NPR Blogs

Shots - Health News
4:29 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Bariatric Surgery Can Keep Pounds Off For Years

Just knowing that someone is obese doesn't mean they would benefit from bariatric surgery, doctors say.
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Weight-loss surgery is becoming increasingly popular because it's the only treatment that pretty much guarantees weight loss.

There is very little evidence on how it will affect people's health over the long haul. But people who had surgery maintained substantial weight loss three years later, according to a study that's trying to figure out if it works.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Why Are Pig Farmers Still Using Growth-Promoting Drugs?

In recent years, pork producers have found ways to keep the animals healthy through improved hygiene.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 7:42 pm

It's one of the most controversial practices in agriculture: feeding small amounts of antibiotics to animals in order to make them grow faster.

But what if the drugs don't even work very well?

There's some good evidence that they don't, at least in pigs. They used to deliver a boost in growth, but that effect has disappeared in recent years or declined greatly.

The reason for this is interesting and even paradoxical.

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The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Not An Earthquake: Quarry Blast Sparks Tremors In Chicago Suburbs

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:20 pm

Around lunchtime today, residents in Chicago's western suburbs felt the earth shake. As WLS-TV reported, they assumed it was an earthquake and the United States Geological Survey reported it as a 3.7 magnitude quake.

While rare, earthquakes do happen in this part of the country. This would have been a significant one for the area.

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Shots - Health News
2:45 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Johnson & Johnson To Pay $2.2 Billion In Marketing Settlement

The schizophrenia drug Risperdal was at the heart of government investigations into improper marketing that stretched back more than a decade.
JB Reed Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:00 pm

Like professional baseball, the drug industry may need to slap asterisks next to some of its standout sales accomplishments.

Johnson & Johnson became the latest drugmaker to reach a costly agreement with the federal government over charges of improper marketing. The widely anticipated settlement, unveiled Monday, covers Natrecor, a drug for congestive heart failure, and antipsychotics Risperdal and Invega.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffles

I tried to spell out "HELP" with syrup in the little squares, but there aren't enough pixels.
NPR

If you sell food, this is the time of year you have no choice but to sell something with pumpkin spice flavoring. This has been especially hard on Taco Bell, which — nationwide — has sold only one Pumpkin Spice Dorito Loco Taco. Today, we try the Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffle, washed down with the classic Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Eva: In the Fall, never ask a woman if she's pregnant. She might just have Pumpkin Spice Latte Belly.

Peter: I think these are a great fall treat, redolent as they are of death and decay.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Johns Hopkins Halts, Reviews Black Lung Program

Johns Hopkins Medicine says it will suspend and review its black lung program, following joint investigative reports last week from the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News that found the program "helped coal companies thwart efforts by ailing mine workers to receive disability benefi

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Child Care Costs, Already High, Outpace Family Income Gains

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:55 pm

In 2012, the cost of child care in the U.S. grew up to eight times faster than family income, according to a new study of the average fees paid to child care centers and family child care homes.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:13 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Let's Talk: Can Comments Advance Science?

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Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 1:42 pm

A little over a week ago The National Center for Biotechnology Information launched PubMed Commons, a platform that allows registered users to comment on published abstracts available through PubMed, a database of more than 23 million citations for biomedical research.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Kenya Charges Four With Aiding Terrorism In Mall Assault

The first formal charges have been filed in the attack and standoff at a Nairobi mall that left at least 67 people dead. Four men are charged with aiding terrorism.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:55 am

Four men in Nairobi, Kenya, are facing charges that include harboring terrorists who conducted an attack that left at least 67 people dead in September. The formal charges are the first filed over the assault and standoff at Nairobi's Westgate Mall.

One of the men is accused of offering refuge to a gunman after the attack, according to court documents cited in Kenyan media. Authorities say others allowed the attackers to stay at their homes before the attack. At least one of them also faces charges related to false identification documents.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Mon November 4, 2013

SAC Agrees To Plead Guilty To Insider Trading

Steven A. Cohen, founder and chairman of SAC Capital Advisors, is interviewed in Las Vegas in 2011.
Steve Marcus Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 4:21 pm

Reaching a plea deal with federal prosecutors, the hedge fund firm SAC Capital Advisors has agreed to plead guilty to insider trading, pay a $1.8 billion fine and end its investment advisory business.

Reuters reports:

"U.S. prosecutors on Monday filed a letter describing the deal to the judges in a pair of cases - one criminal, the other a civil forfeiture action - against SAC Capital stemming from a massive insider trading investigation. The judges would have to approve the deal."

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Pop In A Cassette And Celebrate? Chrysler's Minivans Are 30

It was radical in its day: Chrysler's minivans first rolled off assembly lines in November 1983. This is one of those original model year 1984 editions.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:23 am

Depending on how many hours you spent in the backseat being tortured by a sibling or how many hours you spent in the driver's seat being forced by your kids to listen to Beat It, this may not be an anniversary you wish to celebrate.

And the honoree has many critics who say it was just darn ugly when it debuted in 1983.

But there are those who seem to be looking back with fondness on the now 30-year-old life of the Chrysler minivan. After all, it's a vehicle that basically created a market that didn't exist, was imitated by others and became a cultural icon.

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Google's Eric Schmidt Says Reports Of NSA Spying Are 'Outrageous'

Executive Chairman of Google Eric Schmidt speaks at the Chinese University in Hong Kong on Monday.
Philippe Lopez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:24 am

Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt says reports that the NSA circumvented the Internet giant's efforts to protect its users' data are "outrageous."

Schmidt made the comments in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

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Monkey See
9:40 am
Mon November 4, 2013

That'll Always Be The Dream: National Novel Writing Month

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Did you know November is National Novel Writing Month?

It isn't by order of Congress, but it is on the internet, where you'll see this combination of letters — NaNoWriMo — all over the place, making absolutely no sense and sounding to the uninitiated like a species of caterpillar or a ship on Star Trek. Amusingly enough, even that is too long for participants trying to pound out a book in a month, so they call it, very often, "NaNo."

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Mon November 4, 2013

BlackBerry Abandons Sales Plans, Will Replace CEO

BlackBerry's CEO Thorsten Heins officially unveils the Z10 smartphone in January.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 10:43 am

BlackBerry says it is abandoning a $4.7 billion deal to sell the struggling mobile company to a consortium of investors lead by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Mon November 4, 2013

For Many Iranians, 'Death To America' Are Just Words

Iranian girls show their hands, marked with the words "Down with USA," at Monday's demonstration in Tehran.
Abedin Tahrkenareh EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon November 4, 2013 11:24 am

On this 34th anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, thousands of Iranians gathered outside that building to once again chant "Death to America."

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