Health & Science

Humans
7:21 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Why People Take Risks To Help Others: Altruism's Roots In The Brain

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

Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Anesthesia Miracle: No Power, No Oxygen Tanks, No Problem

A nurse anesthetist practices using the Universal Anesthesia Machine on an uncomplaining patient.
John Sampson/JHMI

Waking up during a surgery would be a nightmare, yet that's a regular problem for patients in low-income countries. Sketchy power grids mean the lights often go out, and with them, the anesthesia machine. In other cases, there are too few oxygen tanks for a surgery, so it's canceled.

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sun November 23, 2014

A Bus Isn't The Only Thing That Can Be Powered By Poop

Mango trees would be grateful for the nutrients in human poop.
Noah Seelam AFP/Getty Images

What can you do with human waste? Besides flushing it?

That's a question that came to mind when we read about the United Kingdom's first-ever "Bio-bus." It's a tour bus that runs between the cities of Bristol and Bath. The tank is filled with biomethane gas generated from food waste and human excrement.

And it turns out that the bus isn't the only example of poo power.

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Shots - Health News
5:52 am
Sun November 23, 2014

What Microbes Lurked In The Last Public Restroom You Used?

Even cleaning a bathroom daily didn't much affect the make-up of the community of microbes living there, scientists say.
Claire Eggers NPR

The invisible world of the bathroom isn't pretty — unless you're a microbe. After scanning the microbial zoo of four public restrooms recently, a team of researchers found a diverse swarm of characters that persisted for months despite regular cleaning of the facilities.

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Environment
7:55 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Starfish Illness Harms Other Sea Creatures

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 11:21 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
5:33 am
Sat November 22, 2014

You Might Be Surprised When You Take Your Temperature

Temperatures are taken two ways at Casablanca's airport: with an infrared body scanner (left) and a handheld thermometer (right).
Abdeljalil Bounhar AP

What's your temperature?

That's the question of the hour. The Ebola virus has made taking your temperature part of everyday conversation. People in West Africa are doing it. People returning from the region are doing it. And so are the overly paranoid in the United States.

For anyone who's been exposed to the virus, a body temperatures of 100.4 or higher has been deemed the point of concern. The goal, of course, is that magic number: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Except 98.6 degrees isn't so magical after all. In fact, that might not be your normal temperature.

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Goats and Soda
9:26 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Plague Outbreak In Madagascar Spreads To Its Capital

Rats are a common sight along the streets of Antananarivo, where trash can go weeks, even months, without being collected.
Mike Rajaonarison Xinhua /Landov

An outbreak of the plague has sickened at least 119 people and killed 40 in Madagascar, the World Health Organization reports Friday.

The outbreak started back in August in a rural village, WHO said. Then it spread to seven of Madagascar's 22 regions. Two cases have occurred in the country's capital of Antananarivo.

"There is now a risk of a rapid spread of the disease due to the city's high population density and the weakness of the health care system," the WHO writes.

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Goats and Soda
4:49 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

An Ebola Clinic Figures Out A Way To Start Beating The Odds

Dr. Komba Songu M'Briwah, left, talks on the phone while staff members disinfect offices at the Hastings Ebola Treatment Center in Freetown.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 8:22 pm

One reason the Ebola virus is so terrifying is that it's so lethal. Researchers estimate that the strain circulating in West Africa is killing upward of 70 percent of those it infects. Even among those getting care, as many as 64 percent are dying.

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Health Care
4:33 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Georgia's 'Coverage Gap' Leaves Many Uninsured

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 6:36 pm

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

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Environment
4:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Shrinking Glaciers Could Squeeze Washington's Water Supply

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 6:36 pm

Washington state is home to more glaciers than any other state in the lower 48, and they're receding faster than ever before. That's a problem for the Pacific Northwest, where glaciers are crucial for drinking water, hydropower generation and salmon survival.

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