Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:55 pm
Mohammed Ashour has a big order to fill: By March 2014, he has to deliver 10 tons of grasshoppers to customers in Mexico.
He and four other MBA students at McGill University in Montreal have a plan to farm insects in poor countries and turn them into flour that can be used in everything from bread to corn tortillas. And on Monday, former President Bill Clinton handed them $1 million to make it happen.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 7:29 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's has made a commitment to stop marketing sodas as a beverage option in kids' Happy Meals.
Instead, the chain has committed to market and promote only milk, water and juice with the children's meals.
Now, if parents order a Coke or Sprite with their child's Happy Meal, they won't be turned down. But sodas will no longer be marketed or promoted visually in any of McDonald's advertisements or in-store visuals.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:23 pm
Let's face it: In the popular imagination, the stereotypical chef has a large gut protruding from under his white double-breasted coat. And that stereotype is often accurate — by some estimates, 70 percent of chefs in the U.S. are overweight. Weight gain seems to be par for the course when you're spending your day tasting food and your late nights unwinding after a stressful dinner service.
Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:22 pm
Lots of people think of fish as brain food. And there's good reason.
Many kinds of fish — think salmon, sardines, tuna — contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, a class of polyunsaturated fat, which have been shown to fight inflammation and improve the function of our neurons.
Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 2:01 pm
What would it take to persuade you to allow government researchers to squirt millions of live flu viruses up your nose?
A recently concluded project at the National Institutes of Health found, among other things, that $3,400 each was enough to attract plenty of volunteers.
"I am happy I could contribute in some way," says Kelli Beyer, 24, one of 46 healthy people who volunteered for the project. To get the money, the research subjects had to commit to several days of testing, then nine days in a hospital isolation ward once the virus was administered in a nasal spray.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're talking this week with some of the fellows who've won a coveted MacArthur grant this week. Those are the so-called genius grants that recognize exceptional creativity in a number of fields including the arts and public policy. Yesterday, we spoke with Angela Duckworth. She was recognized for her research on how grit and self-control contribute to educational success.
In Pennsylvania, more than a half-million people who don't have insurance are waiting to hear whether the state will take advantage of a Medicaid expansion that's part of the Affordable Care Act.
The federal law would allow people earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty guidelines to sign up for Medicaid. But a Supreme Court ruling that largely upheld the law gave states the choice whether to expand their Medicaid programs.
Originally published on Wed September 25, 2013 1:52 pm
Loud music can lead to hearing loss. But it's not just rock musicians and their fans who are at risk.
In classical orchestras, horn players are particularly vulnerable to hearing damage from the tunes they and their colleagues play.
Some studies have found that horn players are blasted with some of the loudest sounds in the orchestra. The levels are so high that many countries' occupational health regulations would limit exposure like that to a half-hour a day, some studies have found.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Let's catch up on the Senate's fight over Obamacare. A handful of Republican senators say they support a plan to deny funding to the Affordable Care Act. They want to attach that to a larger measure designed to keep the rest of the government running and avoid a partial shutdown at the end of the month.
And Senator Cruz spoke against Obamacare all night in the Senate, but can't actually prevent a Senate vote. The Senate is considered likely to approve a bill that funds the government - including the Affordable Care Act.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
But that does not end the story, because the House passed a bill that defunds Obamacare. It would be up to Democrats to find some agreement with House Speaker John Boehner that avoids a government shutdown.
President Obama's health care law has so far survived challenges in Congress and the courts. But its biggest test could begin next week. That's when the online marketplaces offering health care coverage to the uninsured are set to start signing people up. The question is, will they come?
Premiums in the health insurance exchanges set to open next week will be lower than anticipated, the Obama administration announced Wednesday.
According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services, "premiums nationwide will ... be around 16 percent lower than originally expected," and 95 percent of uninsured people live in a state with average premiums that are lower than expected.
Although the grand opening of the Affordable Care Act is only a week away, Illinois is still waiting on the federal government to approve the insurance plans that will be available through it. Even so, the governor today announced it will cost less to get coverage than originally expected.
Illinois submitted 165 different insurance plans to the federal government. Until the feds sign off on them, it's impossible for someone looking to buy insurance from the Obamacare "marketplace" to know how much they should plan to spend.
Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 3:06 pm
So your snoring is driving your partner crazy. Does that mean you're destined for one of those awkward-looking sleep apnea masks?
Not so fast, doctors say. Many snorers don't have sleep apnea, which causes a person to frequently stop breathing for brief periods during sleep. It's a big cause of chronic sleepiness and has been linked to a variety of health problems. Sleep apnea can also make a sufferer miserable.
Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act health exchanges is set to begin Oct. 1. But many eligible Americans still have questions.
Tell Me More reached out to listeners via Facebook and Twitter in an attempt to help answer their questions about the law. Host Michel Martin spoke with Mary Agnes Carey, a senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News — a news service not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 2:53 pm
As the scheduled launch of the state health insurance marketplaces on Oct. 1 approaches, many parents have questions about covering their children. Here are a few we got recently.
I am a divorced dad who has responsibility for maintaining my 15-year-old daughter's health insurance. It was easy when I was working and had a corporate health plan. Now that I am retired and covered by Medicare, I am looking for alternatives when the new exchanges open. Can I buy health insurance for just my underage daughter on these new exchanges?