Health & Science

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Ethiopia gave the world Coffea arabica, the species that produces most of the coffee we drink these days. Today, the country is the largest African producer of Arabica coffee. The crop is the backbone of the country's economy – some 15 million Ethiopians depend on it for a living.

There's a good chance something you've bought online has been in the hands of a "picker" first. These are the workers in warehouses who pick, pack and ship all those things we're ordering.

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As we just heard, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski is among those lawmakers with reservations about the direction of the Senate's health care bill. Alaska is a deeply red state, but many of its rural residents depend on Medicaid for health care.

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Diarrhea is not only a topic that makes people a bit squeamish, it turns out to be a difficult disease to put into numbers.

But two trends are clear, says an author of a new report: The number of deaths from diarrheal diseases is dropping dramatically in low-income countries – and ticking upward in wealthy nations.

In 2010, Sonia Vallabh watched her mom, Kamni Vallabh, die in a really horrible way.

First, her mom's memory started to go, then she lost the ability to reason. Sonia says it was like watching someone get unplugged from the world. By the end, it was as if she was stuck between being awake and asleep. She was confused and uncomfortable all the time.

"Even when awake, was she fully or was she really? And when asleep, was she really asleep?" says Sonia.

Updated 4:01 PM ET Tuesday

Do you know where your workplace's automated external defibrillator is located? About half of all U.S. employees don't, according to the results of an American Heart Association survey.

The Endangered Species Act is facing a growing number of calls for significant changes. Momentum in Congress and in western states is building to give states more of a say when making changes to the landmark regulation that protects about 1,600 animal and plant species, and their habitats.

Animals like the Wyoming toad.

Back in 1985, there were only 16 of these palm-sized amphibians left at the Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Laramie, Wyo.

You can tell a lot about a culture by its food, particularly if food is all that remains.

District Six was a mixed-race section of Cape Town, South Africa, that was home to Europeans, Asians, Africans, Christians, Muslims and Jews.

A half-century ago, District Six, which was just outside of downtown, was declared a whites-only area. By the early 1980s, 60,000 people had been forcibly removed from their homes.

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Sonia Vallabh saw her mother die at age 52 from a rare disease that causes irreversible brain damage. Then Sonia learned she has inherited the genetic mutation that killed her mother. She and her husband quit their jobs and trained to become scientists. They're now racing against time to come up with a treatment that could save Sonia's life.

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Go To New York City For The Whales

Jun 18, 2017

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Donkeys have been loyal beasts of burden for 5,000 years, yet they still don't get a lot of respect.

In the wild, burro herds are a nuisance. In captivity, they can be mistreated. But in recent years, donkey sanctuaries have sprung up across the country. The largest among them is Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, outside of San Angelo, Texas, where the air periodically erupts with the unpeaceable sounds of donkey braying.

Would you rather raise your kids in Europe or Africa?

That's the question that Carl Manlan faced. Carl, who's from the Ivory Coast, and his wife, Lelani, who's from South Africa, started their family in Geneva, Switzerland, where they were working at the time. They have two children, a daughter named Claire, born in May 2012, and a son named Liam, born in September 2014.

Geneva is a great place to raise kids, Carl says. "Lots of opportunities to stimulate kids outside of the home, playgrounds for kids. You don't really find that in most cities in Africa."

At a childbirth class at Doula Love in Portland, Ore., a half-dozen pregnant women lean on yoga balls. Their partners are right behind them, learning how to apply pressure for a pelvic massage. Together, they go over the stages of labor, birthing positions, and breathing techniques.

Cole Cooney, who is expecting his second child, says he can't imagine missing the birth. Not just because he'd miss meeting his child, but because he'd miss the opportunity to help his wife.

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When the news broke that Amazon had agreed to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, the retail food sector went a little bananas.

The stock prices of large food retail chains, such as Costco, tumbled a bit.

And this headline from Business Insider helps explain it: Amazon is acquiring Whole Foods — and Walmart, Target, and Kroger should be terrified.

Over the last 2 years photographer Nichole Sobecki and journalist Laura Heaton have documented the devastating impact of climate change on one of the most unstable places in the world, Somalia.

Their reporting appears in Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled "Somalia's Land is Dying. The People Will Be Next."

"They're not gonna want me to play 'babies in space'," says Greg O'Brien. "You know, where I pick 'em up in my hands and I swirl them around over my head like a rocket ship. I always say 'Babies! In! Spaaaaace!' "

It's October 2016, and he is musing about the latest O'Brien family news. His daughter, Colleen, is due to have a baby in November, and ever since he found out, Greg has been struggling with competing emotions.

Nate Kramer was a tall, quiet college swimmer when he was diagnosed with leukemia. His dad, Vince, says it was the beginning of four difficult years.

Nate battled through chemotherapy, a fungal infection of the sinuses, 30 operations, bone marrow transplants, a lung infection and the removal of his spleen. Vince says his son kept rallying back.

As far as standard photo op images go — the kind where one has 10 seconds to hit a mark, smile and pose — this one is definitely memorable.

Rhode Island teacher Nikos Giannopoulos is holding a delicate black lace fan while wearing a rainbow LGBTQ pin on a blue print jacket, a silver and gold statement necklace and a nose ring as he stands beside the president and the first lady in the Oval Office.

War-torn Yemen is now being convulsed by cholera.

Over the past six weeks, more than 124,000 suspected cholera cases have been reported. To put this in perspective, there were only 172,000 cases reported globally to the World Health Organization for all of 2015. To be fair, many cholera cases go unreported each year, but by any standard the current outbreak in Yemen is huge.

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Amazon said today it's buying the supermarket Whole Foods in a deal valued at nearly $14 billion. This is by far the largest acquisition Amazon has ever made. It also means big changes are ahead for the grocery business. NPR's Alina Selyukh reports.

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If only cows could help set the record straight about this next story.

(SOUNDBITE OF COWS MOOING)

CORNISH: Since they can't, we will.

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