Health & Science

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

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

Our friend and colleague Peggy Girshman, a longtime NPR editor and co-founder of Kaiser Health News, died in March. But her passion for health journalism survives her. She made sure of that.

Beyond the many journalists whose careers she launched and nurtured, Girshman wrote her own eulogy, complete with some hard-earned advice on matters of personal health and how to cover health and medicine.

The chef picked up the nubby stick of fresh wasabi. Through a translator, he explained the good ones are straight and deep green in color. It was the first time I had seen it fresh. The green dab you get at most American sushi restaurants is almost always horseradish and food coloring squeezed from a tube. While that may have been my introduction to freshly harvested wasabi, it wasn't my first time seeing something far more precious — Pacific bluefin tuna.

Doctors' scrawls on prescription pads and medical folders are so analog.

These days, they're prescribing and keeping track of patients' records using digital devices connected to wireless networks, sometimes remotely. More medical devices are also becoming increasingly small and wearable; they often connect with a hand-held controller or even your smartphone through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, sometimes sending the data directly to physicians.

A body mass index under 25 is deemed normal and healthy, and a higher BMI that's "overweight" or "obese" is not. But that might be changing, at least when it comes to risk of death.

The body mass index, or BMI, associated with the lowest risk of death has increased since the 1970s, a study finds, from 23.7, in the "normal" weight category, to 27, which is deemed "overweight."

The National Institutes of Health is overhauling the leadership of its world-renowned Clinical Center, after an independent task force found the center was putting research ahead of patient safety.

The United States is only just starting to get periods — or, at least, acknowledging that products for "that time of the month" aren't optional for menstruating women.

In 40 states, plus the District of Columbia, pads and tampons are subject to sales tax. Earlier this year, when President Obama was asked why they haven't been exempted like other necessities, he said, "I suspect it's because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed."

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

If you can dream it, you can do it, right? Right? Well ... not so fast. While fantasizing feels good and believing in yourself is surely better than not, research shows that keeping your head in the clouds can keep you, er, from reaching the stars. This week Shankar talks with psychologist Gabriele Oettingen, author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside The New Science Of Motivation.

Private Medicare Advantage plans treating the elderly have overbilled the government by billions of dollars, but rarely been forced to repay the money or face other consequences for their actions, according to a congressional audit released Monday.

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

When you're settling in to watch a movie, and the music starts playing, it's hard to ignore the names that flash first in the opening credits: The Director. The Big Stars.

Name placement matters in academia, too. A recent study reveals there's a gender gap in who gets top billing on medical studies published in several of the most prestigious research journals.

How does a country bring its people into the 21st century without pumping huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere? This challenge is more acute in India than anywhere else. Though India already has the third-largest carbon footprint in the world, around 400 million people still don't have access to reliable electricity.

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

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