Health & Science

Shots - Health News
3:39 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Proposed Alaska Road Pits Villagers Against Environmentalists

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell (center) gets a tour of King Cove, Alaska.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 5:29 pm

The town of King Cove, Alaska, is crowded onto a narrow spit, surrounded by ocean and isolated by rows of volcanic mountains.

It's an Aleut Native community of about a thousand people, and for roughly a third of the year, treacherous winds close its airstrip. There's no road between King Cove and Cold Bay, the nearest town with year-round air facilities. When the weather turns bad, the only way out of King Cove is a two-hour boat trip through choppy seas.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Discovery Of Massive Aquifers Could Be Game Changer For Kenya

Members of the El Molo tribe are pictured in the village of Komote, on the shores of Lake Turkana, northern Kenya, last year.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:07 pm

Satellite imagery and seismic data have identified two huge underground aquifers in Kenya's drought-prone north, a discovery that could be "a game changer" for the country, NPR's Gregory Warner reports.

The aquifers, located hundreds of feet underground in the Turkana region that borders Ethiopia and South Sudan, contain billions of gallons of water, according to UNESCO, which confirmed the existence of the subterranean lakes discovered with the help of a French company using technology originally designed to reveal oil deposits.

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All Tech Considered
1:01 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Court Decision Means Another Look At Google Street View Case

An employee drives a Google Maps Street View car around Palo Alto, Calif. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco said Tuesday that Google went far beyond listening to accessible radio communication when it drew information from inside people's homes.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 3:20 pm

The U.S. Appeals Court in San Francisco refused Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses Google of violating federal wiretapping laws by collecting emails and data about people's Web surfing habits as the company's Street View cars crisscrossed the world.

Millions of people use unencrypted wireless networks in their homes to access the Internet. The lawsuit alleges Google's Street View cars were listening in to those digital conversations and making recordings of the traffic in violation of federal law.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:48 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

When The Dutch Keep Secrets, Everybody Notices. A Google Puzzle

Mishka Henner

What is this?

When I saw it for the first time, here's what I knew: It's a Google image found on Google Maps, taken by a satellite, plucked and blogged by photographer/sleuth, Mishka Henner. It's a patch of land near a town called Coevorden, in The Netherlands. There's a road on one side, plowed farmland all about, some trees on the lower left and then, weirdly, grey, black, white, golden, green and brown patches crunched together in an almost-rectangle. Those couldn't be natural, I thought.

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Shots - Health News
12:26 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

What To Avoid At The Orthopedist's Office

Here's an evidence-based test with no dangerous side effects. But some common orthopedic treatments don't work.
Selim Ucar CAM/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:01 pm

If the orthopedist wants to inject saline into your arthritic knee, it's time to say no thanks. Same for taking the popular supplements glucosamine and chondroitin for arthritis pain.

Why? There's no good evidence to prove they'll help you.

Those are two of the latest additions to lists of medical don'ts for doctors and patients.

The reasoning behind the lists is simple. A lot of things that doctors do to patients won't do them any good. Besides being wasteful, some of the tests and treatments may lead to harm.

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All Tech Considered
12:12 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

What Does The NSA Think About You?

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 1:06 pm

If you are wondering what NSA insiders think of the millions of us who are being watched by the agency, we now have a clue.

As part of a slide deck that shows how the NSA can use location information collected by mobile phone users, someone at the NSA apparently thought it would be amusing to play with images from Apple's "Big Brother" ad from 1984 and make allusions to Orwell's body of work.

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Series Reveals Underground Market For 'Re-Homing' Adoptees

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 1:40 pm

In an exhaustive, 18-month investigation, Reuters has detailed a practice in the U.S. of "private re-homing" of unwanted foreign adoptees and allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the hands of guardians.

In the five-part series "The Child Exchange: Inside America's underground market for adopted children," Reuters tracked down several adopted children who it says had been passed from one guardian to another through contacts made on groups on Yahoo and Facebook specializing in such re-homing.

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Shots - Health News
7:52 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Fast Tests For Drug Resistance Bolster Malaria Fight

A Cambodian boy gets tested for malaria at a clinic along the Thai-Cambodian border in 2010. Three strains of drug-resistant malaria have emerged from this region over the past 50 years.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 10:15 am

Malaria researchers have developed what they consider a crucial advance: Simple and fast tests that can tell when parasites have become resistant to the front-line drug against malaria.

Taken together, these tests give humans a new tool to counter the malaria parasite's ability to outwit every drug that's ever been devised against it.

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National Security
3:26 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Tech Visionary Focuses Now On Biological Weapons Threat

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:54 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next, we'll introduce you to Nathan Myhrvold, who made his name as a prolific inventor at Microsoft. These days, he's focusing on a different kind of technological advance - the threat from biological weapons. Myhrvold is in Washington this week to meet with national security leaders, and try to convince them to spend time and energy on potential attacks. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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Around the Nation
2:26 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Four-Legged Impostors Give Service Dog Owners Pause

Lauren Henderson and her service dog, Phoebe, in Los Angeles. Henderson says she's seeing more dogs in vests that don't appear to be legitimate service dogs.
Lisa Napoli KCRW

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 6:54 am

Lauren Henderson goes everywhere with her service dog Phoebe — to the grocery store, Disneyland, the beach. For Henderson, who used to be paralyzed, her 100 pound, lumbering Saint Bernard is a necessity.

An actor who lives in Malibu, Calif., Henderson uses her dog for stability and balance. And if she falls, Phoebe helps pull her back on her feet.

"She's basically like a living walker," Henderson says.

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