Health & Science

Shots - Health News
6:44 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Debunking Vaccine Myths Can Have An Unintended Effect

Would it help you to know that your worries about the flu shot are unfounded? Perhaps not.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:35 am

Remember back in October when I debunked 32 myths about the flu vaccine here?

Research published since then suggests my efforts might have been in vain, at least in part.

The post might have changed some minds, but it seems unlikely to have led legions of people to race to get vaccinated.

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National Security
4:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

What Is Torture? Our Beliefs Depend In Part On Who's Doing It.

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:13 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
4:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:00 am

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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Goats and Soda
4:25 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Boredom On The Border Between Liberia And Guinea

The bright yellow steel truss bridge over St. John's River is the official border crossing between Liberia and Guinea. The Liberian-Guinean border has been closed since the early days of the Ebola outbreak.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:38 am

They're from the same ethnic group. They speak the same language. And they live on both sides of the Liberia-Guinea divide in the area around Liberia's eastern border city of Ganta, in Nimba County. The families straddle the border, which is not fenced.

"Right over there is the border," says businessman Prince Haward, directing our attention to some rubber farms not too far away. "Those are the rubber farms you find in Guinea."

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The Two-Way
4:11 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Watch: Navy Ship Uses Energy Weapon In Persian Gulf

A laser weapon system on the USS Ponce, which has been deployed to the Persian Gulf. The Navy released a video showing the system taking target practice.
John F. Williams U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:30 am

It's not Star Wars on the high seas — but the U.S. Navy says it has made a "historic leap" by deploying a laser weapon system for the first time. The Navy released a video showing a LaWS — shorthand for "laser weapon system" — being used by the USS Ponce during target practice in the Persian Gulf.

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Shots - Health News
3:59 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Making The Human Condition Computable

David Goldhill (second from left) talks with Dan Hilferty of Independence Blue Cross, Kevin Nazemi of Oscar Insurance and Sam Nussbaum of WellPoint in a conversation about health costs. Moderator Avik Roy is at far left.
Glen Davis Forbes

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 4:03 pm

For centuries, the central challenge in health care was ignorance. There simply wasn't enough information to know what was making a person sick, or what to do to cure them.

Now, health care is being flooded with information. Advances in computing technology mean that gathering, storing and analyzing health information is relatively cheap, and it's getting cheaper by the day. As computers continue to fall in price, the cost of sequencing a single person's genome is tumbling, too.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Uber's Troubles Mount Even As Its Value Grows

The Uber smartphone app is seen next to a taxi sign in Madrid, Spain. A Spanish judge this week ordered Uber to cease operations in the country. It's among the latest challenges facing the ride-sharing service recently valued at $40 billion.
Sergio Perez Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:39 am

Uber, the ride-sharing service that is growing in value, is also watching its troubles mount.

It's latest woes are in California where, as NPR's Laura Sydell tells our Newscast unit, the attorneys general of San Francisco and Los Angeles counties are suing Uber. Here's more from Sydell's report:

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
3:56 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Debate: Should We Genetically Modify Food?

Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Many plants we eat today are a result of genetic modifications that would never occur in nature. Scientists have long been altering the genes of food crops, to boost food production and to make crops more pest-, drought- and cold-resistant.

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Health & Science
3:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Actor Michael York Embraces His Role As RENEWAL Project Ambassador

Since being diagnosed with amyloidosis, Michael York has served as an ambassador for raising awareness of the rare and destructive disease.
Credit michaelyork.net

Actor Michael York is known for heralded roles in films as diverse as Cabaret, Logan’s Run, and the Austin Powers movies.  But today, the actor hopes to stand in a spotlight of a different kind.

York suffers from a condition called amyloidosis, a rare disease that occurs when an abnormal protein called amyloid builds up in your organs. If left undiagnosed and untreated, it can be life threatening. Unfortunately there is not yet a cure for the disease, but there are treatments available that can help manage symptoms.

The RENEWAL Project seeks to raise awareness and research dollars for the condition. It is based at the Medical College of Wisconsin, where Doctor Parameswaran Hari is a leading researcher into the disease.

York was in Milwaukee this morning to launch the RENEWAL project, and he recently joined Lake Effect's Bonnie North in the studio along with RENEWAL Project coordinator Paul McComas over the phone.

"It's primed at a time when significant things are happening all over the world. It's so rare, it's 150,000 people in the United States and Europe combined," says York. "So I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had - finally - the correct diagnosis."

Digital Life
3:34 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

'Jackie' From 'Rolling Stone' UVA Story Among Latest Doxing Victims

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:36 pm

Over the weekend, a conservative blogger published what he claims is the real name of the alleged victim in Rolling Stone's discredited gang rape story. It's the latest example of what's become known as doxing — distributing personal information about someone online in an effort to embarrass, frighten or intimidate. Doxing has become increasingly common during highly charged news events by aggressive partisans on the left and right.

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