Health

Brain Science
9:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Orphans' Lonely Beginnings Reveal How Parents Shape A Child's Brain

In the Institute for the Unsalvageable in Sighetu Marmatiei, Romania, shown here in 1992, children were left in cribs for days on end.
Tom Szalay

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 9:07 am

Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.

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Brain Health
1:59 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 2:35 pm

While the brain sleeps, it clears out harmful toxins, a process that may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's, researchers say.

During sleep, the flow of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain increases dramatically, washing away harmful waste proteins that build up between brain cells during waking hours, a study of mice found.

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Cost of health care
11:58 am
Fri September 27, 2013

'How Much Will Obamacare Cost Me?' Try Our Calculator

No envelope backs required for this health care calculation.
iStockphoto.com

On Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, the federal health law's marketplaces for individual health insurance are scheduled to open for business.

Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty.

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Parenting
2:26 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

When Sibling Fights Go Beyond Harmless Kid Stuff

Beheading Barbie is the kind of aggression that can cause sibling distress.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 6:45 am

I'll never forget the time my big brother sank his fork in the back of my hand after I snitched food off his plate.

But all siblings fight, right? So I was more than a little skeptical of a study saying that sibling aggression can cause serious mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

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Health & Science
9:55 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Could brain scans reveal the right treatment for depression?

Talk therapy is best for some people; antidepressants are better for others. Scientists say PET scans might help figure out early on what treatment a person needs.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:39 pm

Finding the right treatment for depression can be a struggle. People find relief with the first treatment only 40 percent of the time. Trying different antidepressants or therapies can take months, which means months of suffering.

Scientists are trying to better the odds by searching for signals in the body or in behavior that could be signposts to the right treatment. Researchers at Emory University say that PET scans of the brain may help predict which people do better on SSRI antidepressants, and which would benefit most from cognitive behavioral therapy instead.

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Law
9:45 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Natural DNA Cannot Be Patented, Supreme Court Rules

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 8:28 am

In a decision that could have broad-reaching effects on the future of science and medicine, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that:

-- "A naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated."

-- But, synthetically created "strands of nucleotides known as composite DNA (cDNA)" are "patent eligible" because they do not occur naturally.

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Food
9:48 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Go Easy On The Soy Sauce, Bro, It Could Kill You

Keep the soy sauce on your food, and use it in moderation.
Aaron Tam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 12:39 pm

First, let's spoil this tale right away by telling you the 19-year-old man in Virginia who downed a quart of soy sauce on a dare survived.

It's a happy ending of sorts. But the guy had a close call. And you definitely don't want to try it.

While there's been quite a debate lately about whether the salt in the modern American diet is risky, there's no question that a massive amount of salt ingested quickly can lead to death.

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Health
9:15 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Aspirin Vs. Melanoma: Study Suggests Headache Pill Prevents Deadly Skin Cancer

A doctor checks for signs of skin cancer at a free cancer screening day in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 7:22 am

It's not the first study that finds the lowly aspirin may protect against the deadliest kind of skin cancer, but it is one of the largest.

And it adds to a mounting pile of studies suggesting that cheap, common aspirin lowers the risk of many cancers — of the colon, breast, esophagus, stomach, prostate, bladder and ovary.

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Health Insurance
2:15 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Feds outline what insurers must cover, down to polyp removal

Colonoscopy copay? Zero.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 6:41 am

The Obama administration on Wednesday released its final rule on essential health benefits, which sets out the coverage insurers must offer starting in 2014.

Insurers must cover 10 broad categories of care, including emergency services, maternity care, hospital and doctors' services, mental health and substance abuse care and prescription drugs.

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Alcohol
7:31 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Mixing alcohol with diet soda may make you drunker

The rum in that Cuba libre will hit your bloodstream faster if it's mixed with diet cola.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:36 pm

Looking to cut back on the calories in your cocktail by mixing, say, diet soda and rum? Well, get ready for the buzz.

According to the results of a new study, this combination will leave you drunker than if you'd mixed the liquor with a sugary, caloric mixer.

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Health
2:18 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

New Norovirus Strain Rips Through The U.S.

This cluster contains enough norovirus particles to make you sick.
Charles D. Humphrey CDC

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:18 am

It's here. A variant of norovirus first spotted in Australia is now sweeping the U.S.

The wily virus causes stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. The sickness is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu, though influenza has nothing to do with it.

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Health & Science
2:04 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

What makes you feel fear?

Movies like The Shining frighten most of us, but some brain-damaged people feel no fear when they watch a scary film. However, an unseen threat — air with a high level of carbon dioxide — produces a surprising result.
Warner Bros. Photofest

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:39 am

In shorthand often used to describe the brain, fear is controlled by a small, almond-shaped structure called the amygdala.

But it's not quite that simple, as a study published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience demonstrates.

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Health
5:01 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Natural living: 5 myths about nature vs. technology

Is the "other white meat" actually healthy pork?

Technology has made us healthier in a lot of ways. It’s beaten back old threats from smallpox to stillbirth to scarlet fever. But many think the march of progress has gone too far, and we need to get back to nature. 

Author Nathanael Johnson says most of us are in the middle – suspicious of technology run amok, but unwilling to trade the condo for a mud hut. He investigates whether the natural approach is really better for us in his book, “All Natural.” 

Nathanael also laid out five common myths about nature versus technology. Get the gist below, or click below and listen to the full conversation:

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Science
10:07 am
Mon January 28, 2013

No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines

Could you say "no" to this face? Christoph Bartneck of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand recently tested whether humans could end the life of a robot as it pleaded for survival.
Christoph Bartneck

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:15 pm

In 2007, Christoph Bartneck, a robotics professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, decided to stage an experiment loosely based on the famous (and infamous) Milgram obedience study.

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Medicine
9:55 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Been to the Emergency Room a Lot? Let’s Talk

If you’ve been to an emergency room in Washington in recent months, you're probably in a new database.

The goal is to treat more injuries and illnesses outside the emergency department, in a simpler setting, which should save money, curb drug abuse and also benefit patients.

Washington's hospitals and doctors have agreed to enter some basic information about their emergency patients into a computer system. Once you hit your fifth emergency visit per year, the hospital will assign a case manager to look at your records.

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