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How The Placebo Effect Could Boost An Olympic Performance

4 hours ago

Olympic medals are won by margins of tenths or even hundredths of a second. So, it's no surprise that athletes want any edge they can get — even methods not backed by a lot of scientific evidence.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ALLISON AUBREY, HOST:

Newborn conjoined twins have been evacuated out of one of Syria's most embattled areas for urgent medical treatment, following an international appeal to save their lives.

Baby boys Moaz and Nawras were born in the besieged rebel stronghold of Eastern Ghouta in July 23. As the BBC reported, the twins "are joined at the chest with protruding intestines."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Astronomers think they've discovered a new planet in our solar system.

Now all they have to do is find it.

Nobody's actually seen the new planet. The reason astronomers think it's out there is the strange behavior of some smallish objects in the Kuiper Belt, a collection of celestial objects orbiting in the outer reaches of the solar system.

The residents of Flint, Mich., received some welcome news this week: Researchers released the results of a new round of water tests, showing lead levels in that city's water system falling just below the Environmental Protection Agency action level.

Too many water samples above that level is a red flag for utilities, a sign that they may have a broader lead problem.

Virginia Tech researcher Marc Edwards, who leads the team documenting Flint's water problems, called the new results the "beginning of the end," a turning point in the city's saga with corrosive water.

Why I'm Fascinated By Parasitic Worms

Aug 13, 2016

As a college undergraduate, I fell in love with parasitic worms. I was studying evolutionary biology, and I got caught up in the idea of organisms that made their world out of other organisms. I was stunned by their ornate life cycles, and the complex biology required to get from host to host, and to live successfully inside those hosts, without being wiped out by the hosts' immune system and without wiping the hosts out and ending the free ride (not to mention the free lunch). The world, I realized, is full of worms.

Earlier this week the American Psychiatric Association cautioned psychiatrists against taking part in a feverish new national hobby.

Catching Pokémon wasn't mentioned. Psychoanalyzing Donald Trump was.

On the organization's website APA president Maria A. Oquendo wrote: "The unique atmosphere of this year's election cycle may lead some to want to psychoanalyze the candidates, but to do so would not only be unethical, it would be irresponsible."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Jonathan Garaas has learned a few things in three seasons of backyard beekeeping: Bees are fascinating. They're complicated. And keeping them alive is not easy.

Every two weeks, the Fargo, N.D., attorney opens the hives to check the bees and search for varroa mites, pests that suck the bees' blood and can transmit disease. If he sees too many of the pinhead-sized parasites, he applies a chemical treatment.

A computer may soon be able to offer highly personalized treatment suggestions for cancer patients based on the specifics of their cases and the full sweep of the most relevant scientific research.

IBM and the New York Genome Center, a consortium of medical research institutions in New York City, are collaborating on a project to speed up cancer diagnoses and treatment.

Health officials in Nigeria are gearing up for a massive emergency polio immunization drive after two children were paralyzed by the disease.

The two new polio cases in Nigeria are the first detected on the African continent in more than 2 years.

Nigerian health officials plan to vaccinate nearly 5 million kids across the northeast of the country in an effort to contain this latest outbreak.

The re-emergence of polio in Nigeria is a major setback for global efforts to eradicate the disease.

On Sunday, the city of Flint, Mich., will no longer be under a federal state of emergency. A new report suggests that lead levels in the city's water are dropping, though researchers still recommend caution because of the health dangers posed by even small amounts of lead.

Computer programs often reflect the biases of their very human creators. That's been well established.

The question now is: How can we fix that problem?

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