health

I've been itching to get a standing desk. After all, America's sitting itself into an early grave. Sitting is the new smoking. Clearly, a standing desk would stop me from sitting, and standing is just so much better for you than sitting, right?

Contrary to popular belief, science does not say so.

A discussion on Capitol Hill about concussion research brought a startling moment Monday, as an NFL executive acknowledged for the first time that football has been linked to a degenerative brain disease.

Jeff Miller, the NFL's executive vice president for health and safety, admitted the connection when he was asked about research by Boston University neuropathologist Dr. Ann McKee, who has reported finding signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of 90 out of 94 former pro football players — and 45 out of 55 former college players.

Day Donaldson / Flickr

News of the so-called "super lice" invasion has sent many parents into panic mode. It seems like schools around Wisconsin are “lousy” with the little guys, and are seemingly immune to traditional forms of lice removal.

But local pediatrician Dr. Michael O’Reilly believes the term super lice is a bit hyperbolic.

The infection has been linked to at least 18 deaths and 26 illnesses, in 11 Wisconsin counties - all in the southeast and south. The infection is now considered the largest of its type on record, caused by the bacterium Elizabethkingia. According to the state Dept. of Health Services, most people infected are over age 65 with serious, underlying health problems.

Anyone can follow the pregnancy of a monkey infected with Zika virus in real time, thanks to an experiment in data sharing that's unusual for biology.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr

A Marquette University researcher hopes his work could be a promising step towards a cure for spinal cord injuries and the paralysis they cause.

Dr. Murray Blackmore turned to an unlikely ally in his work - cancer genes.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

The Zika virus continues causing worldwide concern. Even in Wisconsin, health officials are on alert. The virus is linked to brain deformities in newborns whose mothers were infected.

A certain type of tropical mosquito is blamed for spreading the virus, although there may be other means of transmission. Wisconsin is stepping up its efforts, in anticipation of the virus’s arrival.

Shelly / Flickr

Of the many problems urban places face in the 21st Century, one that many thought was behind us was lead poisoning in children. Action figures are no longer made from the metal, lead paint was banned from use on home interiors decades ago, and even leaded gasoline that produced lead-tainted exhaust and residue has been gone from the scene for more than twenty years.

Gianofer Fields / Radio Chipstone

Black Smith and Iron Artist  Aaron Howard uses his tools to create art from metal. Friends call him "Thor" and "The Viking" because of his substantial size, which he has used to his advantage to wield his hammer, his nearly 200 pound anvil, and his materials, which can be in the thousands of pounds.

In early December Howard found himself in the hospital – diagnosed with congestive heart failure. His recovery demands that he not lift anything over thirty pounds. He’s now in recovery contemplating his health and his future as an artist.

Discovery World

Did you ever wonder why you can roll your tongue and your relative can't? Or, why your earlobes are attached (or unattached)?

Discovery World is joining with the Medical College of Wisconsin to display a traveling health sciences exhibit created by the Smithsonian that seeks to provoke thought about these and other topics.

Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Tuesday marked World AIDS day, and people were encouraged to get tested. In Wisconsin, despite all the education efforts, the number of HIV cases diagnosed annually is not dropping, but it is holding steady. 

Victor / Flickr

Public health leaders talk about diabetes in epidemic terms. In Milwaukee alone, 40% of people are at high risk for developing diabetes, which is 14% higher than the state average.

The direct and indirect costs of diabetes in Milwaukee County alone is nearly $1.2 billion annually. The average medical expenses for a person with diabetes are $13,700 per year, according to the American Diabetes Association - approximately 2.3 times higher than people without diabetes.

But, what exactly is diabetes?

The World Health Organization has deemed that processed meats — such as bacon, sausages and hot dogs — can cause cancer.

In addition, the WHO says red meats including beef, pork, veal and lamb are "probably carcinogenic" to people.

A Milwaukee hospital is trying a new approach to get newly insured residents to stop using emergency rooms as their main source of medical care and develop relationships with doctors instead.

The pilot project at Aurora Sinai Medical Center, the only hospital left in a mostly poor, black area of downtown Milwaukee, is labor intensive. But it's showing promise in getting patients connected with primary care doctors and in cutting ER costs.

S Bence

In the 1960s, lining urban rivers with cement was considered to be state-of-the-art storm water management. But the practice  proved otherwise, in places like Milwaukee's south side where the Kinnickinnic River flows.

Over the years, during major storm events water has over-topped the concrete, causing damage and tragically, sometimes taking lives.

However, heaps of work and partnerships are going into naturalizing it. 

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