Health & Science

Updated at 10:10 a.m. ET

Iowa's Legislature has passed a bill that would make most abortions illegal once a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The measure, which would effectively ban abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, passed the state House late Tuesday and the state Senate early Wednesday. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has not said whether she will sign the bill.

The Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday sent warning letters to 13 manufacturers, distributors and retailers of e-cigarette liquids. In a phone briefing for reporters, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the companies are endangering kids by marketing the products to resemble juice boxes, cookies or candy.

"You look at the lollipop for example. I don't see how my 4- or 5-year-old doesn't just look at that and see a lollipop. It's a lollipop," he said.

To the untrained, the evidence looks promising for a new medical device to ease opioid withdrawal. A small study shows that people feel better when the device, an electronic nerve stimulator called the Bridge, is placed behind their ear.

The company that markets the Bridge is using the study results to promote its use to anyone who will listen: policymakers, criminal justice officials and health care providers.

The message is working.

In December 2015, Donald Trump's personal physician released a letter describing his patient's health in language that sounded more like it was written by the patient himself than the doctor — and it turns out that might be exactly what happened.

"If elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency," Dr. Harold Bornstein, a gastroenterologist from Lenox Hospital in New York, wrote at the time.

A coalition of 17 states and the District of Columbia, led by California, is suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its plan to change vehicle efficiency standards. The states are asking a court to review the EPA's proposed actions, arguing that they violate the Clean Air Act.

"We're not looking to pick a fight with the Trump administration, but when the stakes are this high for our families' health and our economic prosperity, we have a responsibility to do what is necessary to defend them," California's attorney general, Xavier Becerra, said.

Former weapons inspectors say an apparent trove of information on Iran's nuclear weapons program will increase pressure for more intrusive inspections of its atomic sites.

On Monday, the Israeli government disclosed it had obtained thousands of pages of documents and nearly 200 CDs' worth of data on Iran's nuclear program.

An engineer in California has an invention that she hopes will someday help people with damaged lungs breathe easier.

Stanford University's Annelise Baron has developed a synthetic version of something called lung surfactant. Lung surfactant coats the tiny air sacs in the lung. Without it, every breath would be a struggle, like blowing up millions of little balloons. With surfactant, breathing is as easy as blowing soap bubbles.

World's Oldest Spider Dies At 43

May 1, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to take a moment to remember the long life of a spider. She was 43, thought to have been the world's oldest spider. And her demise didn't have to happen the way it did.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The Sunday before Scott Pruitt's confirmation hearing to run the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt stood on the stage of his hometown church, bowed his head, and prayed.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Along the fortified border that divides the Korean Peninsula, soldiers in both North and South Korea began dismantling loudspeakers that for decades helped wage a war of words — blaring propaganda over the armistice line.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

The world of online dating is about to get more crowded: Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to roll out its own matchmaking feature.

The news sent shares of Match Group tumbling. Match is an online dating conglomerate, with ownership in Tinder, match.com and OkCupid, among others. Shares of Match fell 22 percent for the day.

Senior officials with Match welcomed Facebook to online dating in statements made on Tuesday.

Millions of low-income Californians eligible for food stamps are not receiving the benefit, earning the state one of the lowest rankings in the nation for its participation in the program.

When an inmate needs to see a medical specialist, getting that care can be complicated.

Prisons are often located in rural areas far from medical centers that have experts in cancer, heart and other disease treatments. Even if the visit just involves a trip to a hospital across town, the inmate must be transported under guard, often in shackles.

The whole process is expensive for the correctional facility and time-consuming for the patient.

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled on Capitol Hill last month, Sen. Lindsey Graham asked him whether his company faces any real competition: "If I buy a Ford, and it doesn't work well, and I don't like it, I can buy a Chevy. If I'm upset with Facebook, what's the equivalent product that I can go sign up for?"

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