Health & Science

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the latest episode of the Invisibilia podcast and program, which is broadcast on participating public radio stations.

Until she was 54 years old, Kim was totally unaware that there were things in the world she couldn't see.

"This was the whole problem," Kim says. "I had no clue what the problem was."

Want Kids To Eat More Veggies? Market Them With Cartoons

Jul 7, 2016

Be it SpongeBob SquarePants or Tony the Tiger, food companies have long used cartoon characters to market their products to children. But that tactic can also sway younger kids to eat fresh vegetables, according to a new study.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive.

"We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough and tough enough to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Scientists have created a synthetic stingray that's propelled by living muscle cells and controlled by light, a team reports Thursday in the journal Science.

And it should be possible to build an artificial heart using some of the same techniques, the researchers say.

The year is half over. So I took a moment over the long holiday weekend to triumphantly write, "Mission accomplished!" in ink next to each of my New Year's resolutions.

What Did Nearsighted Humans Do Before Glasses?

Jul 7, 2016

Nearsightedness, or myopia, is increasing at an eye-popping rate. By 2050, scientists predict more than 4.7 billion people, roughly half of the global population, will be nearsighted.

Fortunately, humans have created a solution – eyeglasses! People can rest assured they will always be able to read the dumb bumper stickers on the cars in front of them. But how did people manage thousands of years ago?

A woman who began streaming video on Facebook immediately after her boyfriend was shot by police in suburban Minneapolis, Minn., says he had been stopped for a broken tail light — and that he was licensed to carry a gun. The killing of Philando Castile, 32, is the second fatal encounter between police and a black man to gain national attention this week.

To the average pedestrian, it was just a curb. To an observant one, perhaps, it was an oddly misaligned curb.

To geologists, it was a snapshot of the earth's shifting tectonic plates — an accidental experiment, a field trip destination for decades.

But to the town of Hayward, Calif., it was just a bit of subpar infrastructure.

The Los Angeles Times sums up what happened next:

More than 500,000 balancing scooters — better known as hoverboards, though they do no hovering — are being recalled because of the risk of fire or explosions.

The devices were extremely popular gifts this past holiday season. Online, they were hits in viral dance videos ... and in less-impressive videos of people falling off their new toys.

Prescription drug prices continue to climb, putting the pinch on consumers. Some older Americans appear to be seeking an alternative to mainstream medicines that has become easier to get legally in many parts of the country. Just ask Cheech and Chong.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A self-published memoir about a British actress's gap-year in Zambia has come under fire this week. Citizens of Zambia along with other Africans and aid workers are using social media to highlight factual errors and what they're calling a "condescending" tone about life and culture in the country.

The Twitter storm broke out after excerpts of the book, In Congo's Shadow, written by Louise Linton, were published on July 1 in the British newspaper The Telegraph. The hashtag being used is #LintonLies.

For 12 years, Chester, Pa., had no supermarket. In an effort to end this so-called food desert, a local food bank plunked down a nonprofit grocery store in the impoverished Delaware County city in October 2013.

Area food bank Philabundance opened the new store, called Fare & Square, in the same footprint as a former supermarket at the corner of Trainer and 9th streets.

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