Morning Edition

Farm Contractors Balk At Obamacare Requirements

The federal health law is putting farmers in a tough spot. Many contractors supplying workers have to offer health coverage. Insurance is costly and contractors worry about immigration fallout.

Why You'll Never Buy the Perfect Ring (and Other Valentine's Day Stories)

It's almost Valentine's Day, but this week we're not talking about love. Instead, we explore the other forces that drive our romantic relationships.

Sorry, Bogie, A Sigh Is Not Just A Sigh

Sighs aren't just signs of resignation, relief or the blues. Involuntary sighs are vital to lung health, say scientists who think they have figured out the brain circuitry that controls the reflex.

Contest: Seeking Nominations For Untold Stories In Global Health

As a cosponsor of the contest, we're asking you to propose stories that the media has overlooked. We'll cover the winning entry in this blog.

All Things Considered

When Every Drop Of Water Could Be Poison: A Flint Mother's Story

For Flint resident Jeneyah McDonald, using bottled water for everything has become an onerous but necessary routine. Still, she worries about the effects that toxic tap water will have on her sons.

All Things Considered

World Health Organization Focuses On Zika-Linked Microcephaly Cases

NPR's Audie Cornish talks to David L. Heymann, chair of the World Health Organization emergency committee on the Zika virus, about what it's doing about the spread of the virus.

All Things Considered

Chipotle Closes Restaurants To Hold Meetings On Food Safety

Chipotle held food safety meetings on Monday in all its restaurants. Stores won't be open for lunch but will be later in the afternoon. Managers will review new protocols designed to prevent the outbreak of food-borne illnesses. More than 500 people got sick last year after eating at a Chipotle.

UNICEF Estimate Of Female Genital Mutilation Up By 70 Million

And 60 million of the cases are in Indonesia, which was added to the survey for the first time — evidence that FGM goes far beyond Africa and the Middle East.

Morning Edition

When Men Get Breast Cancer, They Enter A World Of Pink

Most breast cancer cases are in women, so treatment and support are geared toward them. Men with breast cancer can feel isolated. One man was given a pink ice pack.

All Things Considered

A Year On, Did NFL Anti-Domestic Violence Efforts Work?

After a tumultuous season, the NFL condemned domestic violence in its ranks, and put a spotlight on the issue during the last Super Bowl. A year later, it's unclear whether that has made a difference.

I’m Against Mandatory Rooming-In With Your Baby — Here’s Why

February 9, 2016
Hospitals are phasing out the routine use of newborn nurseries. But what about exhausted postpartum mothers desperate for a few hours of sleep? Massachusetts hospitals are slowly phasing out nurseries from maternity wards. (Juanedc/ flickr)

Hospitals are phasing out the routine use of newborn nurseries. But what about exhausted postpartum mothers desperate for a few hours of sleep?

CommonHealth: Why Was There An ‘Opioid-Induced Constipation’ Ad During The Super Bowl?

February 8, 2016
The yearly onslaught of Super Bowl ads included a pharmaceutical ad encouraging viewers to ask their doctor about opioid induced constipation.

The spot, called “Envy”, features a man walking around a city staring longingly at people and animals apparently going to the bathroom with ease.

All Chipotle Locations Closed During Lunch Today For Food Safety Meeting

February 8, 2016
A sign sits in the window of a Chipotle restaurant on Broadway in Lower Manhattan telling customers the restaurant is closed until 3 p.m. on February 8, 2016 in New York City. The Mexican food chain is closing stores for lunch nationwide for a meeting on food safety following a number of E. coli outbreaks. (Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images)

The company is holding a nationwide meeting with its employees to discuss food safety.

Lead 101: Flint Crisis Is Latest Example Of America’s Lead Problem

February 5, 2016
Pictured is galena lead, which has historically been used in paint, gasoline and bullets. (jsjgeology/Flickr)

Public health historian Gerald Markowitz reminds us that the problem of lead poisoning is anything but new.

Overcoming Addiction In Vermont

February 5, 2016
Skyler Browder's path to addiction began with alcohol in high school; she then moved from OxyContin to heroin. Today, she's a student at Community College of Vermont in Winooski and a single mom, and she's sober. She goes to five support group meetings per week. (Lynne McCrea/VPR)

“Even though I had glimmers of hope of what my life might be like if I could stop using, I could never stop.”

Brazil Warns Zika Virus Could Be Transmitted Via Urine, Saliva

February 5, 2016
A medical researcher works on results of tests for various diseases, including Zika, at the Gorgas Memorial laboratory Panama City, Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Panamanian authorities announced Monday that 50 cases of the Zika virus infection have been detected in Panama's sparsely populated Guna Yala indigenous area along the Caribbean coast where they are conducting an aggressive campaign to contain the spread of the virus. (Arnulfo Franco/AP)

Researchers found active Zika virus in urine and saliva samples, meaning it might be possible to transmit it through those fluids.

Tuberculosis Outbreak Plagues Alabama Town

February 5, 2016
Concerned Marion citizens listen to officials from the Alabama Department of Public Health about the update on the tuberculosis outbreak. (MacKenzie Bates/APR)

The rate of tuberculosis in Marion is 100 times greater than the state average, and worse than in many developing countries.

Week In The News: Cruz Wins Iowa, Clinton Edges Sanders, Zika 'Emergency'

February 5, 2016
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas mingles at a campaign event at Robie's Country Store, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Hooksett, N.H. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ted Cruz, Clinton and Sanders out of Iowa. Zika panic. Syrian peace talks fall apart. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

#TheDollEvolves: What Barbie’s New Body Can — And Cannot — Do For Our Girls’ Body Image

February 5, 2016
Sarah Kiser: "Our children need to see us smile at our own reflection and at the shape of our natural figures." Pictured: A group of new Barbie dolls introduced in January 2016. Mattel, the maker of the famous plastic doll, said it will start selling Barbies in three new body types: tall, curvy and petite. She’ll also come in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. (AP/Mattel)

Our children need to see us smile at our own reflection and at the shape of our natural figures.

Not Able To Get Medical Marijuana Through The VA, Veterans Struggle With Cost, Confusion

February 4, 2016
U.S. combat veterans Scott Murphy (left) and Kenny MacIntosh (right). (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Even in states where it is legal, a federal directive stipulates that VA providers cannot recommend the use of medical marijuana. That means veterans like Scott Murphy and Kenneth MacIntosh have to get it from outside private clinics.

How Much Does Your Personal Trainer Make?

February 4, 2016
Lifting weights at the gym. (Pixabay)

U.S. health clubs are a more than $24 billion industry, but it’s not the fitness trainers that are raking in the dough.

The Deadliest Opioid Of Them All – Fentanyl

February 4, 2016
Fusion's new documentary is called "Death by Fentanyl" (

A new documentary explores the rise of the drug, which has two main sources: pharmaceutical companies and Mexican drug cartels.

Florida Braces For Zika Virus

February 4, 2016
UM's Mario Stevenson (left) examines the new Zika virus detection test at his team's Miami lab. (Tim Padgett/WLRN)

Four counties in Florida are under a health emergency today, after cases of the mosquito-borne illness were detected in the state.

Puerto Rico Health Officials Mobilize To Halt Zika Virus Infections

February 3, 2016
Aedes aegypti mosquitos are seen in containers at a lab of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Sao Paulo University, on January 8, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal are in Brazil to train local researchers to combat the Zika virus epidemic. (Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images)

There are at least 19 confirmed cases of Zika virus in Puerto Rico, which is causing alarm among public health officials there.

Panel Recommends U.S. Research ‘Three-Parent Embryo’ Procedure

February 3, 2016
A newborn baby is held by one of its parents. (Pixabay)

The controversial procedure is already legal in the U.K. and could help women with certain diseases have healthy children.

Exploring Healthy Snacks At The Fancy Food Show

February 2, 2016
Flavored bug snacks at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. (Kathy Gunst)

Our resident chef Kathy Gunst attended the Winter Fancy Food Show and found that healthy-sounding snacks were all the rage.

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