Health & Science

The Two-Way
5:27 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

After $4.75 Million Auction, Watson Will Get Nobel Medal Back

The 1962 Nobel Prize Medal in Medicine or Physiology that James Watson sold at auction last week will be returned to him, at the buyer's request.
Christie's

It was the first time a living Nobel Prize recipient had ever sold his medal. And now scientist James Watson, 86, will hang on to the medal he won for his work on DNA, after a Russian billionaire who bought the medal for $4.75 million at auction says he wants Watson to keep it.

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Shots - Health News
4:16 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

This Nursing Home Calms Troubling Behavior Without Risky Drugs

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 4:34 pm

It's a sunny autumn afternoon and a good time to make apple crisp at Pathstone Living, a memory care facility and nursing home in Mankato, Minn. Activities staffer Jessica Abbott gathers half a dozen older women at a counter in the dining area, where the soundtrack is mostly music they could have fox-trotted to back in the day.

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Space
3:26 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Curiosity's View Of 'Mt. Sharp' Offers New Clues About Water On Mars

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 5:47 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
3:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Venison As Benison: Food Banks Score From Deer Overpopulation

Ralph Roloff trims meat from a deer donated to the Help Us Stop Hunger program in State Center, Iowa in 2007.
Scott Olson Getty Images

White tailed deer are so common in Washington, D.C., that my kids barely take note, even if I have to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them.

But the National Park Service says there's a problem beyond the risk of driver-deer collisions, which lead to an estimated $4 billion in damages each year. The overabundance of deer are a threat to native vegetation.

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Goats and Soda
1:20 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

A Case Of Mistaken Identity Sends Healthy Boy To An Ebola Ward

A health worker, wearing a personal protective equipment, returns to her ambulance on November 11, 2014 after tranporting a patient to the Hastings treatment center in Hastings, outside Freetown, the only run exclusively by locals.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

As part of Sierra Leone's broader effort to contain the deadly Ebola virus, the country opened a new ambulance dispatch center in September in the capital, Freetown. Along with a new Ebola hotline, the center is considered an important step forward in the war on Ebola.

But on the center's second day of operation, a series of errors put the life of an apparently healthy 14-year-old boy at risk.

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Shots - Health News
12:43 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Wellness At Work Often Comes With Strings Attached

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 9:05 pm

If you get health insurance at work, chances are you have some sort of wellness plan, too. But so far there's no real evidence as to whether these plans actually improve the health of employees.

One thing we do know is that wellness is particularly popular with employers right now, as they seek ways to slow the rise of health spending. These initiatives can range from urging workers to use the stairs to requiring comprehensive health screenings.

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Goats and Soda
12:28 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

'Ebola Must Go' — And So Must Prejudice Against Survivors

Members of the community in New Georgia Signboard greet President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf Monday for the launch of the Ebola Must Go! campaign.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:55 pm

A visitor brought Ebola to the community of New Georgia Signboard this summer, and by the middle of August, people were sick with the virus.

Six people died. But it's what the community did for the six survivors in the family that brought Liberia's president to New Georgia Signboard, where she launched her Ebola Must Go! campaign on Monday

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Business
4:11 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Ireland Softens Under Pressure To Drop Its Corporate 'Duty-Free Zone'

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:27 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
4:00 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Mistaken Identities Plague Lab Work With Human Cells

Georgetown's Robert Clark says it's very difficult to say precisely how many experiments have been spoiled by contaminated cell lines.
Phil Humnicky Courtesy of Georgetown University

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:07 pm

There's a major flaw in many medical research studies that seems so basic that you'd think scientists would be smart enough to avoid it.

It turns out that cells studied in the laboratory often get mixed up. A researcher who thinks she is studying breast cancer cells might in fact be using melanoma cells.

It's a surprisingly common problem — even in some of the top scientific labs.

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Shots - Health News
2:35 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Nursing Homes Rarely Penalized For Oversedating Patients

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 5:26 pm

Antipsychotic drugs have helped many people with serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But for older people with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia, they can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has given these drugs a black box warning, saying they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death. Yet almost 300,000 nursing home residents still get them.

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