Health & Science

In a fitness-crazed land of spin classes and CrossFit gyms, Octavia Zahrt found it can be tough to feel as though you're doing enough. "When I was in school in London, I felt really good about my activity. Then I moved to Stanford, and everyone around me seems to be so active and going to the gym every day," she says. "In the San Francisco Bay Area, it's like 75 percent of people walk around here wearing exercise clothes all day, every day, all the time, and just looking really fit."

At a lunch on Wednesday, President Trump tried to persuade some reluctant senators to endorse repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

A former head policy adviser at the Interior Department is accusing the Trump Administration of reassigning him to a lesser position for speaking out about the dangers of climate change.

Joel Clement, a scientist who was director of the Interior Department's Office of Policy Analysis for much of the Obama Administration, was recently reassigned to work to an "accounting office," the agency's Office of Natural Resources and Revenue.

Few inventions in modern history have been as successful as plastic. It's in vehicles and building materials and most of our electronic devices. We wrap stuff in it and even wear it.

Now a research team has tallied up how much plastic has been produced and where much of it has gone. Turns out, it's literally almost everywhere.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

California's Obamacare exchange scrubbed its annual rate announcement this week, the latest sign of how the ongoing political drama over the Affordable Care Act is roiling insurance markets nationwide.

Tymia McCullough fidgets in front of a mirror in her hotel room as her mom, Susie Pitts, puts the final touches on her hair and nervously drills her on what she is going to say when she gets to Capitol Hill.

"And this is where you let them know that Medicaid is what?" Pitts asks.

"Health assurance," Tymia responds.

"Health insurance that does what?"

"It pays for the need to see your doctor," Tymia says.

Tymia is just 11 years old. She came to Washington last week to lobby Congress over health care. Her family saw it as a life-or-death fight.

Chances are, you’ve already encountered artificial intelligence today.

Did your email spam filter keep junk out of your inbox? Did you find this site through Google? Did you encounter a targeted ad on your way?

Guardians Of The Gridlock

Jul 19, 2017

The legislative logjam known as the GOP health care bill is stunning, considering Republicans are in power in the House, Senate and White House. If today’s lawmakers can’t work together to move ahead on health care, what can they do?

Perhaps they can take notes on how major federal legislation of Washington past — like the Voting Rights Act of 1965 or the Affordable Care Act — made it through controversy and Congress and landed on the President’s desk.

GUESTS

On Aug. 21, a narrow, 70-mile wide swath of the United States from Oregon to South Carolina will be the stage for one of the most (if not the most) spectacular celestial events, a total eclipse of the sun.

Space.com has put together a nice informational guide, including a video and a map explaining where to go, what to expect, and how to watch it safely. This is the first total solar eclipse in America in almost 40 years. The next one in the U.S. will be on April 8, 2024.

Why Zika Is Especially Hard On The Women Of Brazil

Jul 19, 2017

Did the Zika virus put a heavier burden on women than it did on men when the virus swept through Brazil?

Elon Musk is warning that artificial intelligence is a "fundamental existential risk for human civilization," and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is looking into how states can respond.

In nursing homes and residential facilities around the world, health care workers are increasingly asking dementia patients questions: What are your interests? How do you want to address us? What should we do to celebrate the life of a friend who has passed away?

The questions are part of an approach to care aimed at giving people with memory loss and other cognitive problems a greater sense of control and independence. At its core is the idea that an individual with dementia should be treated as a whole person and not "just" a patient.

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