Daily Rounds: Asthma Rises Sharply; MIT Toilet Co.; Medicare Money Fight; Searching For Bin Laden's Half-Sister At MGH

Asthma Rate Rises Sharply in U.S., Government Says -" Americans are suffering from asthma in record numbers, according to a study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one in 10 children and almost one in 12 Americans of all ages now has asthma, government researchers said." (

MIT start-up focuses on sanitation needs of poor - "Our goal is to make sanitation hygienic, accessible and affordable for the 8 million people in Kenyan slums,” said David Auerbach, a co-founder and MBA candidate at MIT. Sanergy started piloting two sanitation centers — each with a dry, squat-style toilet — in the Kibera and Lunga Lunga slums in September, and plans to ramp up to 60 this summer. About 150 Kenyans use the two toilets daily, paying the equivalent of 6 cents per use. Waste streams are separated into containers and collected each day by trained workers, and the waste is then converted to biogas that’s used to provide energy for cooking."(Boston Herald)

Remaking Medicare: Saving Money Or Shifting Costs? | WBUR & NPR "At the heart of Ryan's plan for Medicare is a proposal to give everybody in the program a limited pot of money every year instead of the government-run health insurance they get now. But it's not really a pot of money. Technically, it would be subsidy they could only use to buy private health insurance." (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

Bin Laden DNA Match Is Likely a Parent or Child - "ABC News reported on Sunday that to identify Bin Laden, officials used DNA from the brain of a half-sister who had died at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. A spokeswoman for Massachusetts General said the hospital had not been able to verify that report. “We have not been able to confirm any of this with anybody here,” said the spokeswoman, Kristen Stanton. She added, “I don’t know the name of this sister — whether it was Bin Laden or something else — but nobody we can find knows if someone who was Bin Laden’s sister was ever here.” (

This program aired on May 4, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live