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Daily Rounds: Budget Troubles; Sweet Poison; Autism Success; Death At A Yale Lab

Municipal Health Changes In House Budget Plan Cause Divide | WBUR "In the Massachusetts House’s $30.4 billion budget plan released Wednesday, the major policy change is aimed at saving cities and towns $100 million in health care costs. Under the change, city and town leaders would decide what insurance plans would include and how much employees would pay in co-payments and deductibles — without input from unions. With the proposal, House leaders are siding with municipal and business groups and angering many unions." (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

Is Sugar Toxic? - NYTimes.com "Lustig certainly doesn’t dabble in shades of gray. Sugar is not just an empty calorie, he says; its effect on us is much more insidious. “It’s not about the calories,” he says. “It has nothing to do with the calories. It’s a poison by itself.” If Lustig is right, then our excessive consumption of sugar is the primary reason that the numbers of obese and diabetic Americans have skyrocketed in the past 30 years. But his argument implies more than that. If Lustig is right, it would mean that sugar is also the likely dietary cause of several other chronic ailments widely considered to be diseases of Western lifestyles — heart disease, hypertension and many common cancers among them." (nytimes.com)

Autistic Kids Learn To Survive, And Thrive, In College | WBUR & NPR "Opportunities for Postsecondary Success, Colorado State's program for autistic students, was launched earlier this year in reaction to an increase in the number of students with autism and Asperger's who were floundering in class or unable to understand appropriate social behavior. "Some people really struggle with a roommate situation if they're living in a dorm," says Cathy Schelly, director of the program. Jane Thierfeld Brown, who started a program for students with autism and Asperger's at the University of Connecticut, says she likes to talk about it as "an inability to hang out." (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

Study Finds Drop in Deadly V.A. Hospital Infections - NYTimes.com "The study of 153 Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide found a 62 percent drop in the rate of infections caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, in intensive care units over a 32-month period. There was a 45 percent drop in MRSA prevalence in other hospital wards, like surgical and rehabilitation units." (nytimes.com)

Yale lab accident kills Scituate woman - The Boston Globe (boston.com) Michele Dufault, "a promising Yale student from Scituate, hailed for her brilliance and humility, was killed in a horrific accident early yesterday morning when her hair was caught in a lathe as she worked in a machine shop. The accident has prompted federal and university investigations of campus safety practices."

This program aired on April 14, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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