health

Saying it wants to make football safer for current and future athletes, the NFL is pledging to spend $100 million for "independent medical research and engineering advancements." A main goal will be to prevent and treat head injuries.

Announcing the pledge Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said it is in addition to the $100 million the league already committed toward medical research of brain injuries and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the progressive degenerative disease that has been found in football players.

Sugar shocked.

That describes the reaction of many Americans this week following revelations that, 50 years ago, the sugar industry paid Harvard scientists for research that shifted the focus away from sugar's role in heart disease — and put the spotlight squarely on dietary fat.

What might surprise consumers is just how many present-day nutrition studies are still funded by the food industry.

Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona in March 2016.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/FpiUUf

Bill Radke speaks with Kristen Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director of Mom's Rising and an advocate for paid sick and family leave, about the attention being placed on Hillary Clinton's illness. Rowe-Finkbeiner says Clinton is just a symptom of a bigger problem in American workplace culture. 

Lung cancer isn't just a smoker's disease

Sep 13, 2016
Lung cancer carries the stigma of being caused by a person's own actions, but many get lung cancer without ever having smoked.
Flickr Photo/Hannah Sorensson (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/o8CRgP

Bill Radke speaks with writer Janet Freeman-Daily, a lung cancer survivor, about the fact that lung cancer is not just a smoker's disease. Freeman-Daily says the association between lung cancer and smoking makes it harder for lung cancer researchers to get funding because it's seen as something people bring upon themselves. Freeman-Daily herself has never been a smoker. 

Doctors Test Drones To Speed Up Delivery Of Lab Tests

Sep 13, 2016

Three years ago, Geoff Baird bought a drone. The Seattle dad and hobby plane enthusiast used the 2.5-pound quadcopter to photograph the Hawaiian coastline and film his son's soccer and baseball games.

Would You Like Some Insurance With Your Insurance?

Sep 13, 2016

For the first time in her life, 26-year-old freelance designer Susannah Lohr had to shop for health insurance this year.

She called up a major insurer in the St. Louis area where she lives, and it offered her a plan with a hefty $6,000 deductible — that's the amount she'd have to cover herself before the insurance kicks in.

When she balked, the salesman on the phone suggested that she could buy a "gap plan," a separate policy for $50 a month to cover her deductible.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

Kratom Advocates Speak Out Against Proposed Government Ban

Sep 12, 2016

Kratom is made from the leaves of a small tree native to Southeast Asia that is a relative of the coffee plant. According to David Kroll, a pharmacologist and medical writer, farmers and indigenous people have used it for hundreds of years as both a stimulant to increase work output and also at the end of the day as a way to relax.

The leaves are often brewed like a tea, or crushed and mixed with water. In the U.S., kratom has become popular among people coping with chronic pain and others trying to wean themselves off opioids or alcohol.

Karisa Rowland is one of them.

A task force to address King County’s heroin epidemic will release recommendations this week that could include a safe consumption site for people who use drugs.

The group will make another recommendation: creating a buprenorphine program at the site of Seattle’s Needle Exchange program.

The Oregon Health Authority has a lot on its plate. It arranges medical care for low income people, operates the state's mental hospitals, and even oversees the medical marijuana programs.

If you've ever wanted to watch a superbug evolve before your very eyes, you're in luck. Researchers filmed an experiment that created bacteria a thousand times more drug-resistant than their ancestors. In the time-lapse video, a white bacterial colony creeps across an enormous black petri dish plated with vertical bands of successively higher doses of antibiotic.

Rage Against The Busted Medical Machines

Sep 8, 2016

"Oh, we have a hematology analyzer but it stopped working," the lab technician said as he pointed to a covered tabletop medical equipment in the corner used to measure blood count levels — an important but simple tool for a community where anemia and infections are prevalent.

A University of Washington Medical Center employee says researchers have sometimes claimed patient tissues before diagnosis was complete. The medical center says it is strengthening its policies on this issue.
KUOW PHOTO/AMY RADIL

When cancer tissue is removed from a patient, doctors are supposed to hand it over to someone to form diagnosis and treatment recommendations.

Leftover tissue goes to research.

Bill Radke speaks with Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer about a court case in Vancouver, B.C. looking at how the public health care system in Canada is run. One doctor is challenging restrictions on private care. 

Most of the world didn't know anyone lived in the highlands of Papua New Guinea until the 1930s, when Australian gold prospectors surveying the area realized there were about a million people there.

When researchers made their way to those villages in the 1950s, they found something disturbing. Among a tribe of about 11,000 people called the Fore, up to 200 people a year had been dying of an inexplicable illness. They called the disease kuru, which means "shivering" or "trembling."

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