Health & Science

Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Disinfect All ICU Patients To Reduce 'Superbug' Infections

To fight antibiotic-resistant staph germs like these, a study suggests disinfecting the skin of all intensive care patients.
Janice Carr CDC

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 3:41 pm

Hospitals can sharply reduce the spread of the drug-resistant bacteria in their intensive care units by decontaminating all patients rather than screening them and focusing only on those found to be infected already, researchers reported Wednesday.

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Books
3:30 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

How OxyContin's Pain Relief Built 'A World Of Hurt'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 11:40 am

Prescription painkillers are among the most widely used drugs in America. In the decade since New York Times reporter Barry Meier began investigating their use and abuse, he says he has seen the number of people dying from overdoses quadruple — an increase Meier calls "staggering."

"The current statistic is that about 16,000 people a year die of overdoses involving prescription narcotics. ... It's a huge problem. The number of people dying from these drugs is second only to the number of people that die in car accidents," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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The Salt
2:40 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Cooking With Cicadas: No Weirder Than Eating Cheese?

Cicada: It's what's for dinner?
Sean Bush AP

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 6:18 pm

You knew this one was coming.

Earlier this month, we told you about a U.N. report that makes the case for insects to improve global food security: They're cheap, plentiful and environmentally sustainable. Now, the coming of the 17-year cicadas provides East Coast Americans, for whom bug eating is considered novel at best, with an opportunity to try local insect cuisine.

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Shots - Health News
2:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Middle East Coronavirus Called 'Threat To The Entire World'

A nurse walks towards the Roger Salengro Hospital in Lille, France, where two patients were diagnosed with a coronavirus related to SARS.
Michel Spingler AP

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 10:43 am

If you've been following the news out of China about the latest bird flu and its threats to humans, may we direct your attention toward the Middle East for a minute?

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Research News
1:04 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Public Opinion On The Record Number Of Female Breadwinners

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 1:21 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

A new Pew study finds that in a record 40 percent of all households with kids under 18, mothers are either the sole or primary source of income. In 1960, that share was just over 10 percent. These breadwinner moms number in the millions, but about three-quarters of all adults say that the prominence of women's economic role makes it harder to raise children. Half say it's made marriage harder to succeed. If you're one of these breadwinner moms, call, tell us what we don't know about the tradeoffs.

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The Salt
11:07 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Pot Brownies Should Be Childproofed, Doctors Say

Marijuana gingerbread cookies, like this one sold at The Apothecarium in San Francisco, could easily appeal to kids.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 5:26 pm

As some states become friendly to medical marijuana, many users are opting to eat their pot instead of smoking it. And that means marijuana dispensaries are doing heavy business in brownies, cookies, sodas, candy and other treats heavily dosed with THC.

But unlike drugs that come in bottles, these tasty marijuana foods haven't been childproofed. And in Colorado, doctors say that kids who apparently get into their parents and grandparents' stashes are getting sick.

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Books
10:46 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Chopra Brothers: Separate Paths But Common Bond

Brad Walker Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 1:43 pm

Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra both followed in their father's footsteps and became physicians. But while one chose Western medicine, the other took a spiritual approach. Now they've teamed up for a memoir. Tell Me More host Michel Martin speaks with the Chopras about their new book, Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream.

On the different paths each took

Deepak Chopra: "I like to say that Sanjiv took care of the body and I took care of the soul."

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Shots - Health News
9:14 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Health Differences May Explain Medicare Spending Variation

Where a person lives seems to have an effect on Medicare spending. But why?
iStockphoto.com

The idea that uneven Medicare health care spending around the country is caused by wasteful practices and overtreatment — a concept that has influenced portions of the federal health law — took another hit in a study published Tuesday.

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Research News
4:30 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Scientists Discover Rip Van Winkle Of The Plant World

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 9:47 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're going to hear now about what could be thought of as the Rip Van Winkle of the plant world. Scientists have found examples of a kind of plant known as bryophytes. And after spending 400 years buried by a glacier, when the ice receded the plants started growing again.

NPR's Joe Palca has more.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Bryophytes don't get much respect. They're not the gaudy seed plants people plant in their gardens or give as gifts. Jonathan Shaw runs the bryology lab at Duke University.

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The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Wal-Mart To Pay $81 Million For Hazardous Waste Dumping

A photo from earlier this month taken in front of a Wal-Mart store in La Habra, Calif.
Jae C. Hong Associated Press

Wal-Mart Stores has agreed to pay $81 million in penalties as part of a guilty plea on criminal charges of improperly disposing of hazardous waste in California and Missouri.

Prosecutors said the violations occurred between 2003 and 2005 and included employees negligently dumping pollutants from stores into sanitation drains.

The Associated Press reports that the plea agreements announced Tuesday "end a nearly decade-old investigation involving more than 20 prosecutors and 32 environmental groups."

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