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The Salt
5:27 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Chipotle Says Adios To GMOs, As Food Industry Strips Away Ingredients

Chipotle's announcement that it has removed all GMOs from its menu items is part of a growing food industry trend. From left: Nestle chocolates, Chipotle tortillas, Diet Pepsi, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner, a Subway sandwich. All of these companies have dropped ingredients over the past year in response to consumer demands.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR; iStockphoto; PepsiCo; iStockphoto; iStockphoto

Fast-casual food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced it has removed all ingredients made with genetically modified organisms from its menu, making good on a two-year-old promise. It's the latest example of the food industry stripping away ingredients, some more questionable than others, as consumers demand a say in what's in their dinner.

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Goats and Soda
3:46 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Don't Trust The Goats; Their Ticks Could Make You Sick

This is a deer tick. The taiga tick is nearly a clone — only a tick expert could tell the difference.
Patrick Pleul DPA /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 6:08 pm

Ticks transfer a range of diseases to humans, from the well-known Lyme to the lesser-known Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis. Now, there's a previously undiscovered disease to add to the list, from bacteria called Anaplasma capra.

Now you may be wondering: Why is it important to find new diseases carried by ticks?

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Shots - Health News
2:50 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 6:52 pm

Federal health officials Monday changed the recommended amount of fluoride in drinking water for the first time since 1962, cutting by almost half the maximum amount of fluoride that should be added to drinking supplies.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommended 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water instead of the long-standing range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams.

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Shots - Health News
11:53 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Chemical Change In Synthetic Marijuana Suspected Of Causing Illnesses

Dried plants dosed with psychoactive chemicals is marketed as K2 or spice.
Kelley McCall AP

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 3:39 pm

Over the past three weeks, people have been tumbling into emergency rooms across the country, seriously ill after using a synthetic drug known as K2 or spice.

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Shots - Health News
5:23 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Maybe You Should Rethink That Daily Aspirin

For all the good aspirin can do in preventing second heart attacks and strokes, taking it daily can boost some risks, too — of ulcers, for example, and of bleeding in the brain or gut.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 1:48 pm

We've all heard that an aspirin a day can keep heart disease at bay. But lots of Americans seem to be taking it as a preventive measure, when many probably shouldn't.

In a recent national survey, more than half the adults who were middle age or older reported taking an aspirin regularly to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Food and Drug Administration only recommends the drug for people wh have already experienced such an event or are at extremely high risk.

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Consumer
4:32 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Drop-In Chefs Help Seniors Stay In Their Own Homes

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 11:29 am

A healthy diet is good for everyone. But as people get older, cooking nutritious food can become difficult and sometimes physically impossible. A pot of soup can be too heavy to lift. And there's all that time standing on your feet. It's one of the reasons that people move into assisted living facilities.

But a company called Chefs for Seniors has an alternative: They send professional cooks into seniors' homes. In a couple of hours they can whip up meals for the week.

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Shots - Health News
5:36 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Would Doctors Be Better If They Didn't Have To Memorize?

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 11:58 am

Poor old Dr. Krebs. His painstaking Nobel-winning work on cellular metabolism, called the Krebs cycle, has made him the symbol for what's ailing medical education.

"Why do I need to know this stuff?" medical students ask me.

"How many times have you used the Krebs Cycle lately?" senior doctors jokingly reminisce.

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All Tech Considered
9:41 am
Sat April 25, 2015

As Health Apps Hop On The Apple Watch, Privacy Will Be Key

A typical interaction with a Lark weight loss coach.
Lark

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 3:34 pm

One day soon, you may be waiting in line for a coffee, eyeing a pastry, when your smart watch buzzes with a warning.

Flashing on the tiny screen of your Apple Watch is a message from an app called Lark, suggesting that you lay off the carbs for today. Speak into the Apple Watch's built-in mic about your food, sleep and exercise, and the app will send helpful tips back to you.

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Politics
8:07 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy On Gun Control, Vaccines And Science

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

A new U.S. government official took an oath of office this week.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SESAME STREET")

RYAN DILLON: (As Elmo) Hi, Dr. Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA.

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The Salt
7:08 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

PepsiCo Swaps Diet Drink's Aspartame For Other Artificial Sweeteners

Beginning in August, a newly formulated aspartame-free Diet Pepsi will hit the shelves, the company says.
PepsiCo

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 12:16 am

If you like the idea of zero or low-calorie sodas, but you're turned off by the artificial sweetener aspartame, you're not alone.

Sales of diet soda have fallen off significantly in the U.S. And when PepsiCo started asking consumers what they didn't like, aspartame was at the top of the list.

"It's literally the number-one complaint we've heard from diet-cola consumers as to why they're drinking less and less diet cola, " Seth Kaufman, a senior vice president for PepsiCo, tells The Salt.

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Health
5:22 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

HIV Outbreak In Indiana Grows With Nearly 140 Confirmed Cases

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

CDC Warns More HIV, Hepatitis C Outbreaks Likely Among Drug Users

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 6:55 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the U.S. epidemic of opioid abuse could lead to more severe outbreaks of HIV and hepatitis C nationally, much like the outbreak now seen in Indiana. A health advisory the agency released Friday outlines steps that state health departments and medical providers should take to minimize the risk of that happening.

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Goats and Soda
1:03 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Fake Medicines Do Real Damage: Thousands Die, Superbugs Get Stronger

Fake medicines are a 21st-century scourge, but they've been around for a long time. This advertising trade card for snake oil was printed in New York City around 1880.
Transcendental Graphics Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 4:15 pm

The global battle against malaria, tuberculosis and other deadly diseases faces plenty of obstacles. Among them: a pandemic of fake and poor-quality medicines.

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Shots - Health News
10:36 am
Fri April 24, 2015

To Weather Criticism, It Helps To Think Of The Big Picture

Think back to the last time you got negative feedback — like when your doctor suggested you lay off the cigarettes or when your mother advised you to get rid of that ridiculous goatee.

Though we all understand the value of constructive criticism, we don't like hearing that we've done something wrong. And the knee-jerk reaction is to act defensive.

But if you focus on the big picture and future goals, you may be able to trick your mind into being a bit more receptive.

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Health
4:30 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Dr. Oz Responds To Criticism On His Show

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:30 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Father Details Daughter's Heroin Addiction In Obituary

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:33 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Couples Counseling Catches On With Tech Co-Founders

Work partners Jon Chintanaroad (left) and Mike Prestano are all smiles now, but founding a tech startup together threatened their friendship — and their business.
April Dembosky KQED

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

Startups fail for a lot of reasons: bad product, wrong timing. But sometimes, it's just you.

Relationship problems between co-founders are among the biggest reasons companies don't make it. Increasingly in Silicon Valley, business partners are looking for help before things go downhill — they're signing up for couples counseling.

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Shots - Health News
12:15 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Thoughts Can Fuel Some Deadly Brain Cancers

A color-enhanced cerebral MRI showing a glioma tumor.
Scott Camazine Science Source

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

The simple act of thinking can accelerate the growth of many brain tumors.

That's the conclusion of a paper in Cell published Thursday that showed how activity in the cerebral cortex affected high-grade gliomas, which represent about 80 percent of all malignant brain tumors in people.

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Shots - Health News
9:29 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Critics Lash Out At Chinese Scientists Who Edited DNA In Human Embryos

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 12:34 pm

For the first time, scientists have edited DNA in human embryos, a highly controversial step long considered off limits.

Junjiu Huang and his colleagues at the Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, performed a series of experiments involving 86 human embryos to see if they could make changes in a gene known as HBB, which causes the sometimes fatal blood disorder beta-thalassemia.

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NPR Story
9:16 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Real Bodies for USF Research

USF Anthropology Professor Erin Kimmerle talks to reporters about the proposed research facility.
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 1:30 pm

USF's Forensic Anthropology Laboratory is best known for its work at the Dozier School for Boys. Now, they're asking for approval to use a parcel of land in Lithia as a training ground for identifying real bodies in different stages of decomposition. 

Currently, students are using plastic skeletons to train on. USF Anthropology professor Erin Kimmerle, however, said that real bones aren't pure white like fake ones are. 

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Business
6:30 am
Thu April 23, 2015

CDC: Blue Bell Listeria Outbreak Started In 2010

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 2:22 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
5:08 am
Thu April 23, 2015

More Whistleblowers Say Health Plans Are Gouging Medicare

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 12:29 pm

Privately run Medicare plans, fresh off a lobbying victory that reversed proposed budget cuts, face new scrutiny from government investigators and whistleblowers who allege that plans have overcharged the government for years.

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The Two-Way
5:57 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

New Orleans Bans Smoking In Bars, Restaurants

A sign outside The Red Door lounge last weekend warned about the impending smoking ban in New Orleans.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:55 pm

You can take your drinks outside on Bourbon Street, but you can no longer bring your smokes indoors.

Effective Wednesday, New Orleans has banned smoking in bars, restaurants and casinos.

The New York Times published an intriguing look at the city's nightlife spots as the ban went into effect.

Here's an excerpt:

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Politics
4:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

California Senate Committee Approves Bill Removing Vaccine Exemptions

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:59 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
4:08 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Do Mosquitoes Like To Bite You Best? It's In Your Genes

Mmm. Smells just like your identical twin.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:19 pm

A study that asked a few dozen pairs of twins to brave a swarm of hungry mosquitoes has revealed another clue to the cluster of reasons the insects are more attracted to some people than others: Genes matter.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Acclaimed Australian Wellness Blogger Says She Made Up Cancer Claims

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:26 pm

Belle Gibson is an Australian blogger who said she cured her terminal brain cancer solely through diet and lifestyle, spawning a wellness empire, an award-winning app, a recipe book and a large online following. Trouble is, Gibson now says she made it all up.

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Shots - Health News
3:34 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Can A Person With Dementia Consent To Sex?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:18 pm

Sexual relationships in long-term care facilities are not uncommon. But the long-term care industry is still grappling with the issue.

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Goats and Soda
3:09 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

A Young Mother's Death Raises Questions Without Answers

The grave of the 27-year-old Indian woman who died on Monday from head and spinal injuries.
Wilbur Sargunaraj for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 9:15 am

On April 20, 2015, the body of a 27-year-old mother of two was laid to rest in a village in India. She had been admitted to the hospital ten days earlier, with bleeding in the head and a spinal injury that left her paralyzed. She told authorities she had slipped and fallen. NPR contributor Wilbur Sargunaraj had the opportunity to speak with three of her close friends, who said her husband caused her death. Family members would not comment.

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The Salt
1:31 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Sprouting broccoli will serve up florets in about 50 days. Not bad for this member of the brassica family.
Laura Whitehead Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:00 pm

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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Consumer
12:30 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Why Many Doctors Don't Follow 'Best Practices'

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:59 am

For all their talk about evidence-based medicine, a lot of doctors don't follow the clinical guidelines set by leading medical groups.

Consider, for example, the case of cataract surgery. It's a fairly straightforward medical procedure: Doctors replace an eye's cloudy lens with a clear, prosthetic one. More than a million people each year in the U.S. have the surgery — most of them older than 65.

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