Health & Science

On Aging
10:48 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Winning Gold In Their Golden Years

Swimmer John Tatum proudly wears his gold medals from the National Senior Olympics.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 6:57 pm

John Tatum is 94 years old. He is a swimmer. And a gold medalist.

Tatum is one of thousands of the top athletes in the U.S. who run, vault and swim for the gold in the National Senior Games. All of these seniors are over age 50, and some are over 100. And they show no signs of slowing down.

"I see no end for me," Tatum says. "I would like to just compete year after year after year. You know, I'm 94, probably could be 100, I don't know. But as long as I am healthy, I can do it."

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Shots - Health News
2:42 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Finding Simple Tests For Brain Disorders Turns Out To Be Complex

Anne Jones, 62, and Robin Jones, 73, at their home in Menlo Park, Calif. He took a test that revealed proteins typical of Alzheimer's disease.
Ramin Rahimian for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:17 pm

If you're having chest pain, your doctor can test you for a heart attack. If you're having hip pain, your doctor could test for osteoarthritis.

But what if you're depressed? Or anxious? Currently there are no physical tests for most disorders that affect the mind. Lab tests like these could transform the field of mental illness. So far efforts to come up with biomarkers for common mental health disorders have proved largely fruitless.

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NPR Story
5:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Ireland May Allow Limited Abortions

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 1:21 pm

Politicians in the Catholic Republic of Ireland have overwhelmingly voted to introduce abortion in cases where the woman's life is in danger or she is at risk of suicide. John Waters, columnist for the Irish Times, speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about this sensitive issue.

Research News
8:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Why You're Clapping: The Science Of Applause

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

We've all been to concerts and performances that bring us to our feet in wild applause.

(APPLAUSE)

WERTHEIMER: But what makes us clap more for some performances than others? You'd think it's obvious: the better the show, the more applause. Think again. New research at Uppsala University in Sweden has revealed that applause spreads through a crowd more like a contagion than a reaction to a performer. Researchers watched audience members respond to academic talks - talks even as dull as this one.

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Health
3:31 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 5:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Abortion Providers Sue As Wisconsin Governor Signs Bill

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 7:05 pm

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed a bill that would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound. The bill also puts restrictions on doctors who perform abortions, reports Marti Mikkelson of member station WUWM in Milwaukee.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:37 am

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Animals
3:25 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Big Old Alaskan Fish Turns Out To Be Just Big, Not Old

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:37 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now a big fish story. Last month a fisherman off the coast of Sitka, Alaska, brought in a record-breaking shortraker rock-fish. At nearly 40 pounds and three and a half feet long, the bug-eyed, bright orange beast is the biggest fish of its kind ever caught by a recreational fisherman.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
2:46 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Genes May Reveal When Aspirin Won't Reduce Heart Risk

Aspirin has been prescribed for decades as a simple way to reduce heart disease risk, but doctors still aren't sure how it works.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 12:18 pm

People are often told to take low-dose aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. But that preventive remedy doesn't work for a lot of people.

Researchers say they've found genetic variations that might be used to identify people who don't respond well to aspirin. If the results prove out, there could soon be a blood test to tell who benefits from aspirin, and who needs to look for other treatments to reduce cardiovascular risk.

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Science
12:55 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Benjamin Franklin's Intellectual Revolution

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, you know, this week was Independence Day, and to celebrate, we're going to be looking at the life of Benjamin Franklin. We know him for his role in the American Revolution, but we're going to look at the great intellectual revolution he brought to America. Maybe you didn't know about that. Well, you can find out more about it in the new book, "The Society for Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America."

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