Health & Science

Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:08 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Playlist: Stories That Will Spark Your Imagination

TED speakers share their stories about intense curiosity.
iStock

In this playlist, stories about the curious nature of spaghetti, the power of quiet minds, and a quest to build a toaster from scratch. These TED Radio Hour stories will make you curious and maybe even ignite some creative ideas of your own.

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

Law
4:06 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Supreme Court To Hear Case Against Obamacare In 2015

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

Shots - Health News
2:36 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Teaching Friends And Family How To Reverse A Drug Overdose

Tina Wolf demonstrates the use of a syringe to community members in Lindenhurst, N.Y., during an overdose prevention training. Georgia Dolan-Reilly (left) of the Suffolk County Prevention Resource Center helped with the course.
Kevin Hagen for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 7:14 am

When Priscilla Graham-Farmer went to get her hair done in Newark, N.J., recently, she noticed the elevator in the building was broken, so she took the stairs. And that's when Graham-Farmer saw him: a young guy sprawled out, not breathing.

"He was literally turning blue," she says. "And everybody was walking over him."

But Graham-Farmer stopped. And looked closer. She saw that he had a needle and some cotton balls. The guy had clearly overdosed.

"I'm screaming in the hallway," Graham-Farmer remembers. "Nobody's answering."

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Global Health
5:02 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

A Year And 7,000 Deaths Later, A Look At The Ebola Epidemic

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Animals
4:43 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

Scientists Discover That Drunk Birds Sing Like Drunks

Recent research has shown that zebra finches sing differently when drunk, but not whether they know enough of the lyrics to get through "Don't Stop Believin' " or "I Will Survive."
Liza Gross Courtesy Public Library of Science

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 5:02 pm

If you've ever listened to karaoke at a bar, you know that drinking can affect how well someone can sing. Christopher Olson and his colleagues at Oregon Health and Science University recently set out to find if the same was true for birds, specifically zebra finches.

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Health
4:42 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

Mae Keane, The Last 'Radium Girl,' Dies At 107

Employees of the U.S. Radium Corporation paint numbers on the faces of wristwatches using dangerous radioactive paint. Dozens of women, known as Radium Girls, later died of radium poisoning. The last radium girl died this year at 107.
Argonne National Laboratory

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 9:05 pm

Before turning the page on 2014, All Things Considered is paying tribute to some of the people who passed away this year whose stories you may not have heard — including Mae Keane.

In the early 1920s, the hot new gadget was a wristwatch with a glow-in-the-dark dial.

"Made possible by the magic of radium!" bragged one advertisement.

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Science
4:42 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

From One Man's Damaged Brain, A Treasure Trove Of Research On Memory

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 5:02 pm

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

Health Care
8:29 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Tennessee's Medicaid Deal Dodges A Partisan Fight

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee on Dec. 15. Under the plan, the hospital association would pay the state's portion of the program.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 10:07 am

Tony Smith's disability check puts him over the income limit to receive standard Medicaid, but it's too little for him to qualify for a subsidy.

Sitting next to a federal health-care navigator at a Nashville, Tenn., clinic, he said he hopes lawmakers think of his plight and that of thousands of others when considering Medicaid expansion.

"I'm not looking for a handout," Smith says. "I'm just looking for some help ... because I need it."

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Health
6:37 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Thalidomide Victims In Spain Still Waiting For Compensation

A Thalidomide victim leaves a Spanish court in a wheelchair while a protestor holds a sign reading "Thalidomide, Justice!" during a trial in Madrid in October 2013. Thousands of babies across Europe were born with abnormalities including missing limbs when expectant mothers were prescribed thalidomide in the 1950s and later.
Andres Kudacki AP

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 10:07 am

More than five decades on, the battle for justice over birth defects caused by the drug thalidomide continues in only one European country: Spain.

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Shots - Health News
4:36 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Wonder Abides, Even For A Skeptical Doctor

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 7:43 am

The holidays are here, bringing joy and, for some, wistful feelings.

Doctors are no different. Even for a profession that prides itself on scientific proof, the long nights of December afford ample opportunity for reflection and even doubt.

As we take stock of what we've accomplished and where we've failed to measure up, I find my scowling mask of medical skepticism falling away. I have to admit that there is so much wonder and mystery that science and medicine still can't explain.

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