Health & Science

The Food and Drug Administration has reduced an obstacle from its compassionate use policy, streamlining paperwork that physicians must submit to obtain experimental drugs for patients with life-threatening illnesses.

Imagine getting paid an estimated $6 million for your involvement in this three-word jingle: "I'm Lovin' It." Yep, Justin Timberlake inked a lucrative deal with McDonald's. (Guess you could say he wants you to "buy buy buy.")

Or how about earning an estimated $50 million to promote Pepsi products?That's the endorsement deal that megastar Beyonce signed up for back in 2012.

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

You are trapped in space. Seriously. You're captured, cornered, mired. You're totally stuck and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

You're trapped in space and what that really means is you're trapped in three dimensions.

To get a gist of what I'm talking about, imagine for a moment you're walking through the woods and a bear magically appears in front of you.

To escape this angry bear, which direction would you run?

Patricia Becerril comes to Bethesda Health Center in Charlotte, N.C., every other week. And it's a slog.

"It takes her two hours to get here," says University of North Carolina at Charlotte master's student Katherine Wilkin, translating from the Spanish as Becerril speaks. "She takes two buses, so coming here, she's definitely devoted to getting this treatment. She comes every time."

Wilkin is Becerril's mental health counselor, and Becerril says Wilkin has helped her deal with depression.

A weathered wooden shed that holds wheelbarrows, hoes and other basic tools is the beacon of the Student Organic Farm, a two-acre swath within the larger horticultural research farm at Iowa State University.

On a warm spring evening, a half-dozen students gather here, put on work gloves and begin pulling up weeds from the perennial beds where chives, strawberries, rhubarb and sage are in various stages of growth.

"I didn't know how passionate I [would] become for physical work," says culinary science major Heidi Engelhardt.

Zunika Crenshaw cringes as a tire swing whips her children around in circles just a little too fast. It's a sunny afternoon in the park, in Pleasanton, Calif. As her children play, she keeps a close watch on their breathing.

She says asthma is in her genes.

"You have a family, a person who has four kids, and all of them have it, including me," she says. "And then my mom has it, and my sister's two kids."

A little girl, 3-year-old Jhase, runs over to her, wheezing. Crenshaw grabs an inhaler, and her daughter breathes deeply from it.

The Long Road Back From Boko Haram

Jun 7, 2016

One of the 276 Chibok schoolgirls abducted two years ago by Boko Haram militants returned home last month. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed her in a televised meeting, promising to support her as she remakes her life and help her return to school and receive needed social support services. Reintegration is the goal for 19-year-old Amina Ali Nkeki and the 4-month-old baby she had while in captivity.

But how will that be achieved?

When Sandra Aamodt talks about dieting, people listen ... or, they stick their fingers in their ears and go la, la, la. Aamodt's neuroscientific take on why diets backfire is that divisive.

For the roughly 15,000 people who need a liver transplant, it's a waiting game. With demand for donated livers far outstripping supply, patients may spend months or years on a transplant waitlist, their position in the line gradually improving as they get sicker.

A recent study suggests that this system may be changing, but not necessarily for the better.

WATCH: Mosquitoes Use 6 Needles To Suck Your Blood

Jun 7, 2016

It's not just idle curiosity that's got scientists hunting down all the bloody details of a mosquito bite. Bites from these bugs are more dangerous to humans than those of any other animal; mosquitoes kill hundreds of thousands of people each year worldwide, and sicken millions more.

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

This week marks a year since the government first revealed that hackers had stolen personnel files of some 4 million current and former federal employees.

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

How do you cover an incomprehensible disaster and make people connect with the real lives behind the headlines?

David Gilkey knew how.

His photos have helped define our coverage of global health and development at Goats and Soda. They have a tremendous warmth and humanity that reflects his own compassionate heart and soul.

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