Health & Science

The Salt
8:59 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Oh, So That's What Goes Into A McDonald's Chicken McNugget

McDonald's new video answers that age-old question: What are McNuggets actually made of?
McDonald's Canada/YouTube

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 4:40 pm

A fried, battered coating can hide a multitude of sins. (Everything tastes yummy when deep-fried, amiright?) So it's not surprising, really, that allegations of "mystery meat" have dogged McDonald's famous chicken McNuggets on and off for years.

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All Tech Considered
6:07 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Sensory Fiction: Books That Let You Feel What The Characters Do

Changes in a book protagonist's emotional or physical state trigger discrete feedback in this wearable device.
MIT Media Lab

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:45 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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Business
4:18 am
Thu February 6, 2014

CVS Caremark Drops Tobacco, Wants To Be Your Health Provider

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:59 am

Smokers are shrugging off the announcement that CVS will stop selling tobacco products. The company announced the move on Wednesday as part of a strategy to promote healthy choices. But more than half of cigarettes are sold at gas stations, so the company's decision is unlikely to have much of an impact on access to tobacco.

Economy
3:23 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Reining In Health Care Costs Key To Trimming Deficit

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:47 pm

The Congressional Budget Office earlier this week said this year's deficit is likely to be about one-third the size it was in 2009, when the Great Recession bottomed out. A recovering economy is the main reason for the deficit's improvement, but moderating health care costs have also contributed.

Harvard economist and health policy specialist David Cutler says getting the federal government's finances under control is all about health care.

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The Salt
2:26 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Woolly Mammoths' Taste For Flowers May Have Been Their Undoing

Woolly mammoths depended on tiny flowering plants for protein. Did the decline of the flowers cause their extinction?
Per Möller/Johanna Anjar

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 4:01 pm

They were some of the largest, hairiest animals ever to walk the Earth, but new research shows a big part of the woolly mammoth's diet was made up of tiny flowers.

The work is based on DNA analysis of frozen arctic soil and mammoth poop. It suggests that these early vegans depended on the flowers as a vital source of protein. And when the flowers disappeared after the last ice age, so too did the mammoths that ate them.

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Antitrust Settlement With EU Calls For Google To Tweak Results

European Commission

Part of an antitrust agreement with the European Union regulators, Google has agreed to tweak its search results in Europe.

The search giant has agreed that when a user searches for a product, for example, the search results of its rivals — Amazon, let's say — will be displayed along with those of advertisers paying Google for prominent space.

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Health Care
3:46 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Obamacare Opponents Open New Front For Debate In 'Risk Corridors'

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:23 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Here's another way congressional Democrats are using the Budget Office report in support of the Affordable Care Act. They're defending an obscure provision in the law that serves to backstop insurance companies participating in the health plan exchanges. And in a flip of party stereotypes, this has Democrats standing up for the insurance companies and Republicans clashing with big business.

NPR's David Welna explains.

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Politics
3:46 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

One Day After CBO Report, It's Time To Start Your Spin Cycle

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:23 pm

On Tuesday, economists with the Congressional Budget Office announced findings that indicated the new health care law may result in hundreds of thousands leaving the workforce. The findings spurred new debate on the merits of the law and its economic impact. NPR's Scott Horsley has more on the reactions to the report.

Business
3:46 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

For CVS CEO, Tobacco Decision Reflects Health Care Priorities

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:23 pm

CVS CEO and President Larry Merlo joins Audie Cornish to discuss his company's big decision to eventually discontinue its sales of tobacco products. The decision didn't simply make headlines on Wednesday; it could also signal a shift in plans for the pharmacy giant's future.

Business
3:46 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Drug Store Plans To Rid Its Shelves Of Tobacco Products

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:23 pm

The pharmacy giant CVS plans to eliminate cigarettes and other tobacco products from its stores by October. The company says it made the decision because the drug store business is changing and that selling cigarettes is no longer consistent with its mission. Medical experts and the White House hailed the move. NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports.

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