February 1, 2013 Drug-resistant tuberculosis is on the rise worldwide, but identifying the disease has been difficult and time-consuming. Touted as a "game changer" in the fight against TB, a new tool cuts diagnostic times from weeks to hours and doesn't require a lab.
Twins in Malawi helped scientists discover a role the gut microbiome appears to play in severe malnutrition.
Photograph courtesy of Tanya Yatsunenko
January 30, 2013 The bacteria that live in humans' guts influence weight gain and health. By studying twins in Malawi, scientists have found that changes in this microbial community may also turn malnutrition into a fatal condition.
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The British have long said, "Keep calm and carry on." But the catchphrase may need an update for health care.
January 29, 2013 That famous stiff upper lip has carried the Brits through tough times, but it can be a risky trait when it comes to health. An international survey finds the British often delay seeking help for serious symptoms of cancer because they're embarrassed or worried about wasting the doctor's time.
According to the Terraba tribe, anise leaves are rich in iron and help with circulation.
Courtesy of Terraba.org
January 24, 2013 To help the an indigenous community in Central America preserve their culture and traditions, journalism students have built a website exploring how the tribe uses medicinal plants to treat everything from a cold and sunburns to cancer.
Health workers in Nepal culled chickens and destroyed eggs following an outbreak of bird flu in Kathmandu in October 2012.
Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images
January 23, 2013 After researchers created versions of the bird flu virus that could spread more easily, critics began to worry that the work could spawn a pandemic if a virus escaped from the lab. After halting their work for more than a year, scientists now say the benefits outweigh the risks, and they are set to restart their experiments.
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January 23, 2013 Nearly two years after the crisis in Syria began, the humanitarian situation in the country remains dire. Shinjiro Murata, head of the Doctors Without Borders mission in northern Syria and NPR foreign correspondent Deborah Amos, discuss the efforts to address growing medical needs.
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Harvest wheat from a field near Wright, Kan. May 10, 2004.
ORLIN WAGNER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
January 20, 2013 For years, British environmental activist Mark Lynas vandalized genetically modified food crops. Then, he had a change of heart. He went in front of the world to reverse his position, telling the anti-GMO lobby to "get out of the way and let the rest of us get on with feeding the world sustainably."
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A boy with multiple Guinea worms sits outside a containment center in northern Ghana, February 2007.
Wes Pope/Chicago Tribune/MCT /Landov
January 19, 2013 After a decades-long campaign, Guinea worm remains in only four countries, and eradication is in sight. But health workers say that recent violence in Mali is hindering efforts to stamp out the last few cases there.
January 18, 2013 Last weekend, air pollution in Beijing reached record highs, raising concerns about the cost of China's rapid industrialization. David Pettit, of the Natural Resources Defense Council, discusses the pollution problem in China's capital, and why severe smog can be deadly.
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A copper engraving from 1656 shows a plague doctor in Rome wearing a protective suit and a mask.
Artwork by Paul Furst /Wikimedia.org
January 17, 2013 In many parts of the world, like Europe, the plague is thought to have been eliminated. French scientists find evidence that the stubborn bacteria can trigger new outbreaks even after decades of apparent dormancy.
Microbiologist Emma Allen-Vercoe invented the Robogut, a mechanical device that mimics conditions in the human colon.
Courtesy of thestar.com
January 16, 2013 Canadian scientists have developed a synthetic stool that successfully treated two patients with a severe form of diarrhea. The researchers call the concoction RePOOPulate, and they produce it using a machine that recreates conditions in the colon.
Haitians protest against the United Nations peacekeepers in Port-au-Prince in November 2010.
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images
January 12, 2013 On the third anniversary of Haiti's devastating earthquake, the country is laying plans to rid itself of the cholera epidemic that followed in its wake. Most scientists now think Nepalese soldiers unwittingly spread the pathogen in Haiti when they joined a United Nations peacekeeping force.
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Jacqueline Syra has been living in the La Piste camp for three years. She says she has no idea when she will be able to leave.
January 11, 2013 Three years ago, a massive earthquake destroyed much of Haiti's capital city. Aid agencies from around the world pledged billions of dollars to help Haiti rebuild. But since then, many of the grand plans have fizzled, and some 350,000 Haitians still live in makeshift camps.
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Tredaptive, a booster of good cholesterol, is dead.
January 11, 2013 Tredaptive was never approved in the U.S., but it has been sold in many countries around the world. A large, international study found the drug did not reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, yet did trigger some serious side effects.
Jan. 9, 2013
January 11, 2013 Evidence of loss remains even three years after a massive earthquake claimed the lives of as many as 200,000 people in Haiti. One of the first photojournalists to capture the grim aftermath of the quake, NPR's David Gilkey traveled back to Haiti to revisit images he originally took in 2010.
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