Health Desk

Shots - Health News
6:03 am
Sat February 21, 2015

Hammered And Heedless: Do Dangerous Drinking Videos Harm Teens?

If your idea of fun is being falling-down drunk, there's plenty for you on YouTube.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:57 am

Type "drunk," "hammered," or "trashed" into YouTube's search bar and some pretty unsavory videos are likely to turn up.

And that can't be good for teenagers and young adults, researchers say. User-generated YouTube videos portraying dangerous drinking get hundreds of millions of views online, according a study published Friday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

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Health
3:46 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Why The 'Nightmare Superbug' Isn't As Scary As It Sounds

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 9:43 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
2:13 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

15-Minute Ebola Test Approved For Fighting The Epidemic

The rapid Ebola test from Corgenix Medical Corporation is small and easy to use. But because it involves blood, health workers would still need to run the test at a lab to stay safe.
Courtesy of Corgenix Medical Corp.

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 3:57 pm

Speed. That's key to ending the Ebola epidemic, health officials have been saying for months. Now there's a new tool to help do the trick.

The World Health Organization approved the first quick test for Ebola Friday. The test gives results in about 15 minutes, instead of hours. So people infected can get treatment and be quarantined more quickly.

"It's definitely a breakthrough," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said Friday in Geneva.

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Have Big-Box Superstores Helped To Make Us Fat?

A woman pushes a cart at a Costco store in Hackensack, N.J., in 2013. Big-box stores are effective delivery devices for fattening foods, economists argue in a new study.
Ron Antonelli Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:21 pm

The humorist Bill Bryson once wrote that "the purpose of the modern American suburb is to make sure that no citizen is ever more than 500 yards from a food product featuring melted cheese."

That's an exaggeration, but health officials have long worried that our environment of plentiful, cheap and easily accessible calories is contributing to obesity.

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Shots - Health News
12:39 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Dissolving Contact Lenses Could Make Eye Drops Disappear

An experimental circular disc with tiny reservoirs releases medication slowly. Then the disc dissolves.
Baylor College of Medicine

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 10:57 am

If you've ever had an eye infection, you know how annoying it can be to get drops of medicine on the eyeball a few times a day. It's an even harder task with children or for older adults who don't always have the dexterity to squeeze they used to.

That's why researchers have developed an ultra-thin contact that can be placed on the eye to deliver drugs slowly — in a matter of hours or they hope even days — before dissolving away.

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Goats and Soda
12:16 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Life After Ebola: What It Takes For A Village To Be Resilient

Mamuedeh Kanneh was married to Laiye Barwor, the man who brought Ebola to Barkedu, Liberia. He died of the virus. She now cares for her children as well as children who lost their parents to the disease.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 8:18 am

If you'd like to get an idea of what resilience is all about, take a lesson from Mamuedeh Kanneh.

She lost her husband to Ebola. But she's stayed strong. She's caring for 13 children, her own and orphans whose parents died of the virus.

Kanneh lives in Barkedu, a village of about 6,000 in northern Liberia. Ebola took more than 150 lives. In her neighborhood there were many deaths, so people in other parts of Barkedu are scared of the orphans.

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The Salt
11:21 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Why Some States Want To Legalize Raw Milk Sales

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that unpasteurized milk can cause serious illness, because it's a fertile breeding ground for harmful germs like salmonella and E. coli. But such warnings haven't deterred raw milk enthusiasts.
Abby Wendle/Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:20 pm

The federal government banned the sale of raw milk across state lines nearly three decades ago because it poses a threat to public health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association all strongly advise people not to drink it.

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Shots - Health News
10:39 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Administration Grants Tax Time Reprieve For Obamacare Procrastinators

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:02 pm

The Obama administration said Friday it will allow a special enrollment period from March 15 to April 30 for consumers who realize while filling out their taxes that they owe a fee for not signing up for coverage last year.

The special enrollment period applies to people in the 37 states covered by the federal marketplace, though some state-run exchanges are also expected to follow suit.

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World
10:10 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Life After Death

John W Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 10:05 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
9:22 am
Fri February 20, 2015

UCLA Outbreak Highlights Challenge Of Curbing Infections

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:19 pm

The bacterial outbreak at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center highlights shortcomings in the federal government's efforts to avert the most lethal hospital infections, which are becoming increasingly impervious to treatment.

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TED Radio Hour
8:20 am
Fri February 20, 2015

What Does It Take To Map The Human Brain?

"Human cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience are starting to give us an answer to...who we are as thinkers." - Nancy Kanwisher
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:32 pm

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unknown Brain

About Nancy Kanwisher's TED Talk

Nancy Kanwisher studies the brain partly by staring at her own. She's spent countless hours in an fMRI scanner, mapping her own brain to gain insight into what makes us human.

About Nancy Kanwisher

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TED Radio Hour
8:20 am
Fri February 20, 2015

How Do We Know What Other People Are Thinking?

"Although we human adults are really good at understanding other minds, we weren't always that way." - Rebecca Saxe
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:34 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unknown Brain

About Rebecca Saxe's TED Talk

Sensing the motives and feelings of others is a natural talent for humans. But how do we do it? Neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe explains how one region in the brain focuses on other people's thoughts.

About Rebecca Saxe

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TED Radio Hour
8:20 am
Fri February 20, 2015

How Can A Stroke Change Your Brain?

"Once I awoke...I could not walk, talk, read, write; I could not recall any of the details of my life. Jill Bolte-Taylor died that day." - Jill Bolte-Taylor
Andrew Heavens TED

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:13 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unknown Brain

About Jill Bolte-Taylor's TED Talk

When neuroanatomist Jill Bolte-Taylor felt her brain shut down during a stroke, she was more fascinated than panicked. Even though she spent eight years recovering, she's grateful for the stroke.

About Jill Bolte-Taylor

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Health
4:09 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Panel Recommends More Fruits And Vegetables, Less Meat And Sugar

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:10 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
2:36 am
Fri February 20, 2015

The World Could Be On The Verge Of Losing A Powerful Malaria Drug

A mother holds her ailing son at a special clinic for malaria in Myanmar.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 6:21 pm

A new study finds a disturbing trend in the battle against malaria. There are highly effective drugs called artemisinins — and now resistant malaria is turning up in parts of Myanmar, the reclusive country also known as Burma, where it hadn't been seen before.

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Shots - Health News
8:44 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Why California's Superbug Outbreak Isn't As Scary As It Seems

A particularly nasty family of gut bacteria with the nickname CRE is resistant even to carbapenems, a family of last-resort antibiotics.
CDC

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 4:49 pm

News reports are describing a "nightmare superbug" killing people in California. But scientists who study infectious diseases say the risk from this outbreak doesn't live up to the alarming headlines.

"It's not something that is likely to spread around the community or is a cause for alarm," says David Perlin, an infectious disease scientist and executive director of the Public Health Research Institute at Rutgers.

Here's what government health officials and the UCLA Health system have said so far:

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Around the Nation
7:17 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Air Force Reservists Say Agent Orange Residue Damaged Their Health

A Fairchild C-123K Provider at the National Museum of the United States Air Force.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force / USAF

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 8:46 pm

At the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, a looping video shows off C-123 planes — aircraft used to spray the chemical defoliant Agent Orange and pesticides during the Vietnam War.

The only actual C-123 you can still see here, nicknamed "Patches," has been on display inside this big hangar since the mid-1990s, when it was decontaminated. It's a wide, clunky-looking cargo plane.

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The Salt
4:53 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Nutrition Panel: Egg With Coffee Is A-OK, But Skip The Side Of Bacon

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says in a new report that Americans should shift to a pattern of eating that includes more plant-based foods.
Jennifer/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 7:13 pm

If you like a cup of coffee and an egg in the morning, you've got the green light.

A panel of top nutrition experts appointed by the federal government has weighed in with its long-awaited diet advice.

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Shots - Health News
3:16 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

A Biological Quest Leads To A New Kind Of Breast Cancer Drug

It's a good start when experimental compounds stop the proliferation of cancer cells in the lab. But, as many researchers have learned the hard way, that's just an early step toward creating a worthwhile treatment.
Science Source

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 7:13 pm

Each year, the Food and Drug Administration approves dozens of drugs, but often those medicines don't make a huge difference to people with disease. That's because these "new" drugs are often very much like existing medicines — or are, in fact, existing medicines, approved for a slightly different purpose.

But every now and then the FDA approves a truly new drug. And that's the story of Pfizer's palbociclib, brand name Ibrance, which the agency approved for the treatment of a common form of advanced breast cancer.

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Shots - Health News
12:48 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Just A Bit Of DNA Helps Explain Humans' Big Brains

The human version of a DNA sequence called HARE5 (inserted into this mouse embryo) turned on a gene that's important for brain development. (Gene activity is stained blue.) By the end of gestation, the embryo's brain was 12 percent larger than the brain of an embryo injected with the chimpanzee version of HARE5.
Silver Lab/Duke University

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 12:57 pm

Scientists studying the difference between human and chimpanzee DNA have found one stretch of human DNA that can make the brains of mice grow significantly bigger.

"It's likely to be one of many DNA regions that's critical for controlling how the human brain develops," says Debra Silver, a neurobiologist at Duke University Medical School.

It could also help explain why human brains are so much bigger than chimp brains, says Silver, who notes that "there are estimates of anywhere from two to four times as big."

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Shots - Health News
12:37 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Humana Discloses Widening Justice Dept. Probe Of Medicare Advantage Plans

Health insurer Humana Inc. disclosed that its Medicare Advantage plans are being looked at by the feds.
Brian Bohannon AP

Humana, Inc. faces new scrutiny from the Justice Department over allegations it has overcharged the government by claiming some elderly patients enrolled in its popular Medicare plans are sicker than they actually are.

The Louisville, Ky.-based insurer disclosed the Justice Department's recent civil "information request" in an annual report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Feb. 18. The company noted that it is cooperating with authorities.

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The Salt
2:26 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Chocolate Makeover: Nestle Dumps Artificial Colorings

Nestle announced that it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products — including the dyes used to give the inside of a Butterfinger, like this one, that orange hue.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 2:14 pm

Some of America's most popular chocolate bars — including the Baby Ruth and the Butterfinger — are about to get an ingredient makeover. Nestle USA announced it is removing artificial flavors and colorings from all of its chocolate candy products by the end of 2015.

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Shots - Health News
2:23 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Why A Court Once Ordered Kids Vaccinated Against Their Parents' Will

Measles is highly contagious, and it produces fever and rash in susceptible people who become infected.
Hazel Appleton Health Protection Agency Centre/Science Source

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 7:14 pm

A highly contagious disease was sweeping across the United States. Thousands of children were sick and some were dying. In the midst of this outbreak, health officials did something that experts say had never been done before and hasn't been done since: They forced parents to vaccinate their children.

It sounds like something that would have happened 100 years ago. But this was 1991 — and the disease was measles.

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Injured Nurses
3:12 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Hospital To Nurses: Your Injuries Are Not Our Problem

Terry Cawthorn was a nurse at Mission Hospital for more than 20 years. But after a series of back injuries, mainly from lifting patients, she was fired. Cawthorn took legal action against the hospital and still faces daily struggles as a result of her injury.
Susannah Kay for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 4:09 pm

The case of Terry Cawthorn and Mission Hospital, in Asheville, N.C., gives a glimpse of how some hospital officials around the country have shrugged off an epidemic.

Cawthorn was a nurse at Mission for more than 20 years. Her supervisor testified under oath that she was "one of my most reliable employees."

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Shots - Health News
3:03 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Pain Really Is All In Your Head And Emotion Controls Intensity

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 1:57 pm

When you whack yourself with a hammer, it feels like the pain is in your thumb. But really it's in your brain.

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The Salt
9:25 am
Wed February 18, 2015

How Marijuana Highjacks Your Brain To Give You The Munchies

After the pot-smoking comes the insatiable hunger. Just ask James Franco and Seth Rogen's weed-loving characters in Pineapple Express.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 11:20 am

Shortly after toking up, a lot of marijuana users find that there's one burning question on their minds: "Why am I so hungry?" Researchers have been probing different parts of the brain looking for the root cause of the marijuana munchies for years. Now, a team of neuroscientists report that they have stumbled onto a major clue buried in a cluster of neurons they thought was responsible for making you feel full.

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Shots - Health News
8:37 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Pregnant And Uninsured? Don't Count On Obamacare Coverage

Under the Affordable Care Act, pregnancy isn't considered a "qualifying event" that justifies enrollment at any time.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:58 pm

The Obama administration often touts the health benefits women have gained under the Affordable Care Act, including the option to sign up for coverage outside of open enrollment periods if they're "having a baby."

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Shots - Health News
3:36 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kids' Solo Playtime Unleashes 'Free-Range' Parenting Debate

People who practice free-range parenting say it makes kids more independent, but others see it as neglect. State and local laws don't specify what children are allowed to do on their own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 1:57 pm

Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting."

That includes Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, a Silver Spring, Md., couple who are being investigated after they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk home from a park last month by themselves.

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Goats and Soda
4:59 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

The Grandpa Who Saved His Granddaughter From Ebola

A health worker with Doctors Without Borders carries a child suspected of having Ebola at the treatment center in Paynesville, Liberia, last October. Ebola is especially deadly for young children and babies. About 4 in 5 infected died.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 8:55 am

A few months ago, I met a grandpa whom I'll never forget.

His name is Edwin Koryan. And he's a pharmacist in Voinjama, Liberia. Edwin remembers the moment he felt the first symptoms of Ebola. He was taking care of his 5-year-old granddaughter Komasa. They were sharing a room and a bed.

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Shots - Health News
12:59 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Many Parents Aren't Sold On Later School Start Times For Teens

The American Academy of Pediatrics says middle and high schools shouldn't start before 8:30 a.m., so students can get enough sleep.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 2:07 pm

Sleeping in probably sounds like a no-brainer to most teenagers, but their parents aren't so sure that it's worth starting school later to get the extra shut-eye.

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