Health & Science

Around the Nation
5:09 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Poor Residents Benefit From Oklahoma County's Medicine Recycling

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:03 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Heroin In The Heartland
3:57 am
Fri May 22, 2015

In America's Heartland, Heroin Crisis Is Hitting Too Close To Home

Sabas Sanchez Jr. was better known among his neighbors in Madison Neb., as "Gordo" – Spanish for chubby. He also had an oversized personality. His father keeps this tattered photo in his wallet.
Bobby Caina Calvan Heartland Reporting Project

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:09 am

Heroin, today, is killing more and more people in rural america.

One Mexican cartel has seeded low-cost heroin around rural towns in the Southwest and Midwest, selling it cheap and easy, almost like pizza.

Madison, Neb. — population 2,500 — is just a speck of a town, a two-hour drive from the big-city bustle of Omaha. But it's not far enough away to avoid the growing impact of heroin.

"The world's gotten smaller," says Police Chief Rod Waterbury. "If drugs can make it to Chicago, they can make it here."

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The Salt
3:55 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Census Reveals Universe Of Marine Microbes At Bottom Of The Food Chain

Plankton collected in the Pacific Ocean with a 0.1mm mesh net. Seen here is a mix of multicellular organisms — small zooplanktonic animals, larvae and single protists (diatoms, dinoflagellates, radiolarians) — the nearly invisible universe at the bottom of the marine food chain.
Christian Sardet/CNRS/Tara Expeditions

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:09 am

What's at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain? Well, think small ... smaller than you can see.

Microbes in the ocean!

There are (and scientists have done the math) trillions of microorganisms in the ocean: plankton, bacteria, krill (they're maybe bigger than "micro," but not by much), viruses, protists and archaea (they're like bacteria, but they aren't bacteria).

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The Salt
3:50 am
Fri May 22, 2015

Adios, Trans Fats: FDA Poised To Phase Out Artery-Clogging Fat

Various food items that contained trans fats in November 2013. That month, the Food and Drug Administration first announced plans to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products. A final rule is expected any day now.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:09 am

The case against trans fats is not new. For years, health experts have been telling us to avoid them.

And as retailing behemoths such as Wal-Mart have committed to the removal of all remaining, industrially produced trans fats in the products they sell, the food industry has stepped up its pace to reformulate its offerings.

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The Salt
4:31 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Chew On This: The Science Of Great NYC Bagels (It's Not The Water)

Steaming-hot bagels are scooped out of the water in which they were boiled and dumped onto a stainless steel drain board at a bagel bakery in Queens, New York City, 1963. Traditionally, bagels were boiled, but bakers who use the modern method skip this step.
Dan Grossi AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:30 pm

One of the first life lessons I picked up in college was this: The secret to the shiny crust and chewy bite prized in New York bagels is boiling. Any other way of cooking them, my Brooklyn born-and-raised, freshman-year roommate told me, is simply unacceptable.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Coded Talk About Assisted Suicide Can Leave Families Confused

Hope Barrone-Falk and J.D. Falk on their wedding day in 2009.
Kelly Dunsford Courtesy of the family

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 1:30 am

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most states in the U.S. But there are gray areas where doctors can help suffering patients hasten their death. The problem is nobody can talk about it directly.

This can lead to bizarre, veiled conversations between medical professionals and overwhelmed families. Doctors and nurses want to help but also want to avoid prosecution, so they speak carefully, parsing their words. Family members, in the midst of one of the most confusing and emotional times of their lives, are left to interpret euphemisms.

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Goats and Soda
3:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home.
Mark Maseko Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:46 pm

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

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Shots - Health News
2:10 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- is useful for more than just making bread.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 7:07 pm

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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Shots - Health News
1:22 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

Vision loss and blindness can be devastating, isolating people and increasing their risk of illness and death. And that burden falls hardest on people in poor communities, especially in the South.

More than three quarters of the counties with the highest rates of severe vision loss are in the South, according to an analysis published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It's the first analysis of severe vision loss at the county level.

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The Salt
11:57 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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