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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.