Goats and Soda
6:03 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Why Your Future Vaccination Might Not Be A Shot

A patch that's the size of a nickel could one day administer the measles vaccine.
Gary W. Meek

Vaccines don't always make it into the people who need them the most. Many require a syringe and a needle to enter the bloodstream and create immunity. And that means a doctor or nurse has to do the job.

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Goats and Soda
4:39 am
Sun May 3, 2015

What Happens To A Country When An Outbreak Of Ebola Ends?

Hair salons and bicycles are abundant in Bumba, a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Courteys of Dr. Heidi Larson

Originally published on Sun May 3, 2015 10:53 am

Liberia is nearing a milestone. On May 9, its Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over, assuming no new cases between now and then.

But what happens when an outbreak of Ebola ends?

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Shots - Health News
4:20 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Who Keeps Track If Your Surgery Goes Well Or Fails?

XiXinXing iStockphoto

In order to improve the quality of health care and reduce its costs, researchers need to know what works and what doesn't. One powerful way to do that is through a system of "registries," in which doctors and hospitals compile and share their results. But even in this era of big data, remarkably few medical registries exist.

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5:27 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

After Nearly 60 Years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association Is Ending Telethons

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:58 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Yesterday, the Muscular Dystrophy Association announced, after raising $2 billion, it was ending its annual Labor Day telethon.


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Goats and Soda
5:19 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

A Man Said To Be Ebola-Free Could Still Infect A Partner During Sex

There's a new concern to add to possible means of transmitting Ebola: unprotected sex with a male survivor of the virus.
Abbas Dulleh AP

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 7:26 pm

For the first time since the Ebola virus was discovered in 1976, a woman has been found to have very likely contracted the virus through unprotected sex with a man who survived the disease.

A 44-year-old woman in Monrovia developed symptoms on March 14; Ebola was confirmed on March 20. Medical investigators ruled out all the usual transmission suspects: travel to or interaction with visitors from countries with Ebola; attending the funeral of a victim; or contact with people with symptoms.

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The Salt
3:37 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

'Into The Wild' Author Tries Science To Solve Toxic Seed Mystery

Once the roots of the Eskimo potato got too tough to eat, Christopher McCandless started collecting the seeds in a plastic bag, says author Jon Krakauer.
Photo courtesy of McCandless family

In August 1992, Christopher McCandless died in an abandoned bus in the Alaska wilderness after living mostly on squirrels, birds, roots and seeds for 113 days. Hunters found his body months later. Alaska state coroners declared starvation as the cause of death.

But a mystery lingered: What exactly did him in? A scientific paper published this spring by the journalist who'd been doggedly following the story offers another big clue.

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Shots - Health News
1:30 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

Urine For A Surprise: Your Pee Might Reveal Your Risk For Obesity


You might think it's easy to guess if a person is at risk of becoming overweight or developing diabetes. The behavioral traits are pretty clear – that person might exercise less or eat more. He or she might have high blood pressure, or might have gained weight.

But now there's another place to find evidence of those risk factors: in a person's pee.

Researchers are finding clues about the metabolism in human urine – most recently in more than 2,000 samples kept frozen in the basement of Imperial College, in London.

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Shots - Health News
9:55 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Walking 2 Minutes An Hour Boosts Health, But It's No Panacea

Skopein Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 12:46 pm

We know that sitting all day is hazardous to our health, increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, inflammation and atherosclerosis. It all sounds pretty dismal, since many of today's jobs require us to be nearly glued to our computer screens. But a tiny two-minute break may help offset that hazard, researchers say.

People who got up and moved around for at least two minutes every hour had a 33 percent lower risk of dying, according to researchers the University Of Utah School Of Medicine.

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Shots - Health News
8:55 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Brand-Name Medicines Dominate Medicare's $103 Billion Drug Bill

AstraZeneca's Nexium was the top drug in Medicare Part D's spending on prescription medicines.
Daniel Acker Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:41 am

Brand-name drugs to treat heartburn, diabetes, depression and other common afflictions of the elderly were among the most expensive drains on the federal government's Medicare prescription benefit, costing more than $1 billion each in 2013, newly released data show.

The federal government popped the cap off drug spending on Thursday, detailing doctor-by-doctor and drug-by-drug how Medicare and its beneficiaries spent $103 billion on pharmaceuticals in 2013.

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NPR Story
4:20 am
Fri May 1, 2015

Indiana Struggles To Control HIV Outbreak Linked To Injected Drug Use

Austin, Indiana's needle exchange program is open for business this week, but health workers worry the program will be tough to quickly replicate in other counties.
Darron Cummings AP

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 1:12 pm

In hopes of quelling an HIV outbreak in rural Indiana, the state's legislature this week voted to let any county that can prove it is experiencing a drug-linked outbreak of HIV or Hepatitis C to set up a needle exchange program. Indiana's governor, Mike Pence, says he is "looking forward to signing it into law."

But critics say the measure that passed Wednesday is watered down, and too limited. It also includes so much red tape that counties may have a tough time complying.

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