Health & Science

You might think it's easy to guess if a person is at risk of becoming overweight or developing diabetes. The behavioral traits are pretty clear – that person might exercise less or eat more. He or she might have high blood pressure, or might have gained weight.

But now there's another place to find evidence of those risk factors: in a person's pee.

Researchers are finding clues about the metabolism in human urine – most recently in more than 2,000 samples kept frozen in the basement of Imperial College, in London.

In an ambitious bid to move beyond the electric car market, Tesla has announced that it will start selling large batteries to let homeowners store electricity. The Powerwall home battery starts at $3,000.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the new batteries Thursday night, in a move that had been both highly anticipated and the subject of much speculation. With a sleek surface and a depth of only about 7 inches, the Powerwall can be mounted on a garage wall or another surface, indoors or outside. It's roughly 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.

We know that sitting all day is hazardous to our health, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation and atherosclerosis. It all sounds pretty dismal, since many of today's jobs require us to be nearly glued to our computer screens. But a tiny two-minute break may help offset that hazard, researchers say.

People who got up and moved around for at least two minutes every hour had a 33 percent lower risk of dying, according to researchers the University Of Utah School Of Medicine.

Brand-name drugs to treat heartburn, diabetes, depression and other common afflictions of the elderly were among the most expensive drains on the federal government's Medicare prescription benefit, costing more than $1 billion each in 2013, newly released data show.

The federal government popped the cap off drug spending on Thursday, detailing doctor-by-doctor and drug-by-drug how Medicare and its beneficiaries spent $103 billion on pharmaceuticals in 2013.

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

In hopes of quelling an HIV outbreak in rural Indiana, the state's legislature this week voted to let any county that can prove it is experiencing a drug-linked outbreak of HIV or Hepatitis C to set up a needle exchange program. Indiana's governor, Mike Pence, says he is "looking forward to signing it into law."

But critics say the measure that passed Wednesday is watered down, and too limited. It also includes so much red tape that counties may have a tough time complying.

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A famous fictional conflict in children's literature has a happier ending. Tomorrow is the day "Harry Potter" fans know as the date of the Battle of Hogwarts. And there is evidence the boy wizard's power might extend beyond the book.

The unrest in Baltimore and other cities regarding alleged police misconduct has prompted new calls for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. Such recordings could provide accountability and transparency in potentially controversial circumstances.

At least, that's the idea.

It took 15 years and hundreds of millions of vaccines. But North America and South America have officially eradicated rubella, health authorities said Wednesday. Rubella is only the third virus eradicated from people in the Western Hemisphere.

Also known as German measles, rubella causes only a mild illness in children, with a rash and sometimes a fever.

He carried his 70-year-old mother on his back for five hours.

Then he traveled with her by bus for 12 more.

She suffered a severe head injury when the earthquake rumbled through her village of Thumi. He was trying to get her to a hospital in the Gorkha district in northern-central Nepal.

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