Science

architecture
12:41 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Designers hope to prevent "lost" in the hospital with "wayfinding"

The giant orca whale is still at Seattle Children's, but now it's part of the "ocean" zone
Keith Seinfeld kplu

Getting lost in an airport or giant hospital can be like getting lost in a giant maze. So, there's a risk when a hospital remodels and abandons its familiar landmarks.

But, Seattle Children’s hospital is hoping its new navigation system is better--and even will reduce stress and be fun. 

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vaccines
3:32 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

How good is the flu shot?

The Associated Press

You may have heard this year’s flu shot is about 60% effective. To be precise, the official estimate is 62%, and it's based on research conducted partially at Group Health Cooperative in Washington.

What does that mean for you? How can someone use that information?

And, how did they arrive at a number like 62%?

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Health
12:33 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Cutting sugar consumption helps keep extra weight off

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 12:48 pm

How evil is sugar? That's long been a hard question for researchers to answer. Most of the studies about sugar's health effects to date have been too small, too short-term, or too poorly designed to nail it one way or another.

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obamacare
12:04 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Notice our new building? Health clinics prepare for bigger role

Spiffy new clinic in Bothell is open to everyone
Keith Seinfeld kplu

Physical signs of President Obama’s health care law are springing up across western Washington. Wherever you live, there’s probably one nearby. They’re medical clinics that cater to low-income people--and they are in growth mode.

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Science
11:56 am
Sat January 12, 2013

The oldest rock in the world tells us a story

Steve Munsinger Photo Researchers Inc.

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 10:51 am

It's hard to imagine how this teeny little rock — it's not even a whole rock, it's just a grain, a miniscule droplet of mineral barely the thickness of a human hair — could rewrite the history of our planet. But that's what seems to be happening.

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Health
8:03 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Can You Get A Flu Shot And Still Get The Flu?

Shea Catlin, a nurse practitioner, doses out flu vaccine to give a shot at a CVS Minute Clinic in Arlington, Va., on Jan. 3.
Barbara L. Salisbury The Washington Times/Landov

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:06 am

This year's flu season started about a month early, prompting federal health officials to warn it could be one of the worst in years. They're urging everyone to get their flu shots.

But like every flu season, there are lots of reports of people complaining that they got their shot but still got the flu. What's up with that?

Well, as Michael Jhung of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains, there are lots of possible reasons.

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Health
12:34 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

As norovirus rages, a robot named 'Vomiting Larry' gets his closeup

Vomiting Larry doing what he does best.
U.K. Health and Safety Laboratory

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:06 am

The lab robot affectionately called "Vomiting Larry" has gone viral. His image and videoed vomiting for science are all over the Web.

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Science
3:52 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

Babies learn language before birth, say Tacoma and Seattle researchers

Babies can hear in the womb, and scientists now say they can make some sense of language.
TheGiantVermin Flickr

A team led by Professor Christine Moon of Pacific Lutheran University, tested newborn babies in Tacoma and Stockholm, Sweden. Moon said they played recordings of a distinctly American English vowel sound and a Swedish one, and tested the babies responses by measuring the one thing a day-old baby is really good at: sucking on a pacifier. Their sucking patterns reveal that babies show a familiarity with the vowel sounds of their mother tongue even at birth, suggesting they’ve been listening carefully in utero.

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Health
2:03 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Research: A Little Extra Fat May Help You Live Longer

An analysis of many studies finds a small spare tire may be associated with longer life. But skeptics say that conclusion is rubbish.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:09 am

Being a little overweight may tip the odds in favor of living a long life, according to a new analysis. Researchers say there may be some benefit to having a little extra body fat.

This isn't the first time researchers have raised questions about the link between body weight and how long someone will live. While there's no debate that being severely obese will raise the risk of all kinds of illnesses and even cut some lives short, it's less clear what happens to people who are less overweight.

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mental health
6:24 am
Mon December 31, 2012

Eating disorders flare up during holiday season

For anyone who loves holiday meals, the last hurrah comes tonight or perhaps New Years Day. But, those big buffet-styles meals are tough on people with eating disorders.

The evidence comes from a surge in people seeking treatment this time of year. 

For the complete story, click the "listen" button above.

Health & Science
6:26 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Another side effect of chemotherapy: 'chemo brain'

Dr. Jame Abraham used positron emission tomography, or PET, scans to understand differences in brain metabolism before and after chemotherapy.
Dr. Jame Abraham

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 9:00 am

It's well-known that chemotherapy often comes with side effects like fatigue, hair loss and extreme nausea. What's less well-known is how the cancer treatment affects crucial brain functions, like speech and cognition.

For Yolanda Hunter, a 41-year-old hospice nurse, mother of three and breast cancer patient, these cognitive side effects of chemotherapy were hard to miss.

"I could think of words I wanted to say," Hunter says. "I knew what I wanted to say. ... There was a disconnect from my brain to my mouth."

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health
4:06 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

How health insurance eats your paycheck

Health care is probably taking a bigger chunk out of your paycheck than it was a decade ago. The rising cost of insurance and deductibles has been dramatic whether you work for a small business or a large one.

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mental health
11:27 am
Wed December 19, 2012

When your adult child has severe mental illness: an activist mother's perspective

Credit dearshirnk.com

The school shootings in Connecticut have an extra layer of sadness for parents whose children are mentally ill.

In fact, Washington’s and America's main advocacy group for the mentally ill -- the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) -- was organized by a Seattle mother back in the 1970s, after her son, filled with schizophrenic delusions, shot and killed a man. 

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vaccination
2:18 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Local baby is first to die from whooping cough; new tips for pregnant moms

Nurses Fatima Guillen, left, and Fran Wendt, right, give Kimberly Magdeleno, 4, a Tdap whooping cough booster shot, as she is held by her mother, Claudia Solorio, Thursday, May 3, 2012, at a health clinic in Tacoma.
AP

The whooping cough epidemic in Washington is nearly over – but not soon enough for a baby in King County. The newborn was Washington’s first fatality this year, despite a near-record number of infections.

"The baby had gone home, and we believe it was exposed to someone with unrecognized pertussis, got infected, and then developed complications and died," says Jeff Duchin, chief of epidemiology for Public Health Seattle & King County.

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pedestrian safety
3:34 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Are you reading this while walking? Study reveals risks

“When you cross in front of a vehicle and you are not looking at the drivers eyes, and not looking at the next lane over, you are at serious risk of an injury,” says Dr. Beth Ebel.
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

Walking is becoming more hazardous, with the spread of smart-phones. And it’s not just because drivers are distracted.

Pedestrians who are texting or reading messages are four times more likely to do something dangerous than other pedestrians, according to researchers who looked at 20 of Seattle’s busiest intersections.

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