Health & Science

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SCOTT DETROW, HOST:

The Ethics Of Tech

Apr 7, 2018

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Robots have arrived at Bill and Carol Shuler's farm near Baroda, Mich., and life has taken a turn for the better.

"It absolutely changes your lifestyle. It gives you a life!" says Bill Shuler.

For decades — for the entire time that Bill and Carol have been married, in fact — the Shuler family's routine was practically set in stone: Get up at 3:45 a.m., clean the barn, feed the cows and milk them. Then get breakfast and take care of other work around the farm. At 3 p.m., go back to the barn to feed and milk the cows again.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to radio with his reassuring "fireside chats" during the Great Depression, as John F. Kennedy was to television with addresses to the nation in moments of crisis, so too is Donald Trump a master of his mass medium of choice.

Trump proves his mastery of it daily. Sometimes hourly.

"There's really no way to understand the administration except through the president's Twitter account," says Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Center at Columbia University Law School.

The entertainment value would appear to dominate.

By the time Ann Marie Owen, 61, turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She was also hallucinating.

For four years, her doctor prescribed a wide range of opioids for transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.

The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help.

Our tummies are teeming with trillions of bacteria — tiny microbes that help with little things, like digesting food, and big things, like warding off disease.

Those same microbes may have another purpose: waging war against worms.

While images of destruction caused by last year's battery of hurricanes are still fresh in the minds of many Americans, including those living on Puerto Rico where after six months power is not fully restored, forecasters are cautioning the public to brace themselves for another busy hurricane season.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Apr 6, 2018

It was a turbulent week for tech companies.

Tiny particles of plastic are showing up all over the world, floating in the ocean, buried in soil, in food and even in beer. Now there's new research that's found microplastics in fertilizer — organic fertilizer from food waste, in fact.

Collecting food waste to make fertilizer is a big deal in parts of Europe and is catching on in the U.S. But Ruth Freitag, a chemist at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, says there's a problem.

It took several months and a team of half a dozen doctors, nurses and therapists to help Kim Brown taper off the opioid painkillers she'd been on for two years.

Brown, 57, had been taking the pills since a back injury in 2010. It wasn't until she met Dr. Dennis McManus, a neurologist who specializes in managing pain without drugs, that she learned she had some control over her pain.

"That's when life changed," she said.

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Turning Kids Into Grown-Ups.

About Aala El-Khani's TED Talk

Children in war zones experience unimaginable hardship, says Dr. Aala El-Khani. She says parents must play a major role in helping children survive — even thrive — in the wake of trauma.

About Aala El-Khani

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Turning Kids Into Grown-Ups.

About Peggy Orenstein's TED Talk

Author Peggy Orenstein warns if parents don't educate kids about sex — the media will. She says that leads to risky behavior — and keeps young women from expecting equality in sexual relationships.

About Peggy Orenstein

Our Take A Number series is exploring problems around the world through the lens of a single number.

It's about 7 p.m. on a chilly night, and Sirene Garcia is standing outside an apartment building about an hour's drive from Rochester, N.Y.

Even though Garcia has had a cold for the past few days, she has her laptop perched on the hood of her car, trying to test out the new telehealth program. Once the program kicks off, Finger Lakes Community Health's doctors and nurse practitioners will be able to see patients at their homes through video calls.

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