Health & Science

The Cherokee Nation is suing top drug distributors and pharmacies — including Wal-Mart — alleging they profited greatly by "flooding" communities in Oklahoma with prescription painkillers, leading to the deaths of hundreds of tribal members.

People around the world use more than a trillion plastic bags every year. They're made of a notoriously resilient kind of plastic called polyethylene that can take decades to break down.

But the humble wax worm may hold the key to biodegrading them.

It was an accidental discovery. Scientist and beekeeper Federica Bertocchini was frustrated to find that her beehives were infested with the caterpillar larvae of Galleria mellonella, commonly known as a wax worm.

Photographee.eu / Fotolia

Despite the increased attention autism has received, gaps in therapy remain. UW-Milwaukee researchers are helping to fill some of those gaps for children and teens struggling with physical challenges connected to their nonverbal learning disabilities. 

When mentally ill inmates in New York City's Rikers Island jail become too sick, violent, delusional or suicidal for the jail to handle, they're sent to Bellevue Hospital Prison Ward for treatment.

The inmates in Bellevue are awaiting trial for a variety of offenses, ranging from sleeping on the subway to murder. But for Dr. Elizabeth Ford, a psychiatrist who treats them, the charges against her patients are secondary.

Vending machines are selling increasingly novel items: cupcakes, live crabs and fresh baguettes.

In China, you can now add HIV testing kits to that list.

Scientists have created an "artificial womb" in the hopes of someday using the device to save babies born extremely prematurely.

So far the device has only been tested on fetal lambs. A study published Tuesday involving eight animals found the device appears effective at enabling very premature fetuses to develop normally for about a month.

President Trump may not talk much about electric vehicles, but there's another American — with better name recognition in China — who does.

The voice of actor Leonardo DiCaprio, popular in China for his role in the 1997 blockbuster Titanic, graces the showroom of Auto Shanghai, the city's biennial automotive expo, accompanied by images beamed on a circular wall showing Beijing covered in smog and children wearing pollution masks.

Kids with chronic conditions are especially vulnerable to health insurance changes, relying as they often do on specialists and medications that may not be covered if they switch plans. A recent study finds that these transitions can leave kids and their families financially vulnerable as well.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Nagging your kids to stick to a set bedtime each night may feel like a thankless task. But here's some justification that your efforts are setting your kids up for a healthier life: A new study finds that preschool-age children who didn't have a set sleep routine were more likely to be overweight by the time they became tweens.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Trump made a noteworthy call this morning. It was not with a foreign leader, and so we wanted to call attention to it as it could have flown under the radar.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Or would that be over the radar?

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