Health & Science

Health & Science
8:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Health Organizations Come Together to Provide Better Care for Less

Health Care systems across the country are looking for ways to better care while also making is less expensive

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.

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Research News
7:12 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Telomeres May Hold Clues To Effects Of Aging

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 8:38 am

Transcript

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.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 am
Tue September 17, 2013

For-Profit Online Insurance Brokers Gear Up To Sell Obamacare

Workers at the eHealth call center outside Sacramento, Calif., get ready to sell health insurance through the marketplaces created under the federal health care law. Sales start Oct. 1.
eHealth Inc.

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:34 am

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.

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Animals
6:52 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Earwax From Whales Keeps Record Of Ocean Contaminants

A blue whale (and human diver) swimming off the coast of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, in April 2011.
Amos Nachoun Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 7:07 am

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.

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Energy
4:55 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Natural Gas May Be Easier On Climate Than Coal, Despite Methane Leaks

A rig drills a hydraulic fracturing well for natural gas outside Rifle, Colo., in March.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 6:11 pm

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.

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Shots - Health News
4:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

How Smartphones Became Vital Tools Against Dengue In Pakistan

Inspector Mohammad Saleem Taqi takes a photo of sanitation workers as they clear out debris in sewers. The government feeds the photos into a map to track the city's effort to stop dengue fever.
Beenish Ahmed NPR

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 1:14 pm

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.

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All Tech Considered
3:55 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Smartphone Boom Fuels A $1 Billion Fantasy Sports Industry

Steve Covino and Rich Davis attend Sirius XM's Annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft in New York in 2012.
Cindy Ord Getty Images for Sirius XM Radio

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 4:55 pm

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.

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

CDC: Deadliest Drug Resistance Comes From Hospitals, Not Farms

These pigs in Iowa, newly weaned from their mothers, get antibiotics in their water to ward off bacterial infection.
Dan Charles NPR

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.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett Again Top Forbes 400

Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, is No. 3 on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans.
Stephen Dunn Getty Images

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.

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The Salt
2:29 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Atkins Hopes To Ride Paleo, Low-Carb Craze To A Comeback

A Beef Merlot dinner from the Atkins frozen food line, launched in January.
Kent Altena Flickr

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.

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