Health & Science

It's a predictable passage in life: Hit 50, get lots of birthday cards with old-age jokes, a mailbox full of AARP solicitations — and a colonoscopy.

But millions of Americans — about one-third of those in the recommended age range for colon cancer screening — haven't been tested. Some avoid it because they are squeamish about the procedure, or worried about the rare, but potentially serious, complications that can occur during colonoscopies.

How Can A Nudge Save A Life?

Jun 24, 2016

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode Nudge

About Sendhil Mullainathan's TED Talk

We have the treatments to end health problems like infant diarrhea. Sendhil Mullainathan says the "last mile" nudge is to encourage people to use them.

About Sendhil Mullainathan

Sendhil Mullainathan is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University.

Can Mindfulness Help You Quit Smoking?

Jun 24, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Nudge

About Judson Brewer's TED Talk

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer describes how patients who practice simple mindfulness techniques can kick unhealthy habits.

About Judson Brewer

Psychiatrist Judson Brewer studies how mindfulness affects addiction.

What Is A Nudge?

Jun 24, 2016

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Nudge

How can a simple adjustment - a nudge - change our behavior for the better? Professor Richard Thaler says his "nudge theory" can make it easier for people to save money, eat healthily and more.

About Richard Thaler

University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler studies behavioral economics and finance as well as the psychology of decision-making.

There's an explosion of interest in friendly bacteria.

Beneficial microorganisms, as we've reported, can help us digest food, make vitamins, and protect us against harmful pathogens.

As this idea gains traction, so too does the popularity of fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi.

Though the science is tricky, researchers are learning more about how this ancient technique for preserving food may also help promote good health.

All the bad news around lead and water has people worried. So we decided to create a step-by-step guide to help find out if the pipe bringing water into your home is made of lead. Get started here.

Editor's note: This is an excerpt from the latest episode of the Invisibilia podcast and program, which is broadcast on participating public radio stations. This story contains language that some may find offensive.

Just a week before a Vermont law kicks in requiring labels on food containing genetically modified ingredients, U.S. Senate agriculture leaders announced a deal Thursday that takes the power out of states' hands — and sets a mandatory national system for GM disclosures on food products.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, unveiled the plan that had been negotiated for weeks with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Michigan.

Mike Marsella was a really competitive guy, a champion cross-country runner in high school. He got a running scholarship to college. Then a car hit him while he was riding a moped. He was left in a coma, with brain damage. And when his mind changed, his running changed, too.

Would he ever be Mike Marsella again? And would he ever run a four-minute mile?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

There's a hot pink suitcase on the floor of Shariah Vroman-Nagy's bedroom. The 18-year-old is packing for a trip to Disneyland, one of several she takes with her family every year.

"Let's see, I need a hairbrush," she says, moving past the collection of Mickey Mouse ears on her dresser and glancing at the inspirational quotes from Marilyn Monroe on the wall.

The lyrics to a song called "Smile" hang in a frame over her bed.

An ancient variety of squash that was all but lost to history is now being rediscovered. Native Americans in the Great Lakes region have cultivated this squash for centuries, and now tribes are sharing the seeds with each other and with small farmers to bring the plant back.

Eighth Day Farm in Holland, Mich., is among those that acquired seeds from this mystery squash. And the farm's Sarah Hofman-Graham says they didn't know what to expect when they planted it last year.

In the United States, if a hospital didn't have running water even for one day, it'd be a crisis.

But in some parts of the world, that's business as usual.

Bill Ingalls/NASA

On July 4th, NASA’s Juno spacecraft will enter orbit around Jupiter, and it's been a long time in the making. An Atlas V rocket launched with the Juno spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 5, 2011. It's five-year, 400 million mile voyage to Jupiter will soon have it orbiting the planet to investigate its origin.

During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty.

"Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery.

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