Health & Science

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Scientists Work To Grow Food In Space

Sep 17, 2017

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(SOUNDBITE OF MOOG CITY'S "C418")

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is Lulu's log, stardate September 17, 2017, where we consider matters of space, the stars and the universe.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOOG'S CITY'S "C418")

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We asked, and you answered.

In a recent series we explored a different way of giving aid to people in poor countries. Instead of handing out seeds or a cow or job training, what if you just gave people cash and let them decide how to use it?

Then we put the call out to you, our audience: Was there ever a time when you got a little cash with no strings attached and it made a huge difference? Or when you wished for a tiny windfall to tackle a problem?

Updated at 11 a.m. ET Sunday

With a pair of Sunday television interviews, President Trump's administration furthered ambiguity on the United States' position with regard to the Paris climate agreement.

On CBS' Face The Nation, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked by John Dickerson if there was a chance the U.S could stay in the accord.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Leprosy Is Not Quite Yet A Disease Of The Past

Sep 16, 2017

Leprosy is an ancient disease, a biblical curse and, even in the 21st century, a cultural shame so severe that in some countries, patients are sent to live in isolated colonies or tossed out of their own homes.

"I met a woman whose husband and children forced her to live in the cow shed," says Gareth Shrubshole, programs and advocacy officer at the Leprosy Mission. "Her boys refused to share a meal with their own mother." That was in India.

When he came to the United States 12 years ago, Edgar Velazquez hardly spoke a word of English. Most days of his first year, the 14-year-old Mexican immigrant went to the library after school to read the dictionary, determined to learn 250 words — the minimum for basic conversation.

At home, Velazquez often did his homework in the bathroom. It was the quietest spot in his family's 500 square-foot studio in the Tenderloin, a San Francisco neighborhood with "needles on the ground and a lot of homeless on the streets," he recalls.

A couple of high-tech entrepreneurs thought they'd put a personable name on an impersonal product.

Paul McDonald and Ashwath Rajan, formerly of Google, unveiled a box this week with glass doors, stocked with nonperishable items, that people can unlock with their cellphones while a camera records what they take and charges them.

It's essentially a tech-connected vending machine. But the entrepreneurs chose a name for their venture that many people found offensive: Bodega.

Hospital pharmacist Mandy Langston remembers when Lulabelle Berry arrived at the emergency center of Stone County Medical Center in Mountain View, Ark., last year.

Berry couldn't talk. Her face was drooping on one side. Her eyes couldn't focus.

"She was basically unresponsive," Langston recalls.

Nearly 400,000 Rohingya people have fled government violence in Myanmar and crossed into neighboring Bangladesh. The majority of them are children — 60 percent, by U.N. estimates. And at least 1,100 are separated from their parents.

The challenges for aid groups are unfathomable with a refugee crisis this large, caused by what Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, says seems to be "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing."

The situation is even more daunting when so many children are at risk.

Long after the floodwaters recede and the debris is cleared, the mental health impacts of disasters like hurricanes can linger.

Psychologist Jean Rhodes of the University of Massachusetts-Boston has spent more than a decade studying what happens to people years after a natural disaster — in this case, Hurricane Katrina.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Systematically paying women less than men. Promoting them more slowly. And denying them opportunities.

These are the allegations in a lawsuit against Google filed Thursday in San Francisco on behalf of three female former employees.

They're seeking class-action status to sue on behalf of all women employed by Google in California over the past four years. "The lawsuit appears to be the first to make class action sex bias claims against Google," according to Reuters.

Can a cat be both a liquid and a solid? Does contact with a crocodile influence a person's willingness to gamble? And do old men really have big ears?

Those are just a few of the questions studied by scientists who received Ig Nobel Prizes at Harvard University on Thursday, at the less-than-prestigious ceremony put on by the otherwise-august institution for the past 27 years.

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