Health & Science

On New Year's Eve, back in 2012, Savannah Eason retreated into her bedroom and picked up a pair of scissors.

"I was holding them up to my palm as if to cut myself," she says. "Clearly what was happening was I needed someone to do something."

Her dad managed to wrestle the scissors from her hands, but that night it had become clear she needed help.

"It was really scary," she recalls. "I was sobbing the whole time."

Savannah was in high school at the time. She says the pressure she felt to succeed — to aim high — had left her anxious and depressed.

Oil operations in Alaska are specially designed for freezing conditions. But as the climate changes, the state is warming twice as fast as the rest of the country. That poses a challenge for the oil industry, and a boon for Alaska businesses that are creating products to help it cope.

Brian Shumaker is one such entrepreneur who knows how tricky it can be to operate in the Arctic, where he once did some engineering work for oil companies.

If a shopper clicks "buy" for a product that costs $1,000 or more, it's twice as likely to be a man than a woman. That's one of the results revealed in a new NPR/Marist poll about online shopping.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Azka Mahmood wakes up at 4 in the morning for Suhoor, the meal Muslims eat before starting their fast. From the fridge, she grabs the barley porridge that she prepared the night before, and wolfs it down with her husband, Tariq. They offer their prayers, then go back to sleep before waking again to get their children ready for school.

U.S. Takes Supercomputer Crown From China

Jun 10, 2018

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Experts will tell you that if you want to raise a kid who eats just about everything, you should feed them what you eat — assuming you're eating a varied, healthy diet. It's what most cultures have done for most of human history.

But American culture sends parents a very different message. Kids menus full of so-called "kid foods" like chicken nuggets, pizza and french fries are everywhere. There's good reason why salty, sweet and fatty foods appeal to kids: It's basic biology.

Back in the early 1990s, psychologist Suzanne Gaskins was living in a small Maya village near Valladolid, Yucatán, when she struck up a conversation with two sisters, ages 7 and 9.

The girls started telling her — with great pride — about all the chores they did after school. "I wash my own clothes," the 7-year-old said. The older sister then one-upped her and declared, "I wash my clothes and my baby brother's clothes."

Trump Administration Won't Defend ACA

Jun 9, 2018

Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When you follow retail, there are a few things you hear about a lot, and one of them is returns, because processing them costs stores a lot of money.

"Well over 10 to 11 percent of goods get returned," says Larisa Summers. "In some categories 20 to 30 percent of goods get returned."

The Trump administration is refusing to defend key parts of the Affordable Care Act, essentially arguing that federal courts should find the health law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.

The federal lawsuit hinges on the ACA's individual mandate, or the requirement to get health coverage or pay a penalty. The mandate has long been a sticking point for conservatives, who argue that the government should not be telling individuals what coverage they must have.

An Encouraging Prediction About The Ebola Outbreak

Jun 8, 2018

When an Ebola outbreak was declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo this spring, there were all kinds of predictions about how the epidemic would play out.

At first the outbreak was confined to a remote rural area, so the hope was it could be easily contained. There simply weren't a lot of people who could have come in contact with the infected individuals.

It was a close encounter in 2012 that made microbiologist John Jelesko take an interest in poison ivy.

Audrey Nowakowski

Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurological condition that causes patients to lose muscle and body control over time.  It can start out as something as simple as a limp, progress to tremors, and can eventually leave a patient entirely incapacitated.

While doctors and hospitals can offer medications, surgery, and physical therapy - some people diagnosed with the disease look for a supportive group environment with others who see Parkinson’s as just one part of their lives. 

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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