Health & Science

Artificial intelligence, which is bringing us everything from self-driving cars to personalized ads on the web, is also invading the world of medicine.

In radiology, this technology is increasingly helping doctors in their jobs. A computer program that assists doctors in diagnosing strokes garnered approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this year. Another that helps doctors diagnose broken wrists in X-ray images won FDA approval on May 24.

Hundreds of survivors of domestic violence have come through the doors of neurologist Glynnis Zieman's Phoenix clinic in the past three years.

"The domestic violence patients are the next chapter of brain injury," she says.

Zieman begins every new patient visit with a simple question: "What are the symptoms you hope I can help you with?"

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, most frequently diagnosed among adults over 65. To catch those typically slow-growing malignancies early, when they can often be cured, most doctors' groups recommend colorectal cancer screening starting at age 50.

But the American Cancer Society this week changed its advice and is recommending that screening start five years earlier.

On Aug. 24, 1952, the Silook and Oozevaseuk families of Gambell, Alaska, welcomed a baby girl into the world and introduced her to the island that had been their home for centuries. Gambell is at the western edge of St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. When the weather is clear, you can see Siberia in the distance.

Since Kristen Catton started taking the drug Gilenya two years ago, she's had only one minor relapse of her multiple sclerosis, following a bout of the flu.

Thanks to the medicine, she says, she's able to walk comfortably, see clearly and work part time as a nurse case manager at a hospital near her home in Columbus, Ohio. This is a big step forward; two drugs she previously tried failed to control her physical symptoms or prevent repeated flare-ups.

A title card is the first thing you see in the video for "They Ain't 100," a song by the British rapper Fredo — which reads: Disclaimer: The content in this video is an expression of art and should not be taken literally. K-Trap's "David Blaine" opens with a similar prologue: All characters in this visual are entirely fictional.

Leah Feldman is on Ebola duty — again.

The young Maryland trauma nurse is a veteran of the Ebola wars. She worked on the Doctors Without Borders team in Guinea in 2014 and 2015.

She happened to be in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working on a cholera vaccination project, when a case of Ebola was reported in a remote part of the northwest in April.

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

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Here in the United States, cars and industry are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases. In Africa, it's different. There, it's agriculture and a lot of it is cows. NPR's Eyder Peralta visited a lab trying to understand cow emissions.

Over the past two decades, more than 200,000 people have died in the United States from overdoses involving prescription opioids like OxyContin.

Watch the video here.


The maned wolf is a weird-looking beast.

Its huge ears and lanky black legs have earned it the nick name "fox on stilts". But the maned wolf is neither fox nor wolf. It is a distinct species in the Canidae family.

Scientists beamed down lasers on the ancient city of Jerash in Jordan, mapping the site and then comparing it with historic photos to show what remains — and what has been subsumed by the growing modern city.

Jerash is world famous, and one of the most popular tourist sites in Jordan. It has long streets and a plaza lined with Greco-Roman columns. The site also boasts two amphitheaters, a hippodrome, temples and churches.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is "a vital project in the national interest" and that its purchase will ensure the expansion is built, despite protests from environmentalists and other groups.

Canada will control both the 715-mile pipeline and its expansion, which is meant to increase capacity to 890,000 barrels a day. To do so, Canada will pay the pipeline's current owner, Kinder Morgan, $4.5 billion in Canadian dollars — about $3.5 billion in U.S. currency.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated 12:43 p.m. ET

Perhaps 5,000 people died in Puerto Rico in 2017 for reasons related to September's Hurricane Maria, according to a study that dismisses the official death toll of 64 as "a substantial underestimate."

A research team led by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health didn't simply attempt to count dead bodies in the wake of the powerful storm. Instead, they surveyed randomly chosen households and asked the occupants about their experiences.

A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.

Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.

That is because pharmacists say their contracts with drug plans often contain "gag orders" forbidding them from volunteering this information.

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