Health & Science

Science
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

'Memory Pinball' And Other Reasons You Need A Nap

On the surface, sleep may seem like an evolutionary disaster, but its benefits have come to outweigh its potential downsides.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

We spend about one-third of our lives sleeping, but much of that function remains a mystery. Weekend Edition Sunday is asking some pretty fundamental, yet complicated, questions about why we do it and why we can't seem to get more of it.

Dr. Matthew Walker says the question of why we sleep remains "that archetypal mystery."

Walker, the principal investigator at the sleep lab the University of California, Berkeley, works with patients who suffer from sleep abnormalities. He says the complexity of sleep makes the research that much more fascinating.

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Dance
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Billy Crystal, Up Since 1948

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MR. SANDMAN")

THE CHORDETTES: (Singing) Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. Bum...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're talking this morning about sleep - why we do it, why we can't seem to get more of it.

Yesterday, WEEKEND EDITION's Scott Simon chatted with a comedian who has his own sleep troubles. Billy Crystal writes about them in his new book, "Still Fooling Them."

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Has insomnia been an important part of your life?

BILLY CRYSTAL: I've been up since 1948.

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Science
6:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

How Sounds Undermine Sleep

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Why can some people sleep through a jackhammer at the window, while others waken with the lightest whisper? Host Rachel Martin speaks to Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center researcher Jeffrey Ellenbogen about his new study on how noises interrupt sleep.

NPR Story
5:36 am
Sun September 8, 2013

The Mysteries Of Sleep Were Just Too Mysterious

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We've been exploring the mystery of sleep this morning - how we're not getting enough of it and why we need it in the first place.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: We asked our listeners to share their sleep troubles.

EMILY MCMAMEE: So, I have always sleptwalked and slept-talked and it's always been amusing for everybody else around me. I learn about it the next morning when people tell me, you know, did you know that you just did this?

MARTIN: Emily McMamee is from Starksboro, Vermont.

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NPR Story
5:36 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Dreams: The Telling Tells More Than The Contents

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So like many people, Billy Crystal can't sleep. And if you're not sleeping you're not dreaming, which could also be problematic.

Psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz says dreams are crucial.

DR. STEPHEN GROSZ: They seem to be a part of what it is to be human, and something which has been a part of human life for as long as we know.

MARTIN: In his book, "The Examined Life," Grosz writes about how dreams often reveal things about his patients that they hide even from themselves.

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Environment
4:32 am
Sun September 8, 2013

Climate Change Leaves Hares Wearing The Wrong Colors

A white snowshoe hare against a brown background makes the animal easy prey.
L.S. Mills Research Photo

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 12:40 pm

The effects of climate change often happen on a large scale, like drought or a rise in sea level. In the hills outside Missoula, Mont., wildlife biologists are looking at a change to something very small: the snowshoe hare.

Life as snowshoe hare is pretty stressful. For one, almost everything in the forest wants to eat you.

Alex Kumar, a graduate student at the University of Montana, lists the animals that are hungry for hares.

"Lynx, foxes, coyotes, raptors, birds of prey. Interestingly enough, young hares, their main predator is actually red squirrels."

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Shots - Health News
5:55 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

E-Cigarettes May Match The Patch In Helping Smokers Quit

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:18 am

Electronic cigarettes are sparking lots of skepticism from public health types worried they may be a gateway to regular smoking.

But the cigarettes, which use water vapor to deliver nicotine into the lungs, may be as good as the patch when it comes to stop-smoking aids, a study finds.

Smokers who used e-cigarettes in an attempt to quit the old-fashioned kind of cigarettes did about as well at stopping smoking as the people who tried the patch.

After six months, 7.3 percent of e-smokers had dropped cigarettes, compared to 5.8 percent of people wearing the patch.

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Health & Science
5:36 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

GE Healthcare, NFL Partner to Improve Concussion Diagnoses

Microbleeds in the brain
Credit Dr. Robert Carlier, Dr. Frederic Colas, CHU Raymond Poincaré in France

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews Baldev Ahuwalia, premium segment manager in MRI for GE Healthcare.

The Green Bay Packers’ season begins with a Sunday afternoon struggle against the San Francisco 49ers.  But the struggle is a different one for players who have sustained head injuries.

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All Tech Considered
4:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

Baltimore Officials Want To Unplug Phones-For-Cash Kiosks

EcoATM kiosks dispense cash in exchange for used cellphones, MP3 players and tablets.
ecoATM

EcoATMs take old cellphones, MP3 players and tablets in exchange for cash. But the automated kiosks, operating 650 machines in 40 states, are getting bad reviews from police, who are concerned the machines are a magnet for thieves.

The transaction is fairly simple. The machine walks you through the process, scanning your ID to certify you're over 18 and verify your identity. An ecoATM employee inspects the transaction remotely in real time. Once the seller's identity is verified, the kiosk takes the device and assesses its value. You get the cash, and the device is recycled.

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World
4:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

In China, Avoiding The 'Great Firewall' Internet Censors

In China, the Internet isn't the free-for-all that it is in the United States. China's communist government censors what's published and some of what's shared online. But some citizens are working around government censors by using agreed-upon "public" code.

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