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Drink Up! Volunteers Swallow Bacteria That Causes Typhoid

Sep 29, 2017

If somebody asked you to drink a solution filled with live bacteria that can cause typhoid, you'd probably say ... no.

How Yom Kippur Fasts Became All About The Feasts

Sep 29, 2017

On Yom Kippur — which begins Friday night — over half of American Jews will fast (according to a recent survey). Whether in temple or at their workday desk, many will use the opportunity to reflect on their individual and collective actions over the past year, and their hope for the coming year. After the sun sets, they'll break their fast. And a lot of people will really break their fast.

It started with a casual text conversation around Thanksgiving. Or maybe it was a Twitter poll about which zodiac sign to go on a date with that night. It depends who you ask.

Either way, New York City-based poets Dorothea Lasky and Alex Dimitrov — the voices behind the viral Twitter account "Astro Poets" — aim to change the way the Internet sees the zodiac.

Becoming a mother is often portrayed as a magical and glorious life event. But many women don't feel joyful after giving birth.

Many companies are investing money in social media to advertise new products. But they could be paying a hidden price for those ads.

Read more:

Wang, Shuting and Greenwood, Brad N. and Pavlou, Paul A., Tempting Fate: Social Media Posts by Firms, Customer Purchases, and the Loss of Followers (July 10, 2017). Fox School of Business Research Paper No. 17-022.

Let's say you're a scientist, and you've invented what you think is a useful treatment for pain. But you have a problem. You don't have the money to go through the regulatory approval process. Should you try to sell it to consumers anyway, and run the risk of being accused of selling snake-oil?

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The 2016 election is over, and yet Russia is still using social media to influence public opinion in the U.S. about all sorts of things.

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The idea of giving up food for 25 hours for the Yom Kippur fast can seem daunting.

But for Shadrach Mugoya Levi, it's not so unusual. In his impoverished village of Magada, Uganda, there are many days when there's not enough food to eat.

"On Yom Kippur I am asking God to pardon me," Levi says of the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. "On other days when I don't have food, I still pray. I pray that I get what to eat, so that I can continue to live."

Scientists have started to unravel a key mystery about the Zika virus. And the findings are almost unbelievable.

"When I first started reading the study, I said, 'Oh, my gosh, that's amazing,' says molecular biologist Alysson Muotri, at the University of California, San Diego, who wasn't involved in the study.

The study — published Thursday in the journal Science — demonstrates how an obscure virus may have transformed into a global threat almost overnight.

In 2011, before she became a nurse practitioner, Maureen Sweeney was working as a registered nurse in labor and delivery at a Cleveland-area hospital. She helped hundreds of women deliver their children, many of whom were minors in their early teens.

That's because, in Ohio, the rate of teenage pregnancy is slightly higher than the national average. This year, about 23 in 1,000 teenage girls will become pregnant.

One patient in particular from those nursing school days sticks out in Sweeney's mind.

About two weeks ago, I went to the Silver Dollar — a bar and restaurant in Louisville, Ky. Without even looking at the menu, I asked for my usual — a basket of rolled oysters — only to find they'd been taken off the menu.

This discovery led me into the murky blue depths of the national oyster economy — and how it impacts the survival of an unlikely Louisville favorite.

In 1981, the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould's book The Mismeasure of Man hit the presses.

The presidential election is long past, but online attacks aimed at shaping the U.S. information environment have kept right on coming.

This week brought a slate of fresh examples of ways in which users — some of them demonstrably Russian, others not — continue to try to use Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to jam a crowbar into existing American political divisions and wrench them further apart.

Nursing homes that rely the most on Medicaid tend to provide the worst care for their residents — not just the people covered by the program but also those who pay privately or have Medicare coverage.

Despite the collapse of the latest Senate effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans are still keen on shrinking the amount of Medicaid money Washington sends states.

Albert Einstein didn't like them.

To him, black holes were a bit of an embarrassment, as they compromised his dream of a "rational" nature, that is, natural phenomena that we could describe and quantify with the usual methods of science. According to this view, good scientific theories shouldn't generate absurd (read: "irrational") results.

On a recent, perfect morning at Johnson Farms in northern Michigan, workers climb wooden ladders high up into the trees, picking bags strapped across their bodies. The branches are heavy with fruit that glows in the morning sun. Their fingers are a blur, nimbly plucking fruit and filling bushel bags: about 50 pounds per load. It's hard, sweaty work.

Apple season was just getting underway on Old Mission Peninsula, a finger of land poking into Lake Michigan, dotted with lush farms.

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Tightening the screws on pricey imaging exams, health insurer Anthem will no longer allow many patients to get MRI or CT scans at hospital-owned outpatient facilities, requiring them to use independent imaging centers instead. The insurer began phasing in these changes in July and expects to finish by March.

Anthem says the change is aimed at providing high-quality, safe care while reducing medical costs.

I have a problem.

I know I won't get any sympathy, but still.

On any given night, I can walk out my front door and within a half hour be at one of seven different taprooms serving up amazing fresh beer, brewed on the spot. Do you get what I'm going through? How could anyone possibly choose?

Here in the leafy western suburbs of Boston, there's Start Line in Hopkinton; CraftRoots in Milford; 7th Wave in Medfield; Medusa in Hudson; and Jack's Abbey, Springdale and Exhibit 'A' in Framingham.

Now that the latest GOP health care proposal is being left for dead, you might think that health care reform efforts are over for the near future. But don't dismiss bipartisan efforts already underway that aim to stabilize the insurance market and potentially give states more flexibility in meeting federal standards.

Republicans officially pulled the plug on their last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on Tuesday.

"We don't have the votes," said Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., after a closed-door meeting of Senate Republicans. "And since we don't have the votes, we've made the decision to postpone the vote." Cassidy, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., put together the proposal they hoped could pass the Senate.

Facebook is under increasing pressure to scrutinize its advertising content after it discovered that at least 3,000 ads on the site had been placed by a Russian agency to influence the 2016 presidential election. The revelations about the ads came after months of denial by CEO Mark Zuckerberg that Facebook played any role in influencing voters.

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Now we're going to dust off some old words, starting with this one - dotard.

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It means an old person, especially one who has become weak or senile. It was popular during Shakespeare's time.

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NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Atul Gawande, a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, author of the book, Being Mortal, and a staff writer for The New Yorker, about whether health care is a right. Gawande visited his hometown of Athens, Ohio, to find responses to this question are divided.

My wife was the love of my life. We were together for a dozen years. And then, in 2013, it was over. I was 32 and bipolar, and divorce felt like the end of the world. I was so depressed, I was hospitalized.

Friends told me I needed time away to begin to heal. They helped me move to Dubai, where I could be with family. But weeks passed and I hardly recovered. I was no longer suicidal, it's true. But I didn't really care if I was alive, either.

Hurricanes and floods don't just wash away crops and livestock and businesses. Marcia Bauer will tell you there's another loss that feels just as devastating, even if you can't see it with your eyes: the loss of your sense that you can plan for the future — that it's even worth trying.

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