Health & Science

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

By some accounts, nearly half of America's incarcerated population is mentally ill — and journalist Alisa Roth argues that most aren't getting the treatment they need.

Roth has visited jails in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta and a rural women's prison in Oklahoma to assess the condition of mentally ill prisoners. She says correctional officers are on the "front lines" of mental health treatment — despite the fact that they lack clinical training.

What would the U.S. look like without Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that legalized abortion nationwide?

That's the question now that President Trump has chosen conservative Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

There has been a lot of progress in the fight against cancer. Cancer death rates have dropped, but the gains haven't been experienced equally.

Cancer death rates remain high for some minorities, including African-Americans. There are geographic differences, too. Death rates for breast and colorectal cancers have declined faster in New England than in other parts of the country. Cancer is also more likely to be fatal for people living in poverty or those without a college degree.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Dr. Nick Nelson walks through busy Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif., to a sixth-floor exam room, where he sees patients from around the world who say they have fled torture and violence.

Nelson, who practices internal medicine, is the medical director of the Highland Human Rights Clinic, part of the Alameda Health System. A few times each week, he and his team conduct medical evaluations of people who are seeking asylum in the United States.

Have you ever noticed something most virtual assistants have in common? They all started out female.

One of the most famous, Amazon's Alexa, got her name because of CEO Jeff Bezos' preference. "The idea was creating the Star Trek computer. The Star Trek computer was a woman," says Alex Spinelli, who ran the team that created the software for Alexa.

Spinelli is now the chief technology officer of LivePerson. His boss, CEO Robert LoCascio, is bothered by that story about Alexa.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Most drugs have side effects, but sometimes they're actually good news.

Researchers are now exploring whether some cheap and common drugs have side effects that could help people fight off the flu and other lung infections.

Animator, director, screenwriter, producer, songwriter — Rebecca Sugar is a true Renaissance woman.

The 30-year-old Maryland native is the force behind “Steven Universe,” the first Cartoon Network show created independently by a woman. The show is now in its fifth season and has become something of an empire.

Walla Walla County in Washington state might just be the only place on Earth where you have to brake for bees.

"You can see the signs here," says Mike Ingham, as he drives by a 20 mph speed limit sign with a smaller one below stating "Alkali Bee Area."

"There's actually a county ordinance to slow the cars down who go by here, because a speeding car can kill a lot of alkali bees," Ingham says.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This piece combines and updates two posts from spring 2018.

During the summer, it's safe to assume children are using technology more than usual.

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