Health & Science

Energy
4:10 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Canadian Regulators Investigate Mysterious Tar Sands Spills

Roughnecks build a drilling rig at the MEG Energy site near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. In addition to large, open-pit mining operations, tar sands oil can be extracted from the ground by pumping down high-pressure steam.
Michael S. Williamson The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 5:05 pm

Government regulators in Canada are investigating a series of mysterious oil spills around tar sands operations in Alberta. Thick oil is gurgling up unexpectedly from the ground instead of flowing through the wells that were built to collect it.

The spills are raising questions about a technology that's rapidly expanding to extract fossil fuels that could ultimately end up in the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.

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National Security
3:52 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

NSA Director Speaks At Hacker Conference With Mixed Reviews

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 5:05 pm

Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency, spoke Wednesday at Black Hat, a hackers conference in Las Vegas.

Shots - Health News
3:13 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Potential Treatment For Snakebites Leads To A Paralyzing Test

The bite of a cobra can paralyze its victims and, if enough venom is released, fatally stop their breathing. It's estimated that more than 75 percent of patients in India who die from a snake's bite never make it to the hospital.
STRDEL AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 10:38 am

Each year, as many as 125,000 people around the world die from venomous snakebites, often because they live in remote, rural areas and didn't get to a hospital in time to get treatment. Toxins in the venom of snakes like cobras and kraits slowly paralyze their victims, who ultimately die of suffocation.

A San Francisco emergency room physician says he may have the beginnings of a workaround that could fend off paralysis and save many of those lives.

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All Tech Considered
3:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The Online Underworld's Elaborate Prank To Ship Heroin

Cybercriminals are scary, but at least the harm they do is just in cyberspace. So they hack your Twitter, or maybe cause a few zeros to disappear (temporarily) from your bank account. They can't hurt you in any real-world way, right?

Wrong.

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Shots - Health News
2:34 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Nurse Charged With Assisting In Her Father's Death

Barbara Mancini with her father, Joe Yourshaw.
Barbara Mancini via Compassion & Choices

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 5:22 pm

A Philadelphia nurse has been charged with assisted suicide for allegedly providing her 93-year-old father with a lethal dose of morphine.

Authorities say Barbara Mancini, 57, told a hospice nurse and a police officer on Feb. 7 that she provided a vial of morphine to her father, Joe Yourshaw, to hasten his death.

Mancini and her attorneys acknowledge she handed the medication to her father, but maintain she never said she intended to help him end his life and was only trying to help her father ease his pain — an act they say is legally protected, even if it causes death.

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The Salt
12:46 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Can The Smell Of Oranges Help Dieters Resist Sweet Treats?

Women in a recent study who were trying to diet ate about 60 percent less chocolate after smelling oranges.
GrenouilleFilms iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 2:00 pm

Whenever we give in to temptation, be it for a helping of something divine, like fine chocolate, or just a so-so piece of saltwater taffy abandoned next to the office coffeepot, there's something more than self-control at work.

Woven into the complexities of food choices and eating behaviors are all sorts of subtle factors that we're likely not even aware of.

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All Tech Considered
12:01 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Weekly Innovation: A Better Travel Neck Pillow

The Nap Anywhere is a new, portable head-support pillow created by a Virginia-based physician.
Courtesy of Nap Anywhere

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Previously we've featured the sink-urinal and Smart Bedding.

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Shots - Health News
10:55 am
Wed July 31, 2013

More Moms Are Breast-Feeding, But Many Babies Still Miss Out

More than three quarters of new babies get at least a start at breast-feeding, according to the CDC.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 11:28 am

Three quarters of new mothers gave breast-feeding a try in 2010, and mothers are sticking with breast-feeding longer, according to federal data.

Almost 50 percent of babies are still being breast-fed at least sometime at 6 months of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's up from 35 percent in 2000.

The number of babies breast-feeding at 12 months also rose, from 16 percent in 2000 to 27 percent in 2010. Go moms!

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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Facebook Sees Its Shares Hit $38 IPO Price

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 3:36 pm

It's been more than a year since Facebook's stock debuted at $38 in its initial public offering. But after a problematic start and an eventual slide below $20, the company saw its shares reach that initial price in early trading Wednesday, one week after it reported strong advertising revenue.

"Before Wednesday's opening bell, the shares rose as high as $38.05, before settling back down to $37.95," the AP reports. "On Tuesday, the shares closed up 6 percent after coming within pennies of the IPO price."

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Health
10:32 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Decades Later, Drugs Didn't Hold 'Crack Babies' Back

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to talk about another body of research that's also challenging assumptions, very old assumptions about the effects of cocaine addiction. During the crack epidemic of the 1980s and '90s, healthcare workers feared that children born to addicted mothers had little hope for a healthy future. But a newly released study suggests that initial concerns about so-called crack babies may have been misplaced, and that the biggest issue that could hurt these kids was not drug exposure, but poverty.

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