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When Drew Calver had a heart attack last year, his health plan paid nearly $56,000 for the 44-year-old's emergency hospital stay at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, Texas, a hospital that wasn't in his insurance network. But the hospital charged Calver another $108,951. That sum — a so-called balance bill — was the difference between what the hospital and his insurer thought his care was worth.

Though in-network hospitals must accept previously contracted rates from health plans, out-of-network hospitals can try to bill as they like.

For some of the 40 million or so Americans who currently use online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, the findings of the new HBO documentary Swiped might be intuitively obvious.

But for others, there may still be revelations aplenty in the film, which is subtitled Hooking Up in the Digital Age. It's about how these apps may change how we think about relationships — and it doesn't paint a positive picture.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Astrophysicist Awarded $3 Million Prize

Sep 9, 2018

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

This is Lulu's Log, stardate September 9, 2018, where we explore matters of space, the stars and the universe.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Dr. Leslie Norins is willing to hand over $1 million of his own money to anyone who can clarify something: Is Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia worldwide, caused by a germ?

By "germ" he means microbes like bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. In other words, Norins, a physician turned publisher, wants to know if Alzheimer's is infectious.

The Sahara desert is expanding, and has been for at least a century. It's a phenomenon that seems impossible to stop.

But it hasn't stopped at least one group of scientists from dreaming of a way to do it. And their proposed solution, a grand scheme that involves covering vast areas of desert with solar panels and windmills, just got published in the prestigious journal Science.

Barbershop: Online Censorship

Sep 8, 2018

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When you go through airport security, you might wish you had a pair of gloves on like the TSA agents do.

Researchers have evidence that the plastic trays in security lines are a haven for respiratory viruses. The trays likely harbor more of these pathogens than the flushing button on the airport toilets, researchers reported last week in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Eww.

Pomegranates symbolize life and vitality in many cultures. They are mentioned in the Quran, in ancient Greek mythology, and in Chinese folktales. Perhaps you bought one to split open during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebrated this weekend.

The Bug Black Market

Sep 8, 2018

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The U.S. is in the middle of a steep and sustained increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

So how are public health officials responding?

In northwest Oregon's Clackamas County, health officials have decided to ask anyone who comes in with an STD who their sexual partners are — and then track those partners down.

In this week’s Medical Minute, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, Chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, discusses what brain scientists call “cracking the neural code”… understanding how our neurons work together to enable “thinking” and “doing” in real time.  The Medical Minute airs at 8:18 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday on the 17 GPB radio stations across Georgia. For more Medical Minute episodes, visit the GPBNews.Org and search “The Medical Minute”.  The Medical Minute is written and produced by The Medical College of Georgia in collaboration with GPB-Augusta. 


For a short week, it sure has been a long one. So here's something refreshing.

Over the last week, a group of common dolphins has been racing along the Pacific coast in Monterey, Calif.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And now a moment to say goodbye to an experiment in Sweden that's been running for seven years.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Sep 7, 2018

Two hearings and a slew of media controversies dominated the headlines this week.

Each of its 87 turbines stands more than twice as tall as the entire Statue of Liberty. Together, they generate enough electricity to power nearly 600,000 homes, in what's being called the largest offshore wind farm in the world, off the coast of northwestern England.

As drug-related deaths rise to record numbers, at least a dozen U.S. cities are considering opening supervised injection sites, where people can use illicit drugs with trained staff present, ready to respond in case of an overdose.

British Airways says it is "investigating, as a matter of urgency, the theft of customer data from our website and our mobile app," after it found a breach that exposed financial information over a two-week period.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dying Well.

About Emily Levine's TED Talk

Writer Emily Levine has stage IV lung cancer. But instead of fearing the inevitable, she decided to embrace her new reality, and face death with humor and gratitude for a life well-lived.

About Emily Levine

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dying Well.

About Michelle Knox's TED Talk

How can we better cope with grief? After observing funerals around the world, banker and travel blogger Michelle Knox suggests we talk about death with our loved ones — especially when we're healthy.

About Michelle Knox

Michelle Knox works in Finance Transformation for Westpac Banking Corporation in Sydney Australia.

About Caitlin Doughty's TED Talk

Mortician Caitlin Doughty is trying to find a more natural and sustainable way to bury our loved ones. But to get there, she says: we need to rethink how we view death altogether.

About Caitlin Doughty

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician and the founder of The Order of The Good Death, a group of funeral industry professionals, academics and artists exploring ways to better prepare for the end.

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dying Well.

About Lux Narayan's TED Talk

Lux Narayan analyzed 2000 New York Times obituaries, of both famous and not-so-famous people, over a two-year period. One common thread among them? A fierce desire to help others.

About Lux Narayan

Lux Narayan is CEO and co-founder of Unmetric, a social media intelligence company based in New York and India.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Dying Well.

About Jason Rosenthal's TED Talk

Before Jason's wife Amy died, she wrote a heartbreaking farewell essay: "You May Want To Marry My Husband." Jason Rosenthal remembers Amy's life — and the lessons he learned from her death.

About Jason Rosenthal

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Do you think that the private thoughts in your head could influence how other people — or creatures — act? The answer is "Of course not," right? Because to say yes would be to admit you believe in mind control or telekinesis or some other phenomenon usually reserved for superhero comic books.

As fall — usually California's busiest fire season — approaches, officials say the agency that oversees emergency fire responses is running out of money.

Cal Fire's director, Ken Pimlott, asked lawmakers for an additional $234 million to be made available as soon as possible, in a letter to state lawmakers on Thursday.

He wrote that fires caused by "climate change driven extreme weather conditions" have triggered massive spending across the state.

Updated at 6:29 p.m. ET

Twitter on Thursday said it has "permanently suspended" conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his InfoWars outlet, citing "new reports of Tweets and videos posted yesterday that violate our abusive behavior policy."

Last month, YouTube, Apple, Facebook and Spotify banned Jones' main platforms over concerns about his content. But Twitter only suspended some of his privileges, a move that drew criticism.

Fully half the world's students aged 13 to 15, or 150 million teens, reported that they'd been bullied in the past month or been in a physical fight in the past year, according to a new report from UNICEF. In addition, half of all children live in countries that allow some forms of corporal punishment in school, putting 720 million kids at risk of violence from their teachers.

In 1967, Jocelyn Bell Burnell was a graduate student at Cambridge, working on a dissertation about strange objects in distant galaxies known as quasars.

She and her supervisor, Antony Hewish, had built a radio telescope to observe them. Data from the telescope scrolled out from a machine — a line in red ink, scrawling across 96 feet of chart paper each day.

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