Health

Peace Corps Volunteer Values Staying Active In Old Age

"You can have a really good time in the Peace Corps when you're old," says Alice Carter, who at age 87 is the oldest volunteer in the Peace Corps.

Brazilian Military Takes Aim At Mosquito Problem

On Saturday, 220,000 soldiers across Brazil are going door to door to raise awareness about the Zika virus, and promote mosquito control efforts that could slow the disease's spread.

Weekend Edition Saturday

Selling The Health Benefits Of Denver's Tap Water — After Flint

Though Denver's water supply is clean, health officials in Colorado are battling the stigma tap water acquired after the contamination in Flint, Mich. A Latino community group has stepped in to help.

Penalty For Home Birth: A Chicken Or A Cow

So that's one way to improve health care in the developing world. Here are some other bright ideas from people who like to shake up the status quo.

All Things Considered

Science Seeks Clues To Human Health In Neanderthal DNA

Some of the genetic variations in human DNA that have been linked to quick clotting or depression or diabetes lie within or near the genetic stretches we picked up from Neanderthals, a study finds.

Can Dementia Be Prevented? Education May Bolster Brain Against Risk

The risk of getting dementia has been dropping for decades. Why? Research suggests education's effect on the brain and good cardiovascular health help.

The Risks (And Unexpected Benefits) Of Sending Health Students Abroad

Universities are setting standards for volunteer global health programs in developing countries — so both the student and the local people can have a good experience.

How To Operate On A Patient Who Might Explode

In rare but tricky cases, disposing of an explosive device requires removing it safely from a living person. Military doctors have ways to minimize the risks, but there's no way to eliminate them.

Chart: Access To Contraception And Abortion In Zika-Affected Countries

The possibility that the Zika virus is linked to the birth defect microcephaly has sparked a public debate about women's reproductive rights in Latin America.

U.N. Says 300,000 People In Key Syrian City Are At Risk Of Siege

The push by Syrian government forces and their allies in the northern city of Aleppo has also displaced some 51,000 civilians since the beginning of last week, according to the U.N.

Drinking, Pregnancy And Sexism: The CDC’s Women-Only Focus Is Retrograde

February 12, 2016
It’s ridiculous that these heavy-toned medical warnings are aimed only at one gender. Two people enjoy sex together, but only one is responsible for pregnancy? (Tatiana Vdb/ flickr)

It’s ridiculous that these heavy-toned medical warnings are aimed only at one gender. Two people enjoy sex together, but only one is responsible for pregnancy?

Poll: Majority Of Americans Oppose Gene Editing, Even To Prevent Disease

February 11, 2016
A new poll finds a majority of Americans oppose editing a baby's genes before birth, even if it means preventing a genetic disease. (Pixabay)

The poll from STAT and Harvard finds that 65 percent of people believe editing a baby’s genes before birth should be illegal.

Lucy Kalanithi Talks About Her Late Husband’s Memoir, ‘When Breathe Becomes Air’

February 10, 2016
Paul Kalanithi was a nuerosurgeon at Stanford. ( Norbert von der Groeben/Stanford Hospital and Clinics, courtesy of Random House)

“He did more than just describe the terrain. He traversed it bravely,” wrote Lucy Kalanithi.

Needle Exchange Tries To Keep Pace With Rising Drug Use

February 10, 2016
James Nolen, 65, gets his kit with needles, cotton balls and alcohol swabs at the Harm Reduction Center on Tuesday, January 19, 2016. Nolen says the clinic is the best thing for addicts and people who want to get off drugs. (Heidi de Marco/KHN)

Facilities like this one on Skid Row could receive a boost now that Congress has lifted a ban on federal funding.

Dealing With The Zika Threat

February 10, 2016
In this Feb. 1, 2016 photo, a technician from the British biotec company Oxitec, inspects the pupae of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, a vector for transmitting the Zika virus, in Campinas, Brazil. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Taking on the Zika virus, from tackling the disease itself, to killing the mosquitoes that carry it to the challenge of birth control.

Opiate Addiction In New Hampshire

February 9, 2016
Tyler, 22, who recently got out of a rehab program for heroin addiction, shows his prescription for Suboxone, a maintenance treatment for opioid dependence, on February 5, 2014 in Burlington, Vermont. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Robin Young visits a clinic called Recover Together that charges patients $65 a week for group therapy and a Suboxone prescription.

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.

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