Rob Stein http://nhpr.org en The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much http://nhpr.org/post/dread-factor-why-ebola-and-contagion-scare-us-so-much The Ebola outbreak has set off an alarm around the world. Public health leaders say the intense concern is appropriate, given the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/08/21/341992005/how-much-bigger-is-the-ebola-outbreak-than-official-reports">unprecedented size</a> of the outbreak and the deadliness of the virus.<p>But experts say the outbreak has also produced a lot of unfounded fears. Even just the word <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/147820238/ebola">Ebola</a> is kind of terrifying.<p>Why? Fri, 22 Aug 2014 07:31:00 +0000 Rob Stein 54191 at http://nhpr.org The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change http://nhpr.org/post/who-gets-first-dibs-transplanted-liver-rules-may-change Vicki Hornbuckle used to play the piano at her church. But that was before her liver started failing.<p>"I had to give it up because I couldn't keep up," says Hornbuckle, 54, of Snellville, Georgia. "I didn't have the energy to do three services on Sunday. You're just too tired to deal with anything. And so, it's not a life that you want to live."<p>But Hornbuckle hasn't given up. She's fighting to stay alive long enough to get a liver transplant.<p>"I would like to see my grandchildren grow up," she says. Thu, 14 Aug 2014 07:35:00 +0000 Rob Stein 53712 at http://nhpr.org Who Gets First Dibs On Transplanted Liver? Rules May Change With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter http://nhpr.org/post/mens-y-chromosome-size-really-may-not-matter Basic biology has it that girls are girls because they have two X chromosomes — the things inside cells that carry our genes. Boys are boys because they have one X and one Y. Recently, though, there's been a lot of debate in scientific circles about the fate of that Y chromosome — the genetic basis of maleness.<p>Very early in the evolution of the Y chromosome, explains <a href="http://wi.mit.edu/people/faculty/page">Dr. David Page</a>, a geneticist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, something pretty dramatic happened: The ancestral Y lost most of its genes. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:41:00 +0000 Rob Stein 52693 at http://nhpr.org With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes? http://nhpr.org/post/do-we-choose-our-friends-because-they-share-our-genes People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there's some new research out that suggests there's more to that than just a feeling. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:08:00 +0000 Rob Stein 51901 at http://nhpr.org Individual Conscience And Society Collide Over Contraception http://nhpr.org/post/individual-conscience-and-society-collide-over-contraception Contraception is the latest in a long line of often bitter history of balancing the right of conscience with the needs of society. (This piece first aired on Feb. 16, 2012 on All Things Considered.) Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:14:00 +0000 Rob Stein 51336 at http://nhpr.org Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True http://nhpr.org/post/easy-method-making-stem-cells-was-too-good-be-true A prestigious scientific journal Wednesday took the unusual step of retracting some high-profile research that had generated international excitement about stem cell research.<p>The British scientific journal <em>Nature</em> retracted two papers published in January by scientists at the <a href="http://www.riken.jp/en/">Riken </a>research institute in Japan and at <a href="http://hms.harvard.edu/">Harvard Medical School</a> that claimed that they could create stem cells simply by dipping skin and blood cells into acid.<p>The claim raised the possibility of being able to use the cells to easily Wed, 02 Jul 2014 15:37:00 +0000 Rob Stein 51214 at http://nhpr.org Easy Method For Making Stem Cells Was Too Good To Be True Warnings Against Antidepressants For Teens May Have Backfired http://nhpr.org/post/warnings-against-antidepressants-teens-may-have-backfired Government warnings that antidepressants may be risky for adolescents, and the ensuing media coverage, appear to have caused an increase in suicide attempts among young people, researchers reported Wednesday.<p>A study involving the health records of more than 7 million people between 2000 and 2010 found a sharp drop in antidepressant use among adolescents and young people and a significant increase in suicide attempts after the Food and Drug Administration issued its warnings.<p>"This was a huge worldwide event in terms of the mass media," says <a href="http://www.populationmedicine.org/node/ Wed, 18 Jun 2014 22:34:00 +0000 Rob Stein 50470 at http://nhpr.org Warnings Against Antidepressants For Teens May Have Backfired Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes http://nhpr.org/post/father-devises-bionic-pancreas-help-son-diabetes An alarm sounds on Ed Damiano's night stand in the middle of the night. He jumps out of bed and rushes into his son's room next door.<p>His son, David, has Type 1 diabetes. The 15-year-old sleeps hooked up to a monitor that sounds an alarm when his blood sugar gets too low. If it drops sharply, David could die in his sleep.<p>"The fear is that there's going to be this little cold limb, and I screwed up. It's all on me," Damiano says.<p>But when he touches David's hand, he's warm. He's OK. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 07:50:00 +0000 Rob Stein 50267 at http://nhpr.org Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes Teen Smoking Hits A 22-Year Low, But Other Tobacco Uses Rise http://nhpr.org/post/teen-smoking-hits-22-year-low-other-tobacco-uses-rise Cigarette smoking among U.S. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 17:14:00 +0000 Rob Stein 50126 at http://nhpr.org Teen Smoking Hits A 22-Year Low, But Other Tobacco Uses Rise Should HPV Testing Replace The Pap Smear? http://nhpr.org/post/should-hpv-testing-replace-pap-smear Robin Reath was getting a routine checkup recently when her doctor brought up something new about cervical cancer screening.<p>"We might be doing something a little bit different than what we've been doing in the past when we've screened you," said <a href="https://www.medstarhealth.org/provider/andrea-jacobs-singer-md-internal-medicine">Dr. Andrea Singer</a>, an internist at the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington.<p>For years, doctors have been using the Pap smear to screen for cervical cancer. Wed, 21 May 2014 07:24:00 +0000 Rob Stein 48860 at http://nhpr.org Should HPV Testing Replace The Pap Smear? 3rd U.S. Case Raises More Questions About MERS Virus http://nhpr.org/post/3rd-us-case-raises-more-questions-about-mers-virus Federal health officials reported over the weekend that the virus that causes Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, had spread from one person to another for the first time in the U.S. Tue, 20 May 2014 09:13:00 +0000 Rob Stein 48785 at http://nhpr.org Deadly MERS Virus Detected In Florida http://nhpr.org/post/deadly-mers-virus-detected-florida The second U.S. case of a dangerous new virus from the Middle East has been found in Florida, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/a0512-US-MERS.html">said</a> Monday.<p>The patient is a health care worker from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who developed symptoms May 1 while traveling to Orlando, Fla., to visit family, the CDC said.<p>MERS is a life-threatening respiratory infection that first emerged on the Arabian Peninsula in 2012. Mon, 12 May 2014 19:54:00 +0000 Rob Stein 48358 at http://nhpr.org Deadly MERS Virus Detected In Florida Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO http://nhpr.org/post/keep-or-kill-last-lab-stocks-smallpox-time-decide-says-who The World Health Organization is revisiting a question that's been the subject of intense debate for decades: whether to destroy the only known samples of the smallpox virus.<p>The World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body, is set to <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2014/wha67/en/">convene </a>May 19 to vote on a <a href="http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA67/A67_37-en.pdf">recommendation</a> to destroy the stocks of smallpox virus held at the U.S. Fri, 09 May 2014 21:06:00 +0000 Rob Stein 48249 at http://nhpr.org Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO First American Case Of MERS Reported In Indiana http://nhpr.org/post/first-american-case-mers-reported-indiana Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. The first case of MERS has been confirmed in the U.S. MERS stands for Middle East Respiratory Virus Syndrome. Health officials say a man in Indiana was hospitalized on Monday and is in stable condition. Fri, 02 May 2014 20:21:00 +0000 Rob Stein 47816 at http://nhpr.org 'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Sperm http://nhpr.org/post/out-skin-cells-sperm-provocative-fertility-treatment Scientists reported Thursday they had figured out a way to make primitive human sperm out of skin cells, an advance that could someday help infertile men have children.<p>"I probably get 200 emails a year from people who are infertile, and very often the heading on the emails is: Can you help me?" says <a href="http://www.montana.edu/news/12229/internationally-recognized-stem-cell-scientist-to-lead-msu-s-research-enterprise">Renee Reijo Pera</a> of Montana State University, who led the research when she was at Stanford University.<p>In a <a href="http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211 Thu, 01 May 2014 20:54:00 +0000 Rob Stein 47752 at http://nhpr.org 'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Sperm