The U.S. is inching closer to the Affordable Care Act. On October 1, people can begin signing up for health insurance plans on the new federal exchange. One goal of the law is to help make health care more affordable.
Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:38 am
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Scientists are reporting an advance in the science of aging and maybe even a clue how to reverse some of aging's effects. They have evidence that lifestyle changes already known to be good for you, like healthy diet, exercise, reducing stress may prevent the chromosomes in our cells from unraveling.
NPR's Richard Knox reports that it's all about little caps on our chromosomes called telomeres.
When the Affordable Care Act was working its way through Congress, Gary Lauer was nervous. Part of the bill sounded grim. It said people could buy required health coverage online, but only through websites run by state and federal governments.
"That was going to pretty much delete us from the landscape," he says.
How often do whales clean their ears? Well, never. And so, year after year, their earwax builds up, layer upon layer. According to a study published Monday, these columns of earwax contain a record of chemical pollution in the oceans.
The study used the earwax extracted from the carcass of a blue whale that washed ashore on a California beach back in 2007. Scientists at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History collected the wax from inside the skull of the dead whale and preserved it. The column of wax was almost a foot long.
From the standpoint of global warming, burning natural gas can be better than burning coal, a study published this week suggests.
This is a contentious issue among people who are opposed to the natural gas drilling practice known as fracking. That technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to release far more gas than conventional drilling can. Opponents of fracking have been concerned not only about local environmental issues, but also about the potential for methane leaks to make global warming worse.
A line of men in black rain boots push trash carts through the alleys of Lahore, Pakistan. They stop at an open sewer along a neighborhood street and start to pull up shoes, bricks, plates and any other trash that might block the flow of wastewater.
Standing water is a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. And the local government in Lahore is on a focused mission: Stop the spread of dengue fever by mosquitoes.
The whole beauty of fantasy sports is that you can manage teams of pro athletes without ever leaving your couch. The process of drafting teams, betting on the success of individual players and trash-talking with your similarly obsessed friends takes place on Web and mobile platforms, and that makes the fantasy sports pastime about more than just bragging rights. It's become a billion-dollar business.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:29 pm
Here at The Salt, we've been following the controversies that surround antibiotic use on the farm. Farmers give these drugs to chickens, swine and beef cattle, either to keep the animals healthy or to make them grow faster. Critics say it's contributing to an epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria not just on the farm, but among people, too.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 3:46 pm
It's mostly the usual suspects on the latest Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans: Bill Gates tops the list for the 20th consecutive year, with a net worth of $72 billion, followed by investor Warren Buffett and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
The Koch brothers, Charles and David, tie for fourth place, while Walton family members with an interest in retail behemoth Wal-Mart occupy positions 6 through 9.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:39 pm
A decade ago, Atkins was undeniably the fad diet of the moment: Back then, nearly 10 percent of Americans said they were either on the low-carb weight-loss plan or had tried it.
But after Dr. Robert Atkins, its namesake and mastermind, died of a head injury in 2003, the brand went downhill fast. Nutritionists berated the plan for promoting saturated fats and cholesterol-rich foods. Sales of Atkins books and food products dropped precipitously. And Atkins Nutritionals filed for bankruptcy in 2005.