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4:23 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

A Year Later, HealthCare.Gov Has Found Its Footing But Problems Remain

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:07 pm

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

Global Health
4:23 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dallas Ebola Patient Was Not Diagnosed On First Hospital Visit

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:14 pm

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

Shots - Health News
4:23 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Proton Center Closure Doesn't Slow New Construction

Construction is continuing at the Maryland Proton Treatment Center in downtown Baltimore. It's one of three such centers under development in the Washington, D.C., region.
Jenny Gold, KHN

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:14 pm

Proton beam radiation therapy has been touted as the next big thing in cancer care. The idea, enthusiasts say, is that doctors can deliver higher, more focused doses of radiation than they can in traditional therapy, with a lower risk of side effects. The massive machines, housed in facilities the size of football fields, have been sprouting up across the country for a decade.

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The Two-Way
3:11 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Hospital Official: Ebola Patient's Travel Not Relayed To Doctors

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 6:24 pm

An official from the Texas hospital where the first U.S. Ebola patient is being treated says a nurse using a checklist for the disease learned that he had traveled from West Africa, but that the information was "not communicated" to doctors making the diagnosis.

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Goats and Soda
2:26 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Africa's 'Switzerland' Bans Ebola — But At What Cost?

Most African nations have responded to their Ebola-affected neighbors by canceling flights and closing borders. The logic driving this isolationism has little to do with advice from the World Health Organization. WHO pleads that travel bans slow the delivery of medical supplies to fight the virus while doing nothing to stop its spread, and that properly screening airline passengers when they disembark is enough of a precaution.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Experimental Drug Jams Ebola Gene To Fight The Virus

A man stands above a new Ebola treatment center in Monrovia, Liberia. Health workers in Liberia, the hardest-hit nation, have turned people away from treatment units because of shortages of beds and staff.
Pascal Guyot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 3:09 pm

Plans are afoot to test drugs to treat Ebola in West Africa — and those studies could have far-reaching benefits far beyond this rapidly expanding epidemic.

That's because some of the drugs are based on nascent technologies that can be used to treat other infectious diseases — and even inherited ailments, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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Goats and Soda
12:06 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Raya The Muppet Talks About Poop And Is Proud Of It

Raya might tickle Elmo with toilet paper if he doesn't use it properly.
John Barrett Courtesy of Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 2:19 pm

Why did the superhero go to the toilet?

"Because it was her duty!" Raya exclaims as she throws her head back laughing.

Six-year-old Raya is not shy at all — especially when it comes to talking about poop.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Wed October 1, 2014

The Message On Ebola: Don't Panic

Dr. Edward Goodman, epidemiologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where the unnamed Ebola patient was first admitted, at a news conference on Tuesday.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:17 pm

Following word of the first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as major news organizations have weighed in. While the development is a concern, the basic message seems to be this: Don't panic.

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Shots - Health News
11:07 am
Wed October 1, 2014

5 Things We Learned From New Database Of Payments To Doctors

ProPublica

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 2:05 pm

The federal government unveiled data Tuesday detailing 4.4 million payments made to doctors and teaching hospitals by pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

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Around the Nation
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

First U.S. Ebola Case Confirmed In Dallas

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:03 pm

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

Global Health
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Will The Ebola Case In Dallas Lead To A U.S. Outbreak?

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:01 am

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

The Salt
3:45 am
Wed October 1, 2014

From Kale To Pale Ale, A Love Of Bitter May Be In Your Genes

The roots of your hankering for hoppy beers and cruciferous vegetables may be genetic.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 5:03 pm

The word bitter can make some of us wince. In conversation, we talk of "a bitter pill to swallow" or "bittersweet" memories.

But if you're puzzled by the bad emotional rap on bitter — perhaps you even like the taste of bitter greens or bitter beer — it may say something about your genes.

Scientists have been studying a particular taste receptor gene to understand why some of us may be more predisposed to liking bitter foods and hoppy beers. And a new study sheds new light on the bitter gene connection.

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Shots - Health News
6:27 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

First U.S. Case Of Ebola Confirmed In Dallas

A patient at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas has a confirmed case of Ebola, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. He is being treated and kept in strict isolation.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 9:27 am

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Tuesday that the first case of Ebola has appeared in the U.S.

A man in Dallas has tested positive for the virus, the agency said. The man flew to the U.S. from Liberia, arriving on Sept. 20, NPR has learned. He wasn't sick on the flight, and had no symptoms when he arrived.

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Global Health
6:00 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

CDC Announces First Case Of Ebola Diagnosed In U.S.

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:46 pm

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

Shots - Health News
5:06 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

BRAIN Initiative Bets on Wearable Scanners, Laser-Controlled Cells

Andrew Ostrovsky iStockphoto

Eighteen months after its launch, President Obama's plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain is finally taking shape. During separate events Tuesday, the White House and National Institutes of Health offered details about which projects are being funded and why.

At a morning press conference, NIH officials announced $46 million in grant awards to more than 100 investigators. Most of the researchers are working on tools that can "transform how we study the brain," said NIH Director Francis Collins.

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Goats and Soda
4:34 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ebola Researchers Have A Radical Idea: Rush A Vaccine Into The Field

Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute and chief investigator of the trials with an Ebola vaccine his organization developed, holds a vial of the vaccine.
Steve Parsons/WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 6:20 pm

Today, the World Health Organization concludes a two-day meeting to discuss a radical idea: bringing a vaccine into the field without having tested its effectiveness.

Traditional means of containing Ebola — such as isolating people who are infected with the disease and tracing the people they've come into contact with — aren't working fast enough to get ahead of the epidemic. So the question is: Will giving an experimental vaccine to willing volunteers help contain the disease or put people at greater risk?

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Goats and Soda
12:49 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Doggone It, The World Can Wipe Out Rabies

Boys show off their four-legged friends at a rabies vaccination drive set up by the Serengeti Health Initiative in the Bariadi District of Tanzania.
Anna Czupryna Courtesy of Serengeti Health Initiative

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 3:31 pm

The word "rabies" may draw faint memories of Old Yeller or Cujo. Thanks to an effective vaccine for dogs, the deadly virus has been nearly eliminated in the U.S.

But rabies is still a problem in many parts of Africa and Asia. The virus kills more than 69,000 people each year, many of them children.

Now scientists say that doesn't need to be the case.

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Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Putting Caffeine In Your Underwear Won't Make You Slimmer, Alas

via wacoal-america.com

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 2:41 pm

I love caffeine. I would love to trim my derriere. Combining the two seems like such an obvious win. Evidently some manufacturers of women's undergarments thought so, too. And now they're $1.5 million poorer.

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered two companies, Norm Thompson Outfitters Inc. and Wacoal America, to stop marketing shapewear infused with caffeine. The firms claimed that the amped-up underwear would cause fat loss and a reduction in body size.

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Shots - Health News
10:57 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Database Flaws Cloud Sunshine On Industry Payments To Doctors

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 3:09 pm

Editor's note: The Open Payments database is live and can be found at here.

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Goats and Soda
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Martha Zarway Of Monrovia: 'I'm A Doctor, So We Can't Run Away'

Liberian physician Martha Zarway continues work in a temporary clinic while her original facility is disinfected.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

As U.S. troops begin arriving in Liberia to help contain the regional spread of Ebola, a physician in the capital is grappling with the virus upfront.

Dr. Martha Zarway's life turned upside down when one of her clinic staff members — a friend — died on Sept. 2 amid rumors that the cause of death was Ebola.

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Goats and Soda
5:06 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Tests Of New Ebola Drugs Could Take Place As Early As November

Some potential new Ebola drugs will be tested at treatment centers like this one run by Doctors Without Borders near Monrovia.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Health officials are gearing up to test drugs and vaccines against Ebola in West Africa, and they hope to start within two months. That's an ambitious timeline for a process that often takes years. The challenge is to move forward as quickly as possible while minimizing the risks that come with unproven drugs and vaccines.

Right now there are no proven medications. But researchers have been working methodically for years on vaccines that could protect people from the Ebola virus — and drugs that could treat the sick.

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The Salt
3:38 am
Tue September 30, 2014

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Mute Schimpf doesn't want to eat American chicken. That's because most U.S. poultry is chilled in antimicrobial baths that can include chlorine to keep salmonella and other bacteria in check. In Europe, chlorine treatment was banned in the 1990s out of fear that it could cause cancer.

"In Europe there is definitely a disgust about chlorinated chicken," says Schimpf, a food activist with Friends of the Earth Europe, an environmental group.

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Shots - Health News
3:35 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical

Daniela Chavarriaga holds her daughter Emma as Dr. Jose Rosa-Olivares administers a measles vaccination at Miami Children's Hospital.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 3:11 pm

When essayist Eula Biss was pregnant with her son, she decided she wanted to do just a bit of research into vaccination. "I thought I would do a small amount of research to answer some questions that had come up for me," she tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "And the questions just got bigger the more I learned and the more I read."

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Global Health
4:14 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Health Officials Consider Blood Serum As Possible Ebola Treatment

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:46 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

A Doctor Turned Mayor Solves A Murder Mystery In Colombia

As the mayor of Cali, Colombia, epidemiologist Rodrigo Guerrero (left) meets with the police once a week to review murder statistics.
Courtesy of Prensa Alcaldía de Calí

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 5:12 pm

To improve global health, you can track sneezes. Or you can track bullets.

That's what Rodrigo Guerrero did after he became mayor of Cali, Colombia, in 1992, an era when the South American nation led the world in intentional homicides (93 per 100,000 people).

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Shots - Health News
2:12 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

More Active Play Equals Better Thinking Skills For Kids

Good for bodies and good for brains, the scientists say.
iStockphoto

As schools cut down on physical education and recess, kids are spending more time than ever in a desk. And while nerdy second-graders like me didn't ever consider arguing for more gym, there's increasing evidence that being active helps not just children's waistlines but their brains.

"If you consider the anthropology of humankind, we were designed to move," Charles Hillman, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tells Shots.

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Shots - Health News
1:10 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

What We Don't Know About Heart Disease Can Kill Us

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 5:15 pm

Heart disease is the number one killer of people worldwide, so you'd think that we'd be up to speed on the risks. Evidently not, based on a poll of people in the United Kingdom.

Are you smarter than a Brit when it comes to risk factors? Take our quickie quiz and find out:

So are you smarter than a Brit? Here's how the 2,000 people polled by the British Heart Foundation fared:

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Shots - Health News
3:26 am
Mon September 29, 2014

A Doctor Unlocks Mysteries Of The Brain By Talking And Watching

Dr. Allan Ropper speaks with residents and fellows as they do rounds at the neuroscience intensive care unit at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
M. Scott Brauer for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 3:23 pm

The heavyset man with a bandage on his throat is having trouble repeating a phrase. "No ifs ..." he says to the medical students and doctors around his bed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"Can I hear you say no ifs, ands or buts?" says Dr. Allan Ropper, the Harvard neurologist in charge. The patient tries again. "No ifs, buts, ands or," he says.

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Goats and Soda
12:54 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

The Experts The Ebola Response May Need: Anthropologists

In Sierra Leone, a burial team from the government carries the coffin of an Ebola doctor who succumbed to the virus. Funerals and other expressions of mourning are key moments for anthropologists to translate between native cultures and foreign aid efforts, anthropologist Ann Kelly says.
Carl De Souza AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 4:33 pm

As the Ebola outbreak gains steam, experts continue to deploy to the region.

Teams from Doctors Without Borders, the World Health Organization, the U.S. military and others are in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia assembling treatment centers and fighting the deadly virus.

There's one group of experts missing from the picture, says Ann Kelly, senior lecturer at the University of Exeter: anthropologists.

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Goats and Soda
10:25 am
Sun September 28, 2014

What Drives Abortion: The Law Or Income?

Abortions are legal in India. But many are performed by traditional midwives, called dais. Sometimes a dai rubs herbs on a woman's stomach or gives her plants to eat.
Poulomi Basu for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 2:35 pm

About 50,000 women worldwide die because of unsafe abortions. Five million more are admitted to hospitals with complications after the procedure.

Activists and researchers on both sides of the abortion debate agree that these "back-alley" operations are dangerous for women. It's figuring out the best way to stop them that has been contentious.

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