Health & Science

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So new research suggests that you can tell a lot about people by the way they talk. In particular, there's a difference between people who ask questions and people who do not. Our own Rachel Martin asked some questions of NPR's Shankar Vedantam.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The NHL And CTE

Nov 29, 2017

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Several years ago, Charles Tator was in Vancouver for an NHL hockey game. He had a personal connection to one of the players. It was his friend Paul Montador's son, Steve, and Steve even scored a goal.

An investigation by New York's attorney general found that the Brooklyn Hospital Center improperly billed dozens of patients for the cost of forensic rape exams.

The delicate art of paper folding is playing a crucial role in designing robotic artificial muscles that are startlingly strong. In fact, the researchers say they can lift objects 1,000 times their own weight.

Big Tobacco's Big Apology

Nov 28, 2017

After more than a decade of appeals, and nearly two decades after they were first ordered to do so, big tobacco companies are running ads admitting that smoking is deadly and addictive, and their manufacturers know this.

Cellphones in the classroom were once considered little more than a distraction for students, but the devices have now become integrated into lessons. They can be great for research, calculations and social interaction with classmates.

For a long time, the residents of Acre State in Brazil were lucky.

They lived in the right climate for the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries dengue fever. But that mosquito was nowhere to be found, and there were no recorded cases of dengue in the state.

Women are more likely to have asthma than men, and though sex hormones have been suspected as one reason why, just how they might be affecting asthma risk has been something of a mystery.

Seventy-five years ago this week, scientists from the University of Chicago created the first controlled, self-sustained nuclear chain reaction, a feat that was essential in the development of an atomic bomb during World War II.

Enrico Fermi and his team of physicists secretly conducted the Chicago Pile 1 experiment on a squash court under the stands of a football stadium on Dec. 2, 1942. The anniversary of this unprecedented achievement comes as tensions escalate between the U.S. and North Korea, which launched a new ballistic missile on Tuesday.

Two years ago, Margaret O'Neill brought her 5-year-old daughter to Children's Hospital Colorado because the band of tissue that connected her tongue to the floor of her mouth was too tight. The condition, called being literally "tongue-tied," made it hard for the girl to make "th" sounds.

It's a common problem with a simple fix: an outpatient procedure to snip the tissue.

During a preoperative visit, the surgeon offered to throw in a surprising perk. Should we pierce her ears while she is under?

Talking about clay makes Amilcar Apaza nostalgic for his childhood in Juliaca, Peru, a city in the Andean highlands. He remembers gathering with his family in his grandmother's fields in the nearby countryside for the potato harvest. There, they would build a small oven to cook the fresh potatoes and eat them, dipping the potatoes in a sauce made of clay, water and salt.

"The flavor is like a creamy milk, very thick and salty," says Apaza, who now lives in Lima. During harvest time, the clay sauce is eaten nearly everywhere in the altiplano or high plateau region, he adds.

Do you need computer skills to be a competent doctor?

That's one of the central questions surrounding a difficult case unfolding in New Hampshire this month: Anna Konopka, an octogenarian doctor who eschews computers and has been practicing medicine for the better part of six decades, surrendered her license under a September agreement with the state's board of medicine — partly because of multiple complaints related to her record keeping, Merrimack Superior Court Judge John Kissinger said.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Just before Thanksgiving, the Internet lit up with the remarkable video of Boston Dynamics' robot Atlas doing a backflip.

Are parents responsible for adult children's medical debts? Should people squeeze in appointments and expensive procedures before year's end because of changes that might come with the GOP tax bill? Should consumers pay a broker to help them enroll in a plan? Here are the answers to some recent questions from readers.

Q: My 25-year-old brother died in April, and now hospitals are calling my parents to cover his bills. He was covered under my parents' employer-sponsored plan, but are they liable for his medical debt?

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