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Yesterday โ€” August 20th 2019NPR Research

Cigarettes Can't Be Advertised On TV. Should Juul Ads Be Permitted?

By Michelle Andrews
A 15-year-old in Cambridge, Mass., shows off her vaping device in 2018. Schools and health officials across the U.S. are struggling to curb what they say is an epidemic of underage vaping.

Though tobacco ads have been banned from TV for about 50 years, the marketing of electronic cigarettes isn't constrained by the law. Public health advocates consider that a loophole that hurts kids.

(Image credit: Steven Senne/AP)

  • August 20th 2019 at 11:00
Before yesterdayNPR Research

Got Pain? A Virtual Swim With Dolphins May Help Melt It Away

By Allison Aubrey
Though not the same as actually jumping into the waves, a virtual reality program like this one that let a headset-wearing patient "swim with dolphins" was enough of an immersive distraction to significantly reduce pain, a study found.

A recent study found virtual reality experiences were better at easing pain than watching televised nature scenes. Immersive distraction seems key to the success, scientists say.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Cedars Sinai/Screenshot by NPR)

  • August 19th 2019 at 11:04

These Experimental Shorts Are An 'Exosuit' That Boosts Endurance On The Trail

By Merrit Kennedy
A Harvard research team

No ordinary pair of shorts, these were designed by Harvard scientists to work with the wearer's own leg muscles when walking or running, and might make a soldier's heavy loads easier to carry.

(Image credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University)

  • August 15th 2019 at 22:22

2 Experimental Ebola Drugs Saved Lives In Congo Outbreak

By Richard Harris
Health workers in protective suits tend to an Ebola victim kept in an isolation cube in Beni in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Drugs tested in the Democratic Republic of Congo are effective in treating Ebola, scientists say. They have run a study in the midst of a deadly epidemic and in the face of armed assaults on doctors.

(Image credit: Jerome Delay/AP)

  • August 12th 2019 at 22:22

Scientists Find Out How Leaping Maggots Leap

By Nell Greenfieldboyce
A goldenrod midge maggot begins to form a loop.

The scientists captured the acrobatic jumps of a tiny maggot-like creature with high-speed cameras to figure out how it does this trick with no arms, legs, or wings.

(Image credit: Reproduced/adapted with permission of Journal of Experimental Biology, Farley, G. M., Wise, M. J., Harrison, J. S., Sutton, G. P., Kuo, C. and Patek, S. N., 2019, Journal of Experimental Biology, volume 222, doi:10.1242/jeb.201129)

  • August 9th 2019 at 22:29

Scientists Discover Prehistoric Giant 'Squawkzilla' Parrot, As Big As Small Child

By Vanessa Romo
An artist

The flightless bird weighed 15 pounds, was about 3 feet tall and probably feasted on other parrots. Study lead Trevor Worthy made the discovery after examining two 19 million-year-old leg bones.

(Image credit: Brian Choo/Flinders University )

  • August 8th 2019 at 01:44

New Evidence Shows Popular Pesticides Could Cause Unintended Harm To Insects

By Dan Charles
Honeybees are seen feeding on the honeydew of whiteflies in citrus trees. Traces of neonicotinoids, a family of pesticides, have shown up in honeydew, an important food source for other insects.

Studies are revealing new, unintended threats that neonicotinoid pesticides pose to insects. The chemicals, widely used by farmers, are difficult to control because they persist in the environment.

(Image credit: Alejandro Tena)

  • August 6th 2019 at 20:00

Pain Rescue Team Helps Seriously Ill Kids Cope In Terrible Times

By Alison Kodjak
Robyn Adcock (left), a University of California, San Francisco pain relief specialist, gently guides Jessica Greenfield to acupressure points on her son

An interdisciplinary team in San Francisco uses acupressure, massage, counseling and other methods, as well as medicine, to help kids get relief from chronic pain. But such pediatric centers are rare.

(Image credit: Alison Kodjak/NPR)

  • August 5th 2019 at 11:01

Sesame Allergies Are Likely More Widespread Than Previously Thought

By Susie Neilson
Montreal bagels sprinkled with sesame. New findings suggest allergies to sesame are comparably prevalent as those to some tree nuts. The findings come as the FDA weighs whether to require sesame to be listed as an allergen on food labels.

New research suggests allergies to sesame are comparably prevalent as those to some tree nuts. The findings come as the FDA weighs whether to require sesame to be listed as an allergen on food labels.

(Image credit: Patrick Donovan/Getty Images)

  • August 2nd 2019 at 17:18

Trust In Scientists Is Rising, Poll Finds

By Richard Harris
A doctor involved in medical research.

The proportion of people who say they have a "great deal" of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest increased from 21% in 2016 to 35% in 2019, according to the Pew Research Center.

(Image credit: Roy Scott/Science Source)

  • August 2nd 2019 at 16:58

Turtle Embryos May Play A Role In Whether They Become Male Or Female

By Merrit Kennedy
The sex that a turtle develops into is determined by the temperature that an embryo experiences when it

In many turtle species, sex is determined by temperature in the egg. That makes turtles particularly vulnerable to climate change. But scientists say the animals may have a way to shield themselves.

(Image credit: Ye et. al / Current Biology)

  • August 1st 2019 at 19:02

Kids See Bearded Men As Strong โ€” But Unattractive, Study Finds

By Nell Greenfieldboyce
Actual scientific research on beards is, regrettably, scant. However, researchers now know how beards are perceived by one important group of people: children.

New research shows that young children have a negative reaction to beards, but that changes as they get older. Children with bearded fathers did feel more warmly toward facial hair.

(Image credit: Maskot/Getty Images)

  • July 30th 2019 at 22:16

Irritating Compounds Can Show Up In 'Vape Juice'

By Susie Neilson
Airway-irritating acetals seem to form in some types of vape juice even without heat, researchers find — likely a reaction between the alcohol and aldehydes in the liquid.

Among the possibly harmful compounds are "acetals," which form when some ingredients combine on the shelf, researchers say, and can inflame airways when inhaled.

(Image credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

  • July 30th 2019 at 06:02

In A 1st, Doctors In U.S. Use CRISPR Tool To Treat Patient With Genetic Disorder

By Rob Stein
Gray was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was an infant. She was considering a bone marrow transplant when she heard about the CRISPR study and jumped at the chance to volunteer.

Victoria Gray, 34, of Forest, Miss., has sickle cell disease. She is the first patient ever to be publicly identified as being involved in a study testing the use of CRISPR for a genetic disease.

(Image credit: Meredith Rizzo/NPR)

  • July 29th 2019 at 11:18

Dialysis Firm Cancels $524,600.17 Medical Bill After Journalists Investigate

By Jenny Gold
Sovereign Valentine, a personal trainer in Plains, Mont., needs dialysis for his end-stage renal disease. When he first started dialysis treatments, Fresenius Kidney Care clinic in Missoula charged $13,867.74 per session, or about 59 times the $235 Medicare pays for a dialysis session.

This week, NPR profiled a Montana man who was billed nearly half a million dollars for 14 weeks of dialysis, after being caught in a dispute between insurer and the dialysis provider. Now he owes $0.

(Image credit: Tommy Martino/Kaiser Health News)

  • July 26th 2019 at 18:19

Birds Are Trying To Adapt To Climate Change โ€” But Is It Too Little, Too Late?

By Pien Huang
A common guillemot (Uria aalge) brings a sprat to feed to its chick. The laying dates of this species were followed for 19 consecutive years on the Isle of May, off the coast of southeast Scotland. According to a new paper in Nature Communications, many birds are adapting to climate change — but probably not fast enough.

By breeding and migrating earlier, some birds are adapting to climate change. But it's probably not happening fast enough for some species to survive, according to new research.

(Image credit: Michael P. Harris)

  • July 26th 2019 at 16:24

Decisions, Decisions: Some We Struggle To Make, Others We Can't Forget

By Shankar Vedantam
Dan Gilbert says we

This week on the Hidden Brain radio show, decision-making. We learn why we often stumble when trying to make ourselves happy, and why certain decisions leave us wondering "what if?"

(Image credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • July 25th 2019 at 23:01

Economists Say Trump Administration Is Overpaying Farmers For Trade Losses

By Dan Charles
A worker at the port in Nantong, in China

The Trump administration has released details of a $16 billion plan to compensate farmers who've lost money as a result of the trade dispute with China. Some economists say it's too generous.

(Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • July 25th 2019 at 21:42

A Warm Bedtime Bath Can Help You Cool Down And Sleep Better

By Susie Neilson
Sleep scientists say the power of a warm bedtime bath to trigger sleepiness likely has to do, paradoxically, with cooling the body

Research suggests a warm bath or shower an hour or two before bedtime can help you unwind and fall asleep faster. Why? It will help lower your core temperature, and that's a circadian sleep signal.

(Image credit: PhotoTalk/Getty Images)

  • July 25th 2019 at 18:34

Mistrust And Lack Of Genetic Diversity Slow Gains In Precision Medicine

By Pien Huang
Overall in medical research, the proportion of participants with non-European ancestry is only about 20 percent, says Columbia University bioethicist Sandra Soo-Jin Lee. And that

Scientists hoping to get more diversity of ancestry among medical research volunteers need to grapple with the history of medical exploitation, says a Columbia University bioethicist.

(Image credit: Tek Image/Science Photo Library/Getty Images)

  • July 25th 2019 at 11:00
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