Health

Shots - Health News
4:04 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Too Little, Too Late For Many New Yorkers Seeking Hospice

Sandra Lopez (left) and her dog, Coco, greet hospice nurse Heather Meyerend last fall. In the weeks before Lopez died, Meyerend stopped by weekly to check her physical health, pain levels and medications.
Amy Pearl WNYC

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:27 pm

Sandra Lopez and her Chihuahua, Coco, were inseparable. He followed her everywhere, and kept Lopez's mood up when she was in pain — which was often.

On Oct. 15, 2014, Lopez died at age 49 of melanoma that had slowly spread throughout her body over the course of two years.

Lopez was in and out of the hospital in 2014, but during the months she was home, a hospice nurse from the Metropolitan Jewish Health System visited once a week to help manage the pain, backed up by a 24-hour, nurse-staffed phone line that Lopez called often.

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Health
3:43 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Abuse Of Synthetic Drugs Declines Across U.S.

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Children's Health
3:43 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Teens Now Reach For E-Cigarettes Over Regular Ones

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 6:13 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

A study of the lives of American teenagers tells us this - more of them use electronic cigarettes than smoke traditional cigarettes.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
3:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

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Shots - Health News
2:58 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

When You Burn Off That Fat, Where Does It Go?

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 9:25 am

Lose weight and those pounds shuffle off, unmourned. Good riddance. Please don't come back soon.

But where does weight go when we lose it?

We talk about burning off fat, and it does burn in a way, going through a complex biochemical process. But mass can't be created or destroyed, so the atoms that made the triglycerides that plumped up the love handles have got to be somewhere.

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Goats and Soda
1:52 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

A Game Of Ludo Helps Liberians Catch A Break From Ebola

Residents of New Georgia Signboard, a small village just north of Monrovia, pass the time by playing a fast-paced board game called Ludo.
John W. Poole/NPR

The president of Liberia is in town. She's about to launch her Ebola Must Go! Campaign in the dusty village of New Georgia Signboard.

But three residents sitting on chairs that are arranged in the middle of a red dirt walk not far from the ceremony are are oblivious to the hubbub. They're busy playing the fast-moving board game of Ludo.

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Shots - Health News
12:21 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Scientists Debate If It's OK To Make Viruses More Dangerous In The Lab

The coronavirus responsible for Middle East respiratory syndrome (green particles) seen on camel cells in a scanning electron micrograph.
NIAID/Colorado State University

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 3:26 pm

Imagine that scientists wanted to take Ebola virus and see if it could ever become airborne by deliberately causing mutations in the lab and then searching through those new viruses to see if any spread easily through the air.

Would that be OK?

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Goats and Soda
11:12 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Dengue Fever Strikes Millions. Now Scientists Hope To Strike Back

The dengue virus has an icosahedral shape, similar to the pattern on a soccer ball. Antibodies stop the virus by binding to its surface.
Laguna Design Science Source

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:19 pm

Dengue — aka "breakbone fever" — has been a tough nut to crack when it comes to making a vaccine.

The problem is that the mosquito-borne virus comes in four flavors, or strains. Vaccines that work on one strain haven't worked well on the others.

Now scientists at Imperial College London have discovered a potential way around this problem.

Immunologist Gavin Screaton and his colleagues have found molecules — specifically antibodies — in human blood that stop all forms of dengue.

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Shots - Health News
7:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Few Employers Cover Egg Freezing For Women With Cancer

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:56 am

As some companies add egg freezing to their list of fertility benefits, they're touting the coverage as a family-friendly perk.

Women's health advocates say they welcome any expansion of fertility coverage. But they say that the much-publicized changes at a few high-profile companies such as Facebook and Apple are still relatively rare, even for women with serious illnesses like cancer who want to preserve their fertility.

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Shots - Health News
2:28 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Alaska's Governor Eager To Expand Medicaid

Valerie Davidson was appointed health commissioner by Alaska's Gov. Bill Walker to help him expand Medicaid in the state. She'll look for middle ground with Republicans to get it done, she says.
Lori Townsend/Alaska Public Media

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:31 am

Alaska's new governor won his election in one of the tightest races in the country, a race that was too close to call even a week after election night. Bill Walker, who ran as an independent (unaffiliated with the Republicans or Democrats), took office on Dec. 1, after campaigning on the promise that he would expand Medicaid as one of his first orders of business.

To make good on that, he'll have to face a Republican-controlled legislature that hasn't been willing to even consider the idea.

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