Health & Science

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Elizabeth Buchbinder is a doctor at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. She specializes in melanoma or skin cancer, and she joins me now. Dr. Buchbinder, welcome to the program.

ELIZABETH BUCHBINDER: Thanks - great to be here.

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

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

Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Facebook

If you've ever been to the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center on the lakeshore north of the city, you know there is a lot of the natural world on display. And if you haven't been there, just trust me.

But quantifying everything that lives at or grows on the nature center's grounds is a daunting task, and one that's being taken on by a cadre of scientists beginning Friday afternoon.

Can Health Care Be Cured Of Racial Bias?

Aug 20, 2015

Jane Lazarre was pacing the hospital waiting room. Her son Khary, 18, had just had knee surgery, but the nurses weren't letting her in to see him.

"They told us he would be out of anesthesia in a few minutes," she remembers. "The minutes became an hour, the hour became two hours."

She and her husband called the surgeon in a panic. He said that Khary had come out of anesthesia violently — thrashing and flailing about. He told Lazarre that with most young people Khary's age, there wouldn't have been a problem. The doctors and nurses would have gently held him down.

When former President Jimmy Carter spoke at the American Museum of Natural History in New York this past January, the 90-year-old's bright blue eyes seemed to grow even more intensely blue, as he stood tall and spoke with the crisp command of a much younger man.

From Rosie, the Jetsons' robot maid, to Arnold Schwarzenegger's cyborg in The Terminator, popular culture has frequently conceived of robots as having a humanlike form, complete with "eyes" and mechanical limbs. But tech reporter John Markoff says that robots don't always have a physical presence.

"I have a very broad definition of what a robot is," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "A robot can be ... a machine that can walk around, or it can be software that is a personal assistant, something like Siri or Cortana or Google Now."

Does This Phylum Make Me Look Fat?

Aug 20, 2015

We would all love a simple weight-loss plan. Beyond carbs and fats, some studies have hinted that a key group of gut microbes — from the phylum Firmicutes — might be more common among people who are overweight.

Thinner people, these studies suggest, might have more bacteria from the phylum known as Bacteroidetes. Maybe we just need to reestablish a Bacteroidetes-favoring gut to more easily lose weight, some people have said. A stack of diet books has already jumped on the notion.

The Ebola epidemic has entered a new phase. And it's a good one.

For the first time since the virus hit Sierra Leone, the country hasn't had a single new case in a week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

And over in Guinea and Liberia, the situation is also looking up. This week Guinea reported only three new cases, while Liberia hasn't had a case in more than a month.

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The spread of opiate addiction in this country is a huge national trend made up of thousands of individual stories, many of them tragic.

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