Health Desk

Shots - Health News
10:01 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Half Of Texas Abortion Clinics Close After Restrictions Enacted

Texas gubernatorial hopeful and state Sen. Wendy Davis came to prominence when she opposed legislation restricting abortions. The bill eventually became law and is now blamed for the closure of abortion clinics across the state.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:40 am

In a little over a year, the number of clinics that provide abortions in Texas fell to 20 from 41, and watchdogs say that as few as six may be left by September.

Many clinics closed because of a requirement that doctors at those clinics obtain hospital admitting privileges within a certain radius of the clinic, and many doctors couldn't comply. The requirement took effect last November. This week marks the first anniversary of the state law that started it all.

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

How Do We Use Our Challenges To Live Beyond Limits?

"It's fulfilling to me to find out what those limitations are, or to blow through the limitations that you thought you had" โ€” Amy Purdy
Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Amy Purdy's TEDTalk

Paralympic snowboarder and "Dancing With the Stars" finalist Amy Purdy tells how losing her legs at age 19 enabled her to achieve more than she ever dreamed.

About Amy Purdy

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TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Fri July 18, 2014

What Does It Take To Dive Into Dangerous Waters?

"When I stand on that shore, the main thing is, I want that destination, I want it" โ€” Diana Nyad
Marla Aufmuth TED

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 1:35 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Champions.

About Diana Nyad's TedTalk

In pitch-black, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, hallucinating, Diana Nyad kept swimming. She describes the journey of her historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Florida, at age 64.

About Diana Nyad

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Shots - Health News
2:36 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Head Scientist At CDC Weighs Costs Of Recent Lab Safety Breaches

The CDC's director, Tom Frieden, testified before a congressional subcommittee Wednesday regarding a recent anthrax incident and lab safety improvements he is instituting.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 9:40 am

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the hot seat.

It all started in mid-June, when the CDC announced that dozens of its scientists might have accidentally been exposed to anthrax.

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Shots - Health News
1:54 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Hey, Miss Idaho, Is That An Insulin Pump On Your Bikini?

Miss Idaho Sierra Sandison, shown here in her home town of Twin Falls, Idaho, decided not to hide the insulin pump she wears to treat Type 1 diabetes during the pageant.
Photo illustration by Drew Nash/Courtesy of Times News

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:57 am

There she is, Miss Idaho. And there it is, the insulin pump attached to her bikini bottom during the swimsuit competition. Since posting the photo on social media on Monday, Sierra Sandison has become a new hero to the Type 1 diabetes community.

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Goats and Soda
1:00 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Feeling The Heat, Burning The Suits: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Construction workers repair the roof inside the isolation area at the Doctors Without Borders treatment center in Kailahun.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:36 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. When we spoke Thursday, he had just toured the treatment center built by Doctors Without Borders in the town of Kailahun. With 64 beds, it's the largest Ebola isolation ward ever built. Currently there are 31 patients.

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Shots - Health News
2:31 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Skimping On Sleep Can Stress Body And Brain

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:58 am

"The lion and calf shall lie down together," Woody Allen once wrote, "but the calf won't get much sleep."

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Goats and Soda
7:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Dogs Carry Kissing Bug Disease In Texas And Latin America

Dogs throughout Latin America carry the Chagas parasite โ€” and boost the risk of people catching it. And it's not just shelter dogs, like these in Mexico, who are at risk. Even family dogs get the deadly disease.
Jose Luis Gonzalez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:47 am

We often think about people spreading diseases around the world. This spring, vacationers brought chikungunya from the Caribbean to the United States. Businessmen have likely spread Ebola across international borders in West Africa. And health care workers have carried a new virus from the Middle East to Asia and Europe.

But what about (wo)man's best friend?

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The Salt
5:07 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

This Dirty Little Weed May Have Cleaned Up Ancient Teeth

This young male, buried at a prehistoric site in Central Sudan, probably munched on the roots of a plant called purple nutsedge.
Donatella Usai Centro Studi Sudanesi and Sub-Sahariani

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 4:35 pm

The menus of millennia past can be tough to crack, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. For archaeologists studying a prehistoric site in Sudan, dental plaque provided a hint.

"When you eat, you get this kind of film of dental plaque over your teeth," says Karen Hardy, an archaeologist with the Catalan Institute for Research and Advanced Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.

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Shots - Health News
3:19 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Patients With Low-Cost Insurance Struggle To Find Specialists

Dr. Charu Sawhney examines patient Mang Caan. Sawhney supports the Affordable Care Act, but has been frustrated by how difficult it is to find specialists who accept some of the plans her patients bought.
Carrie Feibel for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:02 pm

The Hope Clinic in southwest Houston is in the very heart of Asia Town, a part of the city where bland strip malls hide culinary treasures โ€” Vietnamese pho, Malaysian noodles, Sichuan rabbit and bubble tea.

Inside the clinic, internist Charu Sawhney sees patients from many countries and circumstances. She's a big believer in the Affordable Care Act since most of her patients have been uninsured. She actively pushed many of them to sign up for the new plans.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Not So Offal: Why Bone Soup, A 'Perfect Food,' Tastes So Meaty

Sup tulang, as this dish is called in Singapore, is Malay for "bone soup." The fattiness of the marrow rounds out the chili, tomato, fennel, cumin and ginger.
Konstantin Kakaes for NPR

I ate the best meat I've ever eaten through a straw.

When the Singaporean food stall proprietor who'd just served me a plate of bones first offered the straw, I refused. I didn't want to take any shortcuts as I worked the tastiest bits of marrow out from the skeletal hollows.

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

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Shots - Health News
10:14 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Dialing Back Stress With A Bubble Bath, Beach Trip And Bees

Avi Ofer NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 7:58 am

Standing in the middle of a swarm of bees might not be your idea of stress relief, but it works for Ray Von Culin. He's a beekeeper in Washington, D.C., and he says caring for bees is one of the most relaxing things in his life.

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Goats and Soda
9:26 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Nepalis Treat This Peace Corps Volunteer Like Justin Bieber

Hannah Marqusee taught these Nepali 8th- and 9th-graders to play Ultimate Frisbee. "Despite being terrible at throwing, they had a really good time," she reports. Their verdict: slightly more fun than soccer but not quite as fun as cricket. Bottom row, fourth from the right, is her host brother, Sachin.
Courtesy of Hannah Marqusee

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:26 pm

Being a foreigner in Nepal sometimes gives you the illusion that you are a celebrity. Children follow you down the street, women you just met tell you they love you, and everyone wants to be your friend.

I've been living in Nepal for 10 months now as a Peace Corps volunteer. In Peace Corps years, this means I'm a baby. Even after all this time I'm still in the very early planning stages of projects that I hope will improve health, food security, gender equality and income in my community.

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Goats and Soda
9:05 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Death, Sex And A Glimmer Of Hope: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Musa James died of Ebola on Monday. Staff from Doctors Without Borders prepare the body of the 70-year-old for burial.
Jason Beaubien NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:20 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. This morning, he talked with us about a controversial burial, the impact of the "no touching" recommendation โ€” and a sign of hope.

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Africa
5:24 am
Wed July 16, 2014

West African Villagers Fear Ebola Will Escape From The Grave

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is getting worse. The World Health Organization has announced scores of new cases and dozens of deaths from the disease this month. Since the outbreak began in February, more than 600 people have died. The mounting toll is presenting families and health authorities with a grim new problem - what to do with the bodies. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports on how this dilemma is playing out in one town in eastern Sierra Leone.

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Politics
4:23 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Senate Democrats Aim To Overturn High Court's Hobby Lobby Ruling

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:32 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On a Wednesday, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:28 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Want More Stress In Your Life? Try Parenting A Teenager

Amy Myers talks with her son Kamron, 18, in the backyard of their home in Boise, Idaho. She has found raising a teenager to be extremely stressful.
Kyle Green for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 9:32 am

If anyone can handle the stress of parenting in the teen years, you'd think it would be a high school teacher.

That's how Amy Myers felt. She teaches high school English in a suburb of Boise, Idaho, where she says she has "pseudo parented" about 3,000 teenagers "who I have talked to, given advice to, guided, directed, even lectured about teenage issues," she says.

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Shots - Health News
2:27 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Coping With A Co-Worker's Body Odor Takes Tact

We can all work up a stinky sweat โ€” welders, ballerinas and number-crunchers alike. Would you want to know?
emreogan/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:14 pm

It's summer. It's sweaty. And sometimes that means people are trailing some pungent body odors that their colleagues can't help but smell. But how do you tactfully inform co-workers that they stink and need to address it? As Cath Ludeman-Hall will tell you, it isn't easy.

She was just out of college and a newbie at a staffing firm when she was asked to gently talk to an older worker in a retail warehouse after his colleagues complained that he stank.

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Shots - Health News
5:24 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Stroke Rate May Be Declining In Older Adults

Film CT scans show these people have suffered strokes.
stockdevil/iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:31 am

Stroke is the fourth highest cause of death among adults in the U.S. But among people older than 65, stroke rates may be going down, a study published Tuesday suggests. And compared with 10 or 20 years ago, more of those hit with a stroke are surviving.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

What's Going On In There? How Babies' Brains Practice Speech

The magnetoencephalograph can record electrical signals from a baby's brain without requiring the child to be perfectly still.
University of Washington

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 7:08 am

A baby's first words may seem spur of the moment, but really, the little ones have practiced their "Mamas" and "Dadas" for months in their minds.

Using what looks like a hair dryer from Mars, researchers from the University of Washington have taken the most precise peeks yet into the fireworks display of neural activity that occurs when infants listen to people speak.

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Goats and Soda
1:10 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Why A Village Leader Ordered The Rape Of A 14-Year-Old In India

Demonstrators in Ahmadabad, India, protest rape and other attacks on women and girls.
Ajit Solanki AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:52 pm

Last week, a young man from a remote village in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand was accused of sexually assaulting a married woman. To punish him, the village leader reportedly ordered the rape of his 14-year-old sister. The husband of the woman who was allegedly assaulted was told to carry out the rape.

As the woman's husband dragged the girl to a nearby forest, villagers only looked on, her family told The New York Times.

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Parenting
11:20 am
Tue July 15, 2014

With Elder Care Planning, Start Early To Avoid Conflicts And Crises

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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The Salt
10:39 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Will Camu Camu Be The Next Amazonian 'It' Fruit?

Camu camu berries grow wild on trees alongside flooded rivers in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Peru.
Ronaldo Rosa Courtesy of EMBRAPA

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 3:13 pm

Editor's Note: Here at The Salt we get a lot of pitches from companies extolling the virtues of a new "superfood."

Recently, a company called Amazon Origins wrote to us about its supplement made with camu camu berry, "the Amazon's latest superfruit." According to Amazon Origins, World Cup fans were discovering the berry in Brazil and getting hooked. Camu camu, they claimed, would soon dethrone aรงai โ€” another Amazonian berry that's earned a place in the crowded U.S. health food market.

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Shots - Health News
9:40 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Most Employers See A Benefit In Covering Contraceptives

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 8:32 am

Despite questions raised by the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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Goats and Soda
8:57 am
Tue July 15, 2014

No School, No Handshakes: Reporting On Ebola From Sierra Leone

Ebola precautions are taking hold in Sierra Leone. A man washes with disinfectant before entering a hospital in the capital city of Freetown.
Youssouf Bah AP

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 4:02 pm

NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Sierra Leone, covering the Ebola outbreak that began in March in Guinea and has spread to neighboring countries. We'll be speaking with him throughout the week about what he's seeing on the ground. Today he's in Kailahun, the largest town in the country's eastern province, with a population of about 18,000, and the epicenter of Sierra Leone's outbreak.

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Shots - Health News
2:30 am
Tue July 15, 2014

When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:13 am

In the land that came up with the phrase "Thank God it's Friday," and a restaurant chain to capitalize on the sense of relief many feel as the work week ends, researchers made an unusual finding in 2012.

Moms who worked full time reported significantly better physical and mental health than moms who worked part time, research involving more than 2,500 mothers found. And mothers who worked part time reported better health than moms who didn't work at all.

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Shots - Health News
3:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

This Is Your Stressed-Out Brain On Scarcity

Josh Neufeld for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 5:24 pm

Being poor is stressful. That's no big surprise.

In a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 1 in 3 people making less than $20,000 a year said they'd experienced "a great deal of stress" in the previous month. And of those very stressed-out people, 70 percent said that money problems were to blame.

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Shots - Health News
2:08 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes?

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:15 am

People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there's some new research out that suggests there's more to that than just a feeling. People appear to be more like their friends genetically than they are to strangers, the research found.

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Goats and Soda
11:05 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Pathogens On A Plane: How To Stay Healthy In Flight

Suspicious travel companions: Bacteria can survive for days on surfaces inside a plane. But that doesn't mean you have to take these critters home with you.
Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:30 pm

From Ebola in West Africa to chikungunya in the Caribbean, the world has had plenty of strange โ€” and scary โ€” outbreaks this year.

Some pathogens have even landed in the U.S. Just a few months ago, two men boarded planes in Saudi Arabia and brought a new, deadly virus from the Middle East to Florida and Indiana.

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