Health & Science

When the diagnosis is cancer, the expenses can pile up in a hurry.

Even people with insurance can face steep copayments for drugs, a sizable share of hospital bills and significant incidentals. These side effects of cancer care are sometimes even called "financial toxicity."

So wouldn't it make sense for doctors and patients to talk over the financial strain that cancer treatment might bring and what might be done to manage it?

Flax is the oily seed usually spotted in the nutritional supplement or cereal aisles. It's marketed as a superfood because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

Omega-3s may do all kinds of good things for humans — like protect against Alzheimer's, heart disease and even cancer — so it seems reasonable to think they could also protect the health of animals.

The tragic deaths of 29 coal miners in a massive explosion in 2010 have provided new evidence of a resurgence of the disease known as black lung.

There's a lot to love about biking to work: the exercise, the fresh air, the cost savings and the benefits for the environment.

But does it make you healthier?

That's a question that's not as easy to answer as you might think. But since today is Bike to Work Day, we'll give it a try.

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CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we go to Ohio where black business owners are meeting to swap some new ideas. Basketball legend Magic Johnson even got a lead on an investment there. We'll tell you more about that in just a few minutes. But first, House Republicans voted yesterday to repeal President Obama's signature healthcare law - again.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. This week, scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University, OHSU, announced a breakthrough in cloning of a human embryo. They took adult cells, put the cells into specially prepared human eggs and created genetically identical embryos. It's something lots of stem cell researchers have been trying to do for years without success.

Desktop Diaries: Daniel Kahneman

May 17, 2013

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Flora Lichtman is here with our video pick. Flora, you have the next installment in our Desktop Diaries series in which you get to know scientists by asking them about their desk trinkets.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: That's right.

FLATOW: And who do we have today?

Resetting the Theory of Time

May 17, 2013

Generations of physicists have claimed that time is an illusion. But not all agree. In his book Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe, theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that time exists--and he says time is key to understanding the evolution of the universe.

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IRA FLATOW, HOST:

What's on your plate? What do you like to eat? What are you eating for lunch, dinner at this point? As with many things, the answer to that might have a lot to do with what you're accustomed to do and, you know, what part of the world you live in. In some parts of the world, insects can be a delicious part of the diet. Well here not so much.

When Great Scientists Got It Wrong

May 17, 2013

In Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein, astrophysicist Mario Livio explores the colossal errors committed by scientific greats, from chemist Linus Pauling's botched model of DNA, to Charles Darwin's failure to understand genetics--the very mechanism of natural selection.

Giving It Away

May 17, 2013

Ah, if only all summers could be like June, July and August 1740 — when three young guys (and a 6-year-old and a 3-year-old) did a science experiment that startled the world. In those days, you could do biology without a fancy diploma. More people could play.

When Is the Right Time To Give?

May 17, 2013

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Giving It Away.

About Mark Bezos' TEDTalk

Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn't go quite as expected — but that taught him a big lesson: Don't wait to be a hero. Give now.

About Mark Bezos

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Giving It Away.

About Ron Finley's TEDTalk

Ron Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where "the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys."

About Ron Finley

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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