Health & Science

Ways to Connect

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President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan yesterday. And the White House says he's also reviewing the security clearances of nine other intelligence officials. Most of them are former officials.

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Updated at 8:51 a.m. ET

More than 70 people overdosed in or around a historic Connecticut park near the Yale University campus on Wednesday after receiving what authorities believe was synthetic marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl. Although there have been no deaths, at least two people suffered life-threatening symptoms, according to authorities.

Bonita Carlson grew up on a ranch in Northeast Wyoming. One time her mom was gone and she helped out with the laundry. Along with her clothes she threw in some of her dad's shirts.

"When I opened the washing machines [I] saw all of his records from the whole year of that calf crop ... was destroyed in the washing machines," recalls Carlson.

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There are a bunch of historical anniversaries in August. The Watts riots happened 53 years ago. Woodstock was 49 years ago today in fact. And then there's the 46th anniversary of Wattstax.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has temporarily lost some Twitter privileges over breaking the site's rules against abusive behavior. Last week, the company was a notable exception after a wave of other major tech companies banned Jones and his main channels.

The penalties to Alex Jones' personal account, @RealAlexJones, are for one week. The Twitter page for his website Infowars posted screenshots of the notice that Twitter apparently sent Jones.

Long before he began studying for a career in health care, Marlon Munoz performed one of the most sensitive roles in the field: delivering diagnoses to patients.

As an informal interpreter between English-speaking doctors and his Spanish-speaking family and friends, Munoz knew well the burden that comes with the job. He still becomes emotional when he remembers having to tell his wife, Aibi Perez, she had breast cancer.

How To Get Women To Trust The Police? 'Gender' Desks

Aug 15, 2018

How do you get a woman to report to the police that she's been assaulted or abused if she doesn't trust the police to take action?

That, says activist Jamila Juna, is a serious problem in Zanzibar.

Juma is the executive director of the Zanzibar Female Lawyers Association (ZAFELA), which she helped found in 2003 to provide free legal aid to women and children. When a woman is assaulted in Zanzibar and wants to make a police report, there's a good chance Juma will be involved, in some capacity, as an advocate in her case.

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Here’s a new phrase for you: “The Googlification of the classroom.” Tech reporter Natasha Singer covered it for The New York Times in 2017.

She wrote that Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school district in the country has been at the forefront of introducing the tech giant’s low-cost and free tools into the classroom.

Google bypassed administrators and school boards, reaching out directly to educators, she wrote, and it raises the question of whether our public schools should “turn out knowledgeable citizens or skilled workers.”

When Star Ames was a child there was a flood. The streets were like rivers and the houses like islands. It was 1960 and the village of Odanah, Wis. was up to its neck.

The town had been built on the banks of the Bad River, in the floodplain. "I remember watching the river come up," Ames says. "Every place we thought was high enough, the water kept coming up."

Puerto Rico's sole provider of electricity for 1.5 million residents says power has been returned to all homes that lost electricity from Hurricane Maria last September.

Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority identified a family near the mountainous, rural barrios of Real and Anón, in Ponce, a city and municipality in the island's south, as their final customers to receive returned power. PREPA tweeted their image.

Tinder's co-founders, along with eight other current and former executives, have slapped the popular dating app's owners with a massive lawsuit. In the suit filed Tuesday in New York, the Tinder employees past and present say the companies that own the app deliberately undervalued it to swindle them out of the money they were owed.

Florida this week declared a state of emergency because of a slow-moving natural disaster — red tide.

Red tide is toxic algae that have persisted off Florida's Gulf Coast for nearly a year. In recent weeks, the algae bloom has worsened, killing fish, turtles and dolphins and discouraging tourism on some of the state's most beautiful beaches.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Usually when scientists find fossils of ancient creatures, they're not in great shape.

BROOKS BRITT: They all look like roadkill.

In Paris, authorities are taking an unusual approach to combat the scourge of public urination: Make urination even more public.

The city is experimenting with completely exposed, eco-friendly urinals.

The devices are called "Uritrottoir," which combines the words for urinal and pavement. They're not at all subtle. They're bright red and in heavily trafficked areas — for example, directly next to the Seine near the Notre Dame Cathedral.

And if there's any confusion, a large white and red sign with a red arrow and a cartoon of a man peeing probably clears it up.

Life With Lyme Disease

Aug 14, 2018

Across the country, about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are documented every year, but there are as many as 300,000 cases annually that meet the definition of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For people who make too much money to qualify for health insurance subsidies on the individual market, there may be no Goldilocks moment when shopping for a plan. No choice is just right.

A policy with an affordable premium may come with a deductible that's too high. If the copayments for physician visits are reasonable, the plan may not include their preferred doctors.

These consumers need better options, and in early August federal officials offered a strategy to help bring down costs for them.

Watch This Native Pollinator Build Her Bee-Jeweled Nest

Aug 14, 2018

While honeybees and their buzzing hives and hyper-fertile queens get all the press for pollinating our food supply, the hard-working blue orchard bee is one of 4,000 bee species native to North America that does its solitary work in relative obscurity. That is, until now.

In Germany, beer consumption is up as temperatures remain unusually high. This is good and bad news for the beer industry.

While the breweries have more than enough beer to go around, they're running out of bottles because customers are not returning their empties quickly enough.

Germans care about the environment about as much as their beer; that's why the glass bottles are recycled. Customers pay a small deposit on each one, which they get back when they return it to a store.

In the marble halls of Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, patients are greeted by chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling French windows.

There are autism and Alzheimer's clinics, genetic testing, clinical trials of new drugs and private rooms. Spinal injuries are treated in a special robotics rehabilitation unit, where patients are hooked up to robots to exercise their limbs.

And visitors can grab a Starbucks latte in the lobby.

Women struggling with symptoms like vaginal dryness and pain during sex, may be drawn to treatments, marketed as "vaginal rejuvenation," that claim to fix such issues.

Providers who offer the treatments, often dermatologists or plastic surgeons' offices, often claim they can not only cure discomfort, but also tighten the vagina and give it a more "youthful appearance."

Ask A High Schooler

Aug 13, 2018

High school.

What kind of memories does it dredge up for you? Good, bad or something in-between? Would you go back if you had the chance? Depending on when you were enrolled, it's probably a lot different now than what lives in your nostalgic recollections.

Teachers report that unprecedented access to social media and other forms of technology is making it hard for kids to focus, and educators are constantly asking for students' attention. And with mountains of homework and early start times, many students might not be getting enough sleep.

This week, the Puy du Fou theme park in western France put some new employees in the field: six trained rooks, members of the crow family, picking up small pieces of paper and cigarette butts in exchange for food.

Boubou, Bamboo, Bill, Black, Bricole and Baco officially started their new gigs on Monday.

For the record, the park would like to note, the corvid colleagues are not replacing any human cleaning staff.

Updated at 5:06 p.m. ET

When Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last week that he was considering ending the automaker's 8-year run as a publicly traded company, he indicated that he had found the money to do it.

"Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk tweeted.

Some Vermont dairy workers say their wages and living conditions have improved, thanks to an agreement reached last year between the workers and Ben & Jerry's, a division of global consumer products company Unilever.

Times are tough on dairy farms around the country, with milk prices declining for the fourth year in a row. But 72 farms that supply Ben & Jerry's earn a little more by agreeing to follow labor and housing standards.

My back hurts when I sit down.

It's been going on for 10 years. It really doesn't matter where I am — at work, at a restaurant, even on our couch at home. My lower back screams, "Stop sitting!"

To try to reduce the pain, I bought a kneeling chair at work. Then I got a standing desk. Then I went back to a regular chair because standing became painful.

I've seen physical therapists, orthopedic surgeons and pain specialists. I've mastered Pilates, increased flexibility and strengthened muscles. At one point, my abs were so strong my husband nicknamed them "the plate."

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After carrying her deceased baby for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles, an orca mother has shown signs of returning to normal.

She was seen Saturday with fellow members of her pod, chasing a school of salmon. She is no longer carrying her baby, and she looks healthy. "Her tour of grief is now over and her behavior is remarkably frisky," according to a statement on the Center for Whale Research's website.

Food Fare At Iowa State Fair

Aug 12, 2018

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LAKSHMI SINGH, HOST:

We're going to revisit a story from NPR's American Anthem series, exploring songs that tap into the collective emotions that listeners and performers have around an issue or belief.

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