Health & Science

Krulwich Wonders...
11:19 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think

Robert Krulwich/NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:33 pm

This is a trick question. Where would you expect to find the greatest variety of birds?

Downtown, in a city?

Or far, far from downtown — in the fields, forests, mountains, where people are scarce?

Or in the suburbs? In backyards, lawns, parking lots and playing fields?

Not the city, right?

Read more
Health & Science
10:48 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Milwaukee Doctors on Front Lines of Concussion Research

Dr. Kevin Walter, a pediatrician at Children's Hospital, runs through a few neurological tests with 13-year-old Vince Segura, who suffered a concussion playing basketball.
Credit Erin Toner

Hundreds of Milwaukee-area kids have begun working out for upcoming fall sports. Their arrival may delight parents, but also heighten fears about potential concussions.

Read more
Goats and Soda
8:20 am
Mon July 28, 2014

How Protecting Wildlife Helps Stop Child Labor And Slavery

A child grabs sleep after a long day of labor in a struggling West African fishery.
Courtesy of Jessica Pociask, WANT Expeditions

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 4:45 pm

When scientists talk about the destruction of rain forests or the acidification of oceans, we often hear about the tragic loss of plants and animals.

But ecologists at the University of California, Berkeley say there's also a human tragedy that frequently goes unnoticed: As fish and fauna are wiped out, more children around the world are forced to work, and more people are forced into indentured servitude, scientists wrote Thursday in the journal Science.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

People Who Feel They Have A Purpose In Life Live Longer

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:37 pm

We know that happiness and social connection can have positive benefits on health. Now research suggests that having a sense of purpose or direction in life may also be beneficial.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Why We Think Ignorance Is Bliss, Even When It Hurts Our Health

Lucinda Schreiber for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

New York Debates Whether Housing Counts As Health Care

Lissette Encarnacion in her apartment at The Brook, a supportive housing complex in the New York City borough of the Bronx.
Natalie Fertig WNYC

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:52 pm

Standing outside her sixth-floor apartment in the Bronx, Lissette Encarnacion says she sometimes forgets the place belongs to her.

"I'm thinking I'm at somebody else's [house]," she says. "I'm ringing my own doorbell."

Encarnacion used to have a career in banking, and lived in a real home with her son and husband. Then one night everything changed, she says, when her husband came home drunk and angry, and threw her off a balcony.

Read more
The Salt
4:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Rust Devastates Guatemala's Prime Coffee Crop And Its Farmers

A worker dries coffee beans at a coffee plantation in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, in February 2013.
Moises Castillo AP

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:23 pm

Outside the northern Guatemalan town of Olopa, near the Honduran border, farmer Edwin Fernando Diaz Viera stands in the middle of his tiny coffee field. He says it was his lifelong dream to own a farm here. The area is renowned for producing some of the world's richest arabica, the smooth-tasting beans beloved by specialty coffee brewers.

"My farm was beautiful; it was big," he says.

But then, a plant fungus called coffee rust, or roya in Spanish, hit his crop.

"Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," he says.

Read more
Science
4:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Shifts In Habitat May Threaten Ruddy Shorebird's Survival

Guided by biologists, volunteers briefly catch, band and release some of Delaware's visiting red knots each spring to monitor the health of the species.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:52 pm

An intrepid bird called the red knot migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic and back every year. But changes in climate along its route are putting this ultramarathoner at risk.

Read more
Animals
5:12 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds?

Dense flocks of martins like this filled the skies above Lake Murray, S.C., for more than two decades. This year, their traditional roost site is empty.
Adam Cole

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:38 am

In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray in South Carolina. Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming toward the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour or so, they settle down on Bomb Island in the center of the lake.

Read more
Humans
4:45 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 5:52 pm

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

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.

Read more

Pages