughts On Facebook's News Feed Experiment Apology

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has apologized for an experiment that manipulated more than 600,000 users' news feeds in 2012.
Frank Franklin II AP

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 6:25 pm

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has apologized over an experiment that manipulated more than 600,000 users' news feeds in 2012. Are we upset at the findings of the study, or upset that the study was done without our consent? And do we necessarily realize all of the studies performed on us every day?

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Shots - Health News
4:06 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Can We Predict Which Teens Are Likely To Binge Drink? Maybe

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 5:07 pm

More than half of 16-year-olds in the United States have tried alcohol. While many of them learn to drink responsibly, some go on to binge on alcohol, putting themselves at risk for trouble as adults. Researchers still aren't sure why that is.

But it may be possible to predict with about 70 percent accuracy which teens will become binge drinkers, based on their genetics, brain function, personality traits and history, according to a study published Wednesday in Nature.

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Veterans Health-Alabama
3:58 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Alabama Congresswoman Seeks VA Records

Republican Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery said Wednesday that she wrote to the acting secretary of veterans affairs seeking records of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System.
Credit en.wikipedia.org

An Alabama congresswoman is seeking extensive records from the Veterans Administration about the health care of veterans in central Alabama.

Republican Rep. Martha Roby of Montgomery said Wednesday that she wrote to the acting secretary of veterans affairs seeking records of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. Roby says she wants the records because of complaints she has received and because of government investigations that have revealed problems with long waits and medical records altered.

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Mosquito Virus-Alabama
3:55 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Alabama Has More Possible Mosquito Virus Cases

Alabama may have four more cases of the mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya.
Credit dr_elling / Flickr

Alabama may have four more cases of the mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya (chik-in-GUHN'-yuh).

Dr. Thomas Miller of the Alabama Department of Public Health says the Centers for Disease Control has sent back preliminary positive findings on four Alabama residents. Final results are not complete. Two are from Colbert County and the others are from Jefferson and Tuscaloosa counties.

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Costlier Digital Mammograms May Not Be Better For Older Women

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:07 pm

Medicare spending on breast cancer screening for women age 65 and older has jumped nearly 50 percent in recent years. But the rise in price was not associated with an improvement in the early detection of breast cancer.

Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that Medicare spending on breast cancer screening rose from $666 million in the years 2001-2002 to $962 million in the years 2008-2009.

So why the big increases in costs?

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Shots - Health News
12:19 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

With Help From Extinct Humans, Tibetans Adapted To High Altitude

A mother and daughter herd their yaks along a highway on the Tibetan plateau.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 4:15 pm

At an altitude of nearly 3 miles, the Tibetan plateau is an extreme place to live. It's cold, it's hard to grow food, and there's about 40 percent less oxygen in the air than there is at sea level.

Somehow, though, native Tibetans are adapted to it. Their bodies — and their blood in particular — work differently than those of people used to lower altitudes. The Tibetans' advantage might be thanks to an ancient inheritance.

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Shots - Health News
10:37 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True

The heart beats in a mouse embryo grown with stem cells made from blood. Now the research that claimed a simple acid solution could be used to create those cells has been retracted.
Courtesy of Haruko Obokata

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 10:21 am

A prestigious scientific journal Wednesday took the unusual step of retracting some high-profile research that had generated international excitement about stem cell research.

The British scientific journal Nature retracted two papers published in January by scientists at the Riken research institute in Japan and at Harvard Medical School that claimed that they could create stem cells simply by dipping skin and blood cells into acid.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Oh, Pooh: Bear Cub Gets Head Stuck In Cookie Jar

A bear cub that had to be rescued from a tree after getting its head stuck in a cookie jar is shown in a handout photo from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 11:25 am

Blame it on the animal crackers. A plastic jar of the treats was too enticing for a young bear in New Jersey, which got its head irretrievably wedged in the container. When people approached it to help, the 28-pound bear cub got scared — and climbed 40 feet up a tree, where it became stuck.

The incident happened in Ringwood, a small New Jersey town that's situated among forests and parkland. Workers from the state Environmental Protection Department and other local agencies got the cub safely back down and cut the jar off its head — but not before taking a photo of its plight.

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Krulwich Wonders...
6:03 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Watch It Swallow An Entire Tree In Seconds

Research News
4:05 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Living 63 Feet Underwater Helps Cousteau Team Conduct Experiments

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:03 pm

Fabien Cousteau and a crew of scientists and explorers have spent the past 31 days underwater in the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Florida. David Greene talks to Cousteau about the experience.

Shots - Health News
2:49 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Targeting Overweight Workers With Wellness Programs Can Backfire

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:08 pm

Employers say obesity is a top health concern for their workers. But health is a sensitive and personal issue. Some employees say these wellness initiatives can go too far.

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