Science & Health

Shots - Health News
2:25 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Obama Administration Downplays Court Challenge To Health Law

Elisa Carrero assists Julian Gauiria, of Paterson, N.J., with enrollment in the health insurance exchange in November. Signups continue to be brisk, health officials say.
Tyson Trish North Jersey/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 9:24 am

This time last year, federal officials were scrambling to get as many people enrolled in health insurance through HealthCare.gov as they could before the start of the program on Jan. 1.

Now, with the technical problems mostly fixed, they're facing a different problem: the possibility that the Supreme Court might rule that the subsidies that help people afford coverage are illegal in the 37 states where the federal government is running the program.

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Shots - Health News
2:18 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Costly Hepatitis C Drugs Threaten To Bust Prison Budgets

Dr. Michael Poshkus treats inmates with hepatitis C at the John J. Moran Medium Security facility in Cranston, R.I. Some 12 to 35 percent of inmates nationwide are afflicted with the chronic liver disease.
Kristin Gourlay RIPR

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 2:45 pm

Every week, Dr. Michael Poshkus visits the John J. Moran Medium Security prison in Cranston, R.I., to see patients infected with hepatitis C.

Until recently, their only treatment option was a weekly injection in the stomach for at least a year. It worked less than half the time and caused debilitating side effects. But everything has changed.

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Newscast
5:32 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Severe Weather, Santa Claus Audit, Fire Deaths Up

Alabama Fire Marshal Ed Paulk
Credit firemarshal.alabama.gov

    

The National Weather Service says conditions could get rough starting this afternoon. The forecast is calling for straight line winds and the possibility of isolated tornadoes starting later today and into Wednesday. Today’s outlook calls for a lot of rain in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham and south of those cities. Tomorrow’s forecast includes rain for more southern areas of the state. Forecaster Gary Goggins says the fact that people are travelling for Christmas could complicate things…

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Science
3:49 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

A Vanished Jetliner Still Haunts Families Of The Missing

Sarah Bajc's partner, Philip Wood, disappeared along with Flight MH370. "The issuance of the death certificate is an emotional thing," she says, "because we're not convinced that they're dead."
Mohd Rasfan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 5:26 pm

In the first months after her partner disappeared, says Sarah Bajc, she still felt his presence.

"For a long time I felt him with me — I mean really physically felt him with me," she says.

"I feel that less frequently now."

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Joe's Big Idea
3:21 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Could Glitter Help Solve NASA's Giant Telescope Problem?

Larkin Carey, an optical engineer with Ball Aerospace, examines two test mirror segments designed for the James Webb Space Telescope. The mirror for the scope is extremely powerful, but heavy and pricey.
NASA

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 2:05 pm

NASA is building a new space telescope with astounding capabilities. The James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled for launch in 2018, will replace the aging Hubble Space Telescope and will provide unprecedented views of the first galaxies to form in the early universe. It might even offer the first clear glimpse of an Earth-like planet orbiting a distant star.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

FDA Proposes End To Lifetime Ban On Gay Blood Donors

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:40 pm

Updated at 1:42 p.m. ET

Men who haven't had sexual contact with other men in a year will be allowed to donate blood under a policy change the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it will recommend.

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Goats and Soda
12:47 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Floating Toilets That Clean Themselves Grow On A Lake

During the dry season, human waste makes the water putrid along the floating village of Prek Toal on Tonle Sap Lake.
Courtesy of Taber Hand

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 10:03 am

Imagine you live on a floating lake house. Open air. Chirping crickets. Clear, starry nights. Everything seems great until you need to use the bathroom.

The natural instinct might be to make a deposit in the water. But that wouldn't be safe. Microbes in your feces would contaminate the water and could cause outbreaks of deadly diseases, like cholera.

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The Salt
10:17 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They're Cracked Up To Be

Cage-free eggs for sale in 2008 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Joel Kramer/Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 2:49 pm

You're in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you're staring at a wall of egg cartons. They're plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.

And yet the longer you stare at them, the more confused you become. You are tired and hungry, so you just grab the cheapest one — or the one with the most adorable chicken illustration — and head for the checkout line.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Orangutan Declared To Have Basic Legal Rights In Argentina

Sandra, an orangutan owned by the Buenos Aires Zoo, was given the right to leave the zoo after a court ruled she was entitled to more desirable living conditions.
Juan Mabromata AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 8:48 am

In what may be a first, an appeals court in Argentina has recognized a nonhuman as having basic legal rights. A Buenos Aires judge ruled in favor of advocates who are calling for more freedom for a 28-year-old orangutan who was born in a zoo.

The advocacy group filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus on the orangutan's behalf, which would require proof of a justified detention.

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Shots - Health News
2:29 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Baby Thrives Once 3-D-Printed Windpipe Helps Him Breathe

Jake and Natalie Peterson and their son Garrett in October 2014.
Courtesy of Brittany Jacox

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 3:20 pm

Garrett Peterson was born in 2012 with a defective windpipe. It would periodically just collapse, because the cartilage was so soft, and he'd stop breathing. This would happen every day — sometimes multiple times a day.

"It was really awful to have to watch him go through his episodes," says his father, Jake Peterson of Layton, Utah. "He'd be fine and then all of a sudden start turning blue. It was just like watching your child suffocate over and over again."

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Newscast
5:52 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Severe Weather, UAB's Heart Clinic and UPS Busiest Day

Credit pressroom.ups.com

    

Forecasters say strong storms -- with the potential for a few isolated tornadoes -- are possible across a large part of Alabama in the days before Christmas.

 The National Weather Service said the severe weather is expected from Tuesday afternoon through early Wednesday morning.

Forecasters say they expect the storms to arrive in western Alabama from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, and then move into eastern Alabama Tuesday evening into early Wednesday.

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Humans
3:44 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

What Motivates People To Give?

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:50 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

When Humans Quit Hunting And Gathering, Their Bones Got Wimpy

Farming helped fuel the rise of civilizations, but it may also have given us less robust bones.
Leemage/UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 2:07 pm

Compared with other primates and our early human ancestors, we modern humans have skeletons that are relatively lightweight — and scientists say that basically may be because we got lazy.

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Animals
7:15 am
Sun December 21, 2014

In The Deep Ocean, Ghostfish Breaks Records

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:01 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Religion
7:15 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Staff Picks: An Evangelical Christian Believer In Climate Change

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 11:52 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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