April 17, 2013 Ricin is a naturally occurring toxin that's found in castor beans. Castor-oil plants, the source of beans, are popular with gardeners. You can get sick by eating beans. But purified ricin can be made pretty easily and used for no-good.
April 17, 2013 A new strain of bird flu has sickened 82 people and killed 18 in China. But many people who have caught the H7N9 flu say they hadn't been near poultry or other birds. So what's fueling the outbreak of the virus?
April 17, 2013 Research in mice suggests that short-term hearing loss caused by loud noise like rock concerts may protect ears from more serious damage. But adapting to noise can be dangerous if you compensate by turning up the volume even higher, researchers warn.
April 16, 2013 Even very poor countries, like Ethiopia and Nepal, are making rapid progress against malnutrition in babies and young kids. A report from UNICEF finds that while stunting in kids worldwide is prevalent, it has dropped by a third in the past two decades.
April 16, 2013 Hospitals can make more money when surgery leads to complication that need to be fixed. Critics say the current payment system rewards hospitals for bad care and fails to provide incentives that would benefit patients.
April 16, 2013 Governments set standards for different types of food labels, but most people don't pick up on those nuances, according to a new study on sodium labels. When asked about a variety of health issues, including losing weight and diabetes, participants in a survey said that lower-sodium products would prevent all of them.
April 16, 2013 These days hospitals drill for mass casualty disasters like the explosions at Monday's Boston Marathon. But when it happened for real, the first response was disbelief. Then the victims began arriving. Doctors say they were confronted with the kinds of IED injuries that U.S. troops have gotten in Iraq and Afghanistan.
April 15, 2013 When a food-safety student found out her dog's food was being recalled for possible contamination with salmonella, she learned a few things about how germs travel between critters and their humans.
April 15, 2013 In 2003, a hospital nurse named Charlie Cullen was arrested under suspicion of injecting patients with lethal doses of a variety of medications. He is now considered one of the nation's most prolific serial killers. Journalist Charles Graeber explains how the hospital system failed to stop Cullen.
April 15, 2013 Research into why some people have strong memory well into old age suggests that their brains are different from their peers. Some parts of the brains of "superagers" responsible for attention, thinking and memory seem to be spared the typical age-related shrinkage.
April 15, 2013 Same-sex marriage got huge headlines at the Supreme Court last month, but in the world of science and medicine, the case being argued on Monday is far more important. The lawsuit deals with a truly 21st century issue that in some cases can pit drugmakers against patients.