Health & Science

Ways to Connect

A lot of visitors to Colorado figure they might give the state's good ganja a try, but they might not be prepared for the effects. When it comes to bad weed trips, out-of-staters have been doing much worse than Colorado residents and are going to the ER more often since recreational sales of marijuana began in 2014.

The New York State Supreme Court has ruled that chain restaurants in New York City can be fined after Mar. 1 for failing to post sodium warnings on certain items on their menus.

The ruling is a win for the city's Board of Health, which unanimously passed a rule last September that requires chains with 15 or more locations nationwide to print a salt-shaker warning icon next to menu items containing 2,300 or more milligrams of sodium.

Keila Atuesta Jaimes, a petite 25-year-old, is lying on an exam table next to an ultrasound machine. The doctor moves the wand across her belly. It's pretty flat. She's only about three months pregnant. Then suddenly, there's the heartbeat!

Atuesta smiles. Nervously. About three weeks ago she came down with the kind of rash and fever she figured could mean only one thing: Zika.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

One of the most puzzling astronomical discoveries of the past decade has just gotten a little bit clearer. Astronomers still don't know what's producing the brief, powerful bursts of radio waves they've been detecting, but for the first time, they've been able to see where one of them is coming from.

Astronomers first detected these so-called fast radio bursts in 2007. Until now, all 16 FRBs that have been reported have been found by combing through archival data.

Across the U.S., more than 20 million people abuse drugs or alcohol or both. Only about 1 in 10 is getting treatment.

People seeking treatment often have to wait weeks or months for help. The delays can jeopardize the chances they'll be able to recover from their addiction.

Social networks have changed the world, but they make things very complicated for the CIA.

Facebook, Twitter and other services give the spy agency enormous amounts of new information about people of interest around the world, but they also open up huge new vulnerabilities.

For example, how should the CIA conceal details about a spy who has been sharing information about herself online before joining the agency — perhaps since she was in middle school? And can it create a convincing enough story about people who have to lie about who they really are?

The mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., wants to create a place where people can use heroin or other drugs injected drugs under supervision, in an effort to combat soaring deaths from overdoses. But that's a lot easier said than done.

When you edit a blog called "Goats and Soda," and you read a story about a goat locked in a car in the parking lot of a Home Depot in Oxford, Mass., and you learn that the goat turned on the hazard lights and wipers, pooped on the driver's seat and ... drank an old cup of soda, you have no choice.

You have to cover the story.

Mohammed Sayed is not one of those people who particularly relish the prospect of hitting young men on the butt with a big stick.

But he is certainly prepared to do so to defend the girls and women who frequent the neatly groomed, palm-dotted municipal park in the Pakistani city of Gujranwala where he works as a guard.

The park was designed as a place for relaxation and family recreation (it even includes some ramshackle carnival rides). But it had turned into a prowling ground for young men.

Once Mumbai's largest slum, Dharavi — made famous by the 2008 movie Slumdog Millionaire — is a teeming multi-ethnic and multicultural settlement claiming almost a million migrants from across India.

We've been in that awkward situation where you're not sure whether to "like" your friend's Facebook post about the death of a relative.

Thankfully, Facebook has heard our woes and decided to spare us that moment of frustration by rolling out five additional emojis globally Wednesday.

The ambiguity of a thumbs up is now resolved — we can also choose from "love," "haha," "wow," "sad" and "angry" emojis. The three most popular reactions will be shown on each post.

More Rural Hospitals Are Closing Their Maternity Units

Feb 24, 2016

A few years ago, when a young woman delivered her baby at Alleghany Memorial Hospital in Sparta, N.C., it was in the middle of a Valentine's Day ice storm and the mountain roads out of town were impassable. The delivery was routine, but the baby girl had trouble breathing because her lungs weren't fully developed.

Dr. Maureen Murphy, the family physician who delivered her that night, stayed in touch with the neonatal intensive care unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, a 90-minute drive away, to consult on treatment for the infant.

As the drug-related death toll rises in the United States, communities are trying to open more treatment beds. But an ongoing labor shortage among drug treatment staff is slowing those efforts.

2 More U.S. Cases Of Zika Virus Likely Shared Via Sex

Feb 23, 2016

Health officials announced Tuesday that they are investigating 14 new U.S. cases of possible sexual transmission of the Zika virus.

The virus was confirmed to be in blood samples from two women, using a method that detects pieces of the virus' genetic material, say doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A coalition of fast-food workers, clergy and advocates rallied at the state capitol in Montgomery, Ala., Tuesday as a fight escalated in the state over a proposed minimum wage.

News that British tea-drinking is on the decline is stirring a tempest in a teapot across the pond. But U.K. leaders might have welcomed such headlines in the 1970s, when the length of the tea break became a major point of political contention.

The day when you'll be chauffeured to work by your car may not be far off.

Right now, the legal groundwork is being laid to make way for the self-driving car around the nation. NPR's Robert Siegel is talking to several key players this week about the emerging world of self-driving cars.

In the latest conversation, he spoke with Brian Soublet, deputy director and chief legal counsel for the California Department of Motor Vehicles — an agency that robotic car advocates have accused of squelching innovation before it even gets on the road.

If this were a Sherlock Holmes story, its title would surely be "The Case of the Disappearing Quasar."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Last December, NASA asked people if they wanted to be astronauts. The overwhelming answer was yes.

ANNE ROEMER: We had a record number of applications - roughly 18,300.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Streetcars are rumbling back to life in cities across the country from Portland to Salt Lake City and Atlanta, with New York becoming the latest city to hop on the bandwagon. But as these new streetcars run into unexpected roadblocks, critics say this mode of transportation might not be the answer to great public transit.

New York City has an ambitious, multibillion-dollar plan to connect Brooklyn and Queens with a streetcar. It would bring convenience to residents from Red Hook, an isolated area cut off from the rest of Brooklyn by water and a major highway.

A western lowland gorilla at the Bristol Zoo Gardens successfully gave birth by a risky and rare emergency cesarean section.

The U.K. zoo released a video of the new baby, who is now 11 days old and weighs just over 2.2 pounds.

A warning: The beginning of the video shows a few seconds of the operation. You can skip to 0:20 for footage of the cute gorilla.

At age 9, Nice Nailantei Leng'ete ran away from home so she wouldn't have her genitalia cut as part of a coming­-of-­age ceremony.

For her defiance, she was shunned by family and community.

That was 16 years ago. The ritual cutting away of part or all of the external female genitalia continues in force around the world. A new UNICEF report estimates that at least 200 million women alive today have undergone what's known as female genital mutilation (FGM).

To help prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Puerto Rico, government officials on the island have declared condom price-gouging illegal.

In early February, during a media briefing at the governor's mansion, Puerto Rico's Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs Nery Adames Soto announced that his agency has added prophylactics to the price-freeze list. Stores on the island also aren't allowed by DACO to raise the price on mosquito repellent, window screens, larvicides and other mosquito-killing products.

The Zika outbreak is aggravating an already tense relationship between Venezuela and Colombia. In Colombia, more than 37,000 people have fallen sick. Venezuela reports fewer than 5,000 cases — a number that Colombian officials find suspiciously low.

Juan Bitar heads the health department of a state in Colombia that shares a long border with Venezuela. "A lot of people who are sick with Zika in Venezuela are coming [to Colombia] for medical attention," he says.

Hillary Clinton wants you to know that she was doing health care before health care was cool.

"You know, before it was called Obamacare it was called Hillarycare," Clinton said recently at a rally in Elko, Nev.

It's a stock line these days in her stump speeches and debates.

The term Hillarycare was coined back in the 1990s, when Clinton tried and failed to restructure the U.S. health care system during her husband's first term as president. It was supposed to be an insult, but now she's embracing it.

In a study powered by the labor of medical students, my colleagues and I found that two-thirds of clinical trials led by scientists at our finest academic institutions didn't share their results publicly within two years of the study's completion.

Moreover, none of these research institutions has a good record of sharing results. Many are much worse than the average.

Pages