Health & Science

If you're driving down the road someday and you come across a camper with a 50-foot periscope sticking up into the sky, you just might have crossed paths with Ira Leifer. His quirky vehicle is on a serious mission. It's sniffing the air for methane, a gas that contributes to global warming.

Leifer is an atmospheric scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. But you'll more often find him off campus, in a garage, next to a string of auto body shops near the airport.

When the American Psychiatric Association releases its new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders -- DSM-5 -- this weekend, lots of journalists and commentators will refer to it as "psychiatry's bible."

That's a term that makes the manual's authors and other mental experts cringe.



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Melissa Block. Yesterday, President Obama sent out a tweet drawing attention to a study about climate change. The study found that scientists who say climate change is largely caused by human activities vastly outnumber the skeptics. NPR's Richard Harris has more on the study that caught the White House's attention.

The Illinois Senate has approved a measure to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes, sending the bill to the governor for his signature.

The bill would be the strictest in the nation. According to The Chicago Tribune:

When the diagnosis is cancer, the expenses can pile up in a hurry.

Even people with insurance can face steep copayments for drugs, a sizable share of hospital bills and significant incidentals. These side effects of cancer care are sometimes even called "financial toxicity."

So wouldn't it make sense for doctors and patients to talk over the financial strain that cancer treatment might bring and what might be done to manage it?

Flax is the oily seed usually spotted in the nutritional supplement or cereal aisles. It's marketed as a superfood because of its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

Omega-3s may do all kinds of good things for humans — like protect against Alzheimer's, heart disease and even cancer — so it seems reasonable to think they could also protect the health of animals.

The tragic deaths of 29 coal miners in a massive explosion in 2010 have provided new evidence of a resurgence of the disease known as black lung.

There's a lot to love about biking to work: the exercise, the fresh air, the cost savings and the benefits for the environment.

But does it make you healthier?

That's a question that's not as easy to answer as you might think. But since today is Bike to Work Day, we'll give it a try.



I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we go to Ohio where black business owners are meeting to swap some new ideas. Basketball legend Magic Johnson even got a lead on an investment there. We'll tell you more about that in just a few minutes. But first, House Republicans voted yesterday to repeal President Obama's signature healthcare law - again.