Shoppers check out vodka in a street kiosk in Moscow in 2008.
Alexander Nemenov/Getty Images
January 30, 2014 Russia has a big problem with vodka, which is a key factor in the country's abysmal life expectancy, researchers say. But measures like banning vodka sales at night have had an immediate effect on a young Russian man's chances of living to age 55
People practice yoga at a fundraiser for a breast cancer foundation in Hong Kong.
Ed Jones/Getty Images
January 29, 2014 Cancer patients and survivors are told to exercise, but the disease and treatments can leave them with overwhelming fatigue. Yoga may be a gentle way to get moving, a study reports, with breast cancer survivors who did yoga saying they had less fatigue than women who did not.
Graduate student Jennifer Klunk of McMaster University examines a tooth used to decode the genome of the ancient plague.
Courtesy of McMaster University
January 29, 2014 When you hear the words bubonic plague, Black Death usually comes to mind. But the first plague pandemic happened 800 years earlier, when the Justinian plague wiped out nearly a quarter of the world's population. Scientists have decoded the bacteria responsible, which have roots in China.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/267598868/268102168" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Erick Munoz, flanked by lawyers, walks to 96th District Court last Friday. A judge ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support from his wife, Marlise.
January 28, 2014 After collapsing on her kitchen floor, Munoz was hospitalized and kept on life support despite her wishes. A Texas law protects a hospital from liability as long it keeps a pregnant patient on life support.
A vendor sells chickens at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong last month. As a precautionary measure against the deadly H7N9 virus, Hong Kong has temporarily stopped importing poultry from mainland farms.
Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images
January 27, 2014 Serving chicken, pigeon or duck for the holiday may be harder this year for some families in China and Hong Kong. As the deadly H7N9 virus continues to spread, officials in China have closed many live poultry markets, while agricultural workers in Hong Kong plan to cull thousands of chickens this week.
Clinical specialist Catey Funaiock took notes while observing a 5-year-old boy at the Marcus Autism Center, part of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, in September.
January 27, 2014 Researchers say changes rolled out last May are likely to have a bigger effect on government statistics than on the care of the nation's children. Still, advocates worry that narrower definitions could lead to a loss of coverage for some children.
January 25, 2014 An interactive map shows how measles and whooping cough have made a comeback in the U.S. and Europe, even though they're easily prevented by a few shots. The surge of these diseases coincides with changes in views about vaccine safety.
Insurers get paid more for older people under the Affordable Care Act, even if they're healthy.
January 24, 2014 Much has been made of the need for young, healthy people to sign up if the Affordable Care Act is going to work. But it may be that the key word here is not young, but healthy. Insurance companies get paid more for older people, regardless of their health.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/265755003/265762481" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
The sexually transmitted cancer is common in street dogs around the world.
Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images
January 23, 2014 Dogs can catch a strange type of cancer through sex. Now scientists have decoded the DNA of the tumor and found that the cancer cells are a living fossil of an ancient dog that lived thousands of years ago. This cancer doesn't affect people, but the findings may offer insights into how tumors fool the human immune system.
Researchers say that setting your thermostat a little lower can help you burn more calories.
January 22, 2014 Researchers in the Netherlands suggest that something as simple as lowering temperatures in the office or at home can help people burn calories as they keep their body temperatures steady. Chilling out to shed pounds works best in combination with diet and exercise.
I'll be what I am, a sedentary man.
January 22, 2014 Researchers focused on the activities outside business hours. And they found that your behavior beyond whatever you're doing to make a living appears to affect your chances of heart failure. To minimize the risk, walk when you can and sit only when you must.
Kendall Schrantz, center, stretches after a class at Downsize Fitness in Fort Worth.
Lauren Silverman for NPR
January 20, 2014 Going to the gym can be intimidating, especially for people who are obese and worry that people will judge them by their appearance. But more companies are catering to plus-sized exercisers with fitness centers that are just for them.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/261063115/264092794" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Workers prepare Chinese traditional medicine for customers in Beijing.
Alexander F. Yuan/AP
January 18, 2014 Some scientists say traditional remedies might help them crack diseases like cancer. Some notable successes include a treatment for a form of leukemia and an anti-malaria medicine that has become the gold standard. But there are more misses than hits.
Marilyn Budzynski takes care of her 20-year-old son, Michael, in Eustis, Fla., in September. Michael suffers from Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.
Tom Benitez/MCT /Landov
January 16, 2014 This variety of the drug has very little of the primary component that produces the high. Families have been moving to Colorado to get access to the therapy.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/262481852/262946994" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
SoloHealth owns 3,500 health screening kiosks like this one in San Francisco. In some states, the company sells customer contact information to insurers.
January 15, 2014 People like the convenience of checking their blood pressure at free machines in pharmacies and supermarkets. But at least one company is selling the contact information of people who use its machines to health insurers seeking new customers.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/261371525/262789017" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor