Health & Science

All Tech Considered
1:38 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

At 90, She's Designing Tech For Aging Boomers

Barbara Beskind, 90, is a designer at IDEO who works with engineers on products that improve the quality of life for older people.
Nicolas Zurcher Courtesy of IDEO

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:32 pm

In Silicon Valley's youth-obsessed culture, 40-year-olds get plastic surgery to fit in. But IDEO, the firm that famously developed the first mouse for Apple, has a 90-year-old designer on staff.

Barbara Beskind says her age is an advantage.

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The Salt
1:21 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

From Detox To Elimination Diets, Skipping Sugar May Be The Best Bet

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:32 pm

When it comes to detox diets, we totally get the appeal.

Who's not drawn to the idea of flushing all the toxins out of our bodies β€” a sort of spring cleaning of our insides?

And yes, several years back, I even remember trying β€” if only for a day β€” the trendy cayenne-pepper liquid cleanse (as seen in this Mindy Kaling clip from The Office) as part of a cleansing/detox diet.

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Africa
4:01 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Countdown To Zero: Guinea's Campaign To Conquer Ebola In 60 Days

Cheerleaders with pompoms helped kick off a government campaign to eliminate Ebola from Guinea in 60 days.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 1:34 pm

Hundreds of spectators and government officials watched as music and fanfare filled the People's Palace in Conakry, Guinea. Cheerleaders danced vigorously, waving pompoms and twirling on stage. The festive event on Saturday kicked off the government's newest campaign: zero Ebola cases in 60 days.

"Guineans talk too much. People resist even the idea that Ebola exists," said the prime minister, Mohamed Said Fofana, when he took the stage. "Why do we refuse to accept what others have accepted? We really must get a grip on the situation."

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Environment
3:03 am
Mon January 19, 2015

New Justice Department Environment Chief Takes Helm Of Gulf Spill Case

Cruden ranks the Gulf oil spill as one of the most significant environmental disasters of our time. It "deserves ... all of our energy to make sure nothing like this ever happens again," he says.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:37 am

John Cruden served with U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam, taking his law school aptitude test in Saigon and eventually becoming a government lawyer.

Earlier this month, he started a new job running the environment and natural resources division at the Justice Department. For Cruden, 68, the new role means coming home to a place where he worked as a career lawyer for about 20 years.

Cruden has been around long enough to have supervised the Exxon Valdeez spill case, a record-setter. That is, until the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

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Joe's Big Idea
2:34 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Why Ants Handle Traffic Better Than You Do

Unless there's a serious pileup, ants in traffic tend to bypass a collision and just keep going. A physicist has found a way to model this behavior with a mathematical equation.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 11:21 am

Could studying ants reveal clues to reducing highway traffic jams? Physicist Apoorva Nagar at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology thinks the answer is yes.

Nagar says he got interested in the topic when he came across a study by German and Indian researchers showing that ants running along a path were able to maintain a steady speed even when there were a large number of ants on the path.

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Shots - Health News
2:33 am
Mon January 19, 2015

When Bariatric Surgery's Benefits Wane, This Procedure Can Help

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:37 am

For most of her life Fran Friedman struggled with compulsive eating. At 59 years old she was 5 foot 2 and weighed 360 pounds. That's when she opted for bariatric surgery.

The surgery worked. Friedman, who is now 70 and lives in Los Angeles, lost 175 pounds. "It was a miracle," Friedman says, not to feel hungry. "It was the first time in my life that I've ever lost a lot of weight and was able to maintain it."

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Shots - Health News
2:33 am
Mon January 19, 2015

Sure You Can Track Your Health Data, But Can Your Doctor Use It?

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 6:10 am

Dr. Paul Abramson is no technophobe. He works at a hydraulic standing desk made in Denmark and his stethoscope boasts a data screen. "I'm an engineer and I'm in health care," he says. "I like gadgets." Still, the proliferation of gadgets that collect health data are giving him pause.

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Goats and Soda
11:06 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Smoke Got In His Eyes And Inspired A New Kind Of Lamp

Evans Wadongo has given away more than 50,000 "MwangaBora" lamps – that's Swahili for "good light."
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 2:33 pm

When Evans Wadongo was a schoolboy in a rural village in Kenya, he'd study for exams by the light of kerosene and firewood. The smoke and poor lighting made it difficult to finish his homework and irritated his eyes.

But you know that old clichΓ©: "Necessity is the mother of invention." That's the story of Evans Wadongo. In 2004, at age 19, he designed a portable, solar-charged LED lamp. He calls the lamps "MwangaBora" – Swahili for "good light."

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Shots - Health News
4:22 pm
Sun January 18, 2015

Calif. Strike Highlights Larger Issues With Mental Health System

A Kaiser mental health worker with the National Union of Healthcare Workers looks through a pile of signs Monday during day one of a week-long demonstration outside of a Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

This past week, more than 2,000 mental health workers for the HMO health care giant Kaiser Permanente in California went on strike.

The strike was organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The union says Kaiser Permanente patients have been the victims of "chronic failure to provide its members with timely, quality mental health care."

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Animals
6:55 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Researchers Learn To Dust Feathers For Fingerprints

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 11:57 am

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

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