Science & Environment

Shots - Health News
3:33 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

A Sheriff And A Doctor Team Up To Map Childhood Trauma

Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell (left) and Dr. Nancy Hardt, University of Florida.
Bryan Thomas for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 12:30 pm

The University of Florida's Dr. Nancy Hardt has an unusual double specialty: She's both a pathologist and an OB-GYN. For the first half of her career, she brought babies into the world. Then she switched — to doing autopsies on people after they die.

It makes perfect sense to her.

"Birth, and death. It's the life course," Hardt explains.

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Climate Change May Be Destroying World's Oldest-Known Mummies

A mummy of a Chinchorro child, dating to between 5000 B.C. and 3000 B.C. The Chinchorros were hunter-gatherers who lived in the region between modern-day Peru and Chile.
Claudio Santana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:34 pm

There's a problem with the mummies at the University of Tarapacá's archaeological museum in northern Chile.

They're turning into a black oozy substance.

Harvard University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences says scientists have found that Chile's famous 7,000-year-old Chinchorro mummies are being eaten by bacteria — and that climate change could be the culprit.

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The Salt
5:56 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Pigeon, Parakeet And Pony: Amsterdam Food Truck Serves Maligned Meat

Maarten van Cleef Photography

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:18 pm

Every region of the world seems to have a local critter dish liable to raises visitors' eyebrows — think boiled lobsters in Maine, dried grasshoppers in Mexico, snails in France and sheep stomach in Scotland.

In Amsterdam, two artists are trying to widen their city's list of local tasty creatures — and expand minds, too — with dishes like the My Little Pony Burger, Peace Pigeon and Bambi Ball.

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Shots - Health News
4:59 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

College Rape Case Shows A Key Limit To Medical Privacy Law

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 5:35 pm

The privacy of students who get care at university clinics is in doubt after the mental health records of a woman who says she was raped at the University of Oregon were used by the school in the course of defending itself against a lawsuit.

The unidentified student is suing the university for mishandling her assault. She says she was raped by three basketball players last year. The University of Oregon found the players responsible, and kicked them off the team and out of school.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Mad Cow Research Hints At Ways To Halt Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Prion protein can be infectious, spreading from cell to cell in the brain. Here four nerve cells in a mouse illustrate how infectious prion protein moves within cells along neurites — wire-like connections the nerve cells use for communicating with adjacent cells.
Science Source

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 9:18 am

Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ravage the brain in very different ways. But they have at least one thing in common, says Corinne Lasmezas, a neuroscientist and professor at Scripps Research Institute, in Jupiter, Fla. Each spreads from brain cell to brain cell like an infection.

"So if we could block this [process], that might prevent the diseases," Lasmezas says.

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Shots - Health News
1:57 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

To Head Off Trauma's Legacy, Start Young

Silvester Fullard fixes dinner for his 11-year-old son Tavestsiar. When Tavestsiar first came to live with his dad in 2010, he was closed off, Silvester says; "he didn't want to be around other kids."
Charles Mostoller for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:25 pm

At the Cobbs Creek Clinic in West Philadelphia, Dr. Roy Wade relies on some of the same tools every pediatrician uses for exams — blood pressure cuffs, a stethoscope, and, of course, tongue depressors.

He also uses particular questions to get at something that few doctors try to measure: childhood adversity.

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Anti-Smog Film Is Pulled In China; Protesters Reportedly Detained

A woman wears a face mask on a hazy January day in downtown Shanghai. China has ordered a popular anti-pollution film removed from major online outlets. In Xi'an, two people who had protested against smog were reportedly detained.
ALY SONG Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 9:22 am

A human rights group says that police in China detained two people Monday for protesting the government's approach to air pollution. One of the protesters was detained for slander, according to China Human Rights Defenders.

The group says the pair were released after being held overnight, with an update published Monday citing "the pressure of public opinion at home and abroad."

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Goats and Soda
7:03 am
Sun March 8, 2015

Why China's Pollution Could Be Behind Our Cold, Snowy Winters

A lot of the airborne particles in the Earth's atmosphere come from natural sources, such as desert dust (red-orange) and sea salt (blue). But there's also soot from fires (green and yellow) and sulfur emissions (white) from burning fossil fuel.
William Putman NASA/Goddard

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 2:39 pm

It's March. It's freezing. And there's half a foot of snow on the ground. When is this winter going to end?

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Shots - Health News
5:31 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

Supporting A Spouse With Alzheimer's: 'I Don't Get Angry Anymore'

Greg and Mary Catherine O'Brien with their kids, at daughter Colleen's marriage to Matt Everett last August. Greg has early-onset Alzheimer's. From left, Brendan O'Brien, Greg O'Brien, Colleen O'Brien, Matt Everett, Mary Catherine O'Brien, and Conor O'Brien.
Courtesy of Greg O'Brien

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:45 pm

This is part of NPR's series Inside Alzheimer's, about Greg O'Brien's experience of living with the illness. This time we hear from Greg's wife, Mary Catherine.

Greg and Mary Catherine O'Brien will celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary next month. She knows him better than anyone — his moods and sense of humor, his devotion to their three children and his love of Cape Cod.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

This Just (Flew) In: The Formerly 'Extinct' Jerdon's Babbler

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 1:14 pm

Birders and scientists who thought Jerdon's babbler had gone the way of the passenger pigeon now have something to crow about: it turns out that the sparrow-sized tan-colored bird is still among us, despite having been written out of the birding guides in 1941.

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