Health & Science

Goats and Soda
1:08 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Ebola Is Rapidly Mutating As It Spreads Across West Africa

A technician tests samples from Ebola-infected patients at a field lab, run by Doctors Without Borders, in Kailahun, Sierra Leone.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:07 pm

For the first time, scientists have been able to follow the spread of an Ebola outbreak almost in real time, by sequencing the virus' genome from people in Sierra Leone.

The findings, published Thursday in the journal Science, offer new insights into how the outbreak started in West Africa and how fast the virus is mutating.

An international team of researchers sequenced 99 Ebola genomes, with extremely high accuracy, from 78 people diagnosed with Ebola in Sierra Leone in June.

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Goats and Soda
10:21 am
Thu August 28, 2014

In Haiti, An 'American Idol'-Style Contest About Child Slavery

Hedson Lamour, 28, prays with his color-coordinated band before performing. He entered the contest because his mom was a child slave.
Frederic Dupoux for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:33 pm

Haiti's got talent.

Tamarre Joseph paces the stage, her sleek, short blue dress hugging her pencil-thin frame. She works the hometown crowd, rapping "Nap rive peyi san restavek."

The thousands in the packed stadium jump and sing along. An entire section of men take off their shirts and wave them overhead.

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Shots - Health News
10:03 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Hey, You've Got Mites Living On Your Face. And I Do, Too

Want to find your personal posse of Demodex mites? Gently scrape the pores on the sides of your nose.
Juergen Peter Bosse iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:54 pm

When Megan Thoemmes first found a tiny critter living in the pores of her nose, she was disgusted.

"The first time I found one on my face I didn't sleep for four nights," says Thoemmes, a graduate student at North Carolina State University.

But she's made peace with her Demodex mites, not only accepting that the microscopic arthropods are hers for life, but conducting a study that finds that everybody else has them, too.

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Science
2:46 am
Thu August 28, 2014

An Icy Solution To The Mystery Of The Slithering Stones

The cavity in this rock will carry the GPS instrument package and its battery pack across the desert.
Richard Norris

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 8:46 am

A century ago, miners working in California's Death Valley reported seeing boulders on the desert floor with long trails behind them — as if the stones had been pushed across the sand. But despite 60 years of trying, no one ever saw what moved them.

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The Salt
2:43 am
Thu August 28, 2014

How Foster Farms Is Solving The Case Of The Mystery Salmonella

Bob O'Connor, a Foster Farms veterinarian, holds an 11-day-old chick at a ranch near the town of Merced, in California's Central Valley.
Dan Charles NPR

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:42 pm

Foster Farms, California's biggest chicken producer, has been accused of poisoning people with salmonella bacteria. After an outbreak last fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture threatened to shut down three of the company's plants.

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Life After Ice Buckets: ALS Group Faces $94 Million Challenge

Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, LeBron James, Lindsay Lohan, Kermit the Frog and Conan O'Brien all got icily drenched for charity.
via YouTube

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:29 pm

The ALS ice bucket challenge continues to bring in huge donations this summer for efforts to cure and treat what's commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As of today, the viral campaign has raised more than $94 million for the ALS Association. That's compared with $2.7 million raised by the group during the same time last year.

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All Tech Considered
3:31 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Weekly Innovation: A Sad Desk Microwave For Your Sad Desk Lunch

When not in use, this desk oven can be stowed upright and can serve as a whiteboard.
Steve Gates

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 10:43 am

Too busy to walk all the way to the kitchen to heat up a meal? The prototype for the BrainWave desktop microwave is the answer. It's exactly what it sounds like: a phone book-size microwave to heat up your frozen lunch, at your desk.

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Science
3:09 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

There's A Big Leak In America's Water Tower

Joe Giersch, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, studies stoneflies that live only in the melt from glaciers and snowpack in the northern Rockies.
Clint Muhlfeld USGS

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 6:29 pm

The northern arm of the Rocky Mountains is sometimes called "the crown of the continent," and its jewels are glaciers and snowfields that irrigate large parts of North America during spring thaw.

But the region is getting warmer, even faster than the rest of the world. Scientists now say warming is scrambling the complex relationship between water and nature and could threaten some species with extinction as well as bring hardship to ranchers and farmers already suffering from prolonged drought.

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Goats and Soda
12:19 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Lizards And Worms Should Not Be On The School Lunch Menu

Indian schoolchildren eat their free midday meal.
Narinder Nanu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 1:54 pm

Rice and lentils was the free lunch on Aug. 22 at the Government Model Senior Secondary school in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh.

Teachers took a look at the meal.

They found worms.

Lunch was not served. Seven hundred students reportedly went home hungry after their school day.

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Goats and Soda
9:44 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Rice Bucket Challenge: Put Rice In Bucket, Do Not Pour Over Head

Rice is just as nice as ice when it comes to bucket challenges. Right: Manju Latha Kalanidhi, creator of the Rice Bucket Challenge, gives grains to a hard-working neighbor.
Courtesy of Manju Latha Kalanidhi

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 12:12 pm

There's the Ice Bucket Challenge. And now there's the Rice Bucket Challenge.

More than a million people worldwide have poured buckets of ice water over their heads as part of a fund-raising campaign for ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

But when word of the challenge made its way to India, where more than 100 million people lack access to clean drinking water, locals weren't exactly eager to drench themselves with the scarce supply.

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