health

Medical Research
11:57 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Chimp-Free Labs Bad News For Hepatitis C Research

Flickr Photo/Valentina Storti

The National Institutes of Health announced earlier this summer that it will reduce the number of chimpanzees used in scientific research and the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering classifying captive chimps, a category that includes these research chimps, as endangered species.

For many scientists, the use of chimps is unnecessary. But for those working towards a hepatitis C vaccine, there are few alternatives to chimps. David Hyde talks with University of Washington immunology professor Dr. Michael Gale Jr. about  the future of hepatitis C research.

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Paid Sick Leave
3:25 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Businesses Adjust To Seattle's Paid Sick Leave Law

Last September, Seattle began requiring employers with five or more employees to provide paid sick leave. The requirement was controversial. Some businesses feared it would affect their bottom lines. Now a series of new reports aims to gauge the law’s impact. The latest one, commissioned by the city of Seattle, looks at how employers have dealt with the mandate. 

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Oral Health
11:10 am
Thu September 19, 2013

'Mountain Dew Mouth' Is Destroying Appalachia's Teeth, Critics Say

Appalachia has a distinct culture of sipping soda constantly throughout the day. "Here in West Virginia, you see people carrying around bottles of Mountain Dew all the time — even at a public health conference," says public health researcher Dana Singer.
Jin Lee Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:50 am

Obesity. Diabetes. By now, we've all heard of the health risks posed by drinking too much soda.

But over in Appalachia, the region that stretches roughly from southern New York state to Alabama, the fight against soda is targeting an altogether different concern: rotted teeth.

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End Of Life Planning
2:08 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Is There Such A Thing As A Good Death?

Katy Butler's book "Knocking on Heaven's Door."

When Katy Butler’s father had a major stroke the family had a lot of medical options, except the one they most wanted: a humane and timely death. David Hyde speaks with Katy Butler about her new book, "Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path To A Better Way Of Death."

Mental Health
2:08 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

After Attacks, Seattle Rethinks How To Treat Mentally Ill

Police officials stand next to a bullet-ridden Seattle Metro bus on Aug. 12. A man with a history of mental illness shot and wounded the driver, then died in a chaotic shootout with police.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:01 pm

The Navy Yard massacre may renew concerns over the potential dangers of mentally ill people who don't get treatment. That issue is especially hot right now in Seattle, where the mayor has called untreated mental illness an "emergency."

Unstable In Seattle

Seattle's Pioneer Square is an uneasy mix of art galleries and skid road; it's gelato over here, and heroin over there. And then there's mental illness.

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RadioActive Youth Media
10:13 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Lifelong Smoker Goes Into Extra Innings In His Fight Against "Mr. C"

Jon Nyberg maintains a positive attitude while he battles a cancerous lump in his throat.
Courtesy of Susan Ewbank

How do we own up to our own mortality? RadioActive reporter Madeline Ewbank tells the story of one man's baseball game against cancer and the odds stacked against him.

Jon Nyberg is sitting out on my porch, watching the sunset and working on the latest New York Times Sunday puzzle. Fifty-two down: wake-up times, for short. He's proud of the grizzled chin and the head of wispy, gray hair he's been growing, a look his friend likes to call "the Amish experiment." But his skin hangs off his bones like his cigarette hangs off his lips.

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1:27 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Pakistan Battles Growing Alcohol Addiction

Lead in text: 
The subculture of liquor enjoyment belies Pakistan's status as officially "dry". That is, the 96 percent of Pakistanis who, according to official figures are Muslim, are not supposed to drink.The penalty if they do so is 80 lashes but it is not strictly enforced. Although there are many harmless social gatherings, there is also a growing problem of addiction to the bottle.
Alcoholism is a growing problem in Pakistan despite it being illegal for the Muslim majority to drink. The BBC's Charles Haviland finds lives ruined and clinics and therapy groups trying to overcome a taboo subject. Late one night, the beat of dance music drifts down from an upper storey of an apartment block on the edge of a Pakistani city.
Affordable Care Act
11:35 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Need Health Care? Wash. State Certifies Health Exchange Providers

Washington state’s Health Benefit Exchange officially opens for enrollment October 1. Last month, state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler approved plans from only four insurance companies. But last week, following negotiations with several insurance companies, Kreidler doubled that number. In total, 46 individual insurance plans from eight different companies will be available on the marketplace.

What will more choices mean for consumers seeking health coverage? Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler talked with Ross Reynolds.

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Food Safety
11:14 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Salmonella Found In Spices

Flickr Photo/Chris Martino

Salmonella is not just in poultry anymore; it's in our spices. In a recent study of more than 20,000 food shipments, the United States Food and Drug Administration found that nearly 7 percent of spice lots were contaminated with salmonella. That's twice the average of all other imported foods. Oregano, basil, cumin and black pepper are just some of the spices where salmonella contamination was found.

Marcie Sillman talks with FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess about the study. Burgess recommends adding spices to your food during the cooking process which will kill the salmonella bacteria and to follow basic food safety procedures.

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Texting and Driving
11:37 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Despite Danger People Still Texting And Driving

Flickr Photo/OregonDOT

Studies upon studies have exposed the dangers of texting and driving. Some go so far as to say texting is worse than drinking and driving. Renowned director Werner Herzog even made a film about it.

Yet a new University of Washington study shows that one in 12 drivers in Washington state are still using cellphones or other electronic devices on the road, and half of those using their devices are texting.

Ross Reynolds talks with Beth Ebel, the study's principal investigator and trauma doctor in the Injury Prevention and Research Center at Harborview, about her findings.

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Health Insurance
2:27 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Bill Clinton Steps Up To Dispel The Confusion Over Obamacare

He's back! Unabashed wonk and former president Bill Clinton detangles the health care law.
Danny Johnston Associated Press

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:22 pm

With the launch of the major piece of the Affordable Care Act less than a month away, the Obama administration is escalating the public relations push with one of their most effective weapons – former President Bill Clinton, now known to many as explainer in chief.

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Health Care Exchange
10:10 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Certification Of Wash. Health Plans Delayed

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

It will be another week before Washington consumers will know how many new certified health plans will be be sold in the exchange. The exchange is a web-based market for health insurance that’s part of the Affordable Care Act. The nine-member board that governs the exchange voted Thursday to delay certification until next week.

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Labor and Delivery
12:06 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Money May Be Motivating Doctors To Do More C-Sections

Pregnant doctors are less likely than other women to deliver their babies via C-section, recent research suggests. Economists say that may be because the physician patients feel more empowered to question the obstetrician.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 5:57 am

Obstetricians perform more cesarean sections when there are financial incentives to do so, according to a new study that explores links between economic incentives and medical decision-making during childbirth.

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Health Exchange
11:43 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Abortions Not Covered By Group Health, But Not Charged Either

Mike Kreidler, Washington state insurance commissioner.

Seattle’s nonprofit health care system, Group Health, has said they won’t be offering abortion coverage in the new health care exchange.

But they also said women will be able to get an abortion without paying more.

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Health News
10:12 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together

The tale of the tape may be told, in part, by the microbes inside you.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 3:39 pm

Scientists have discovered new clues about how microbes in our digestive systems may affect health.

European researchers found that the less diverse those microbes are, the more likely people are to gain weight, become obese and develop risk factors for serious health problems.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years that bacteria and other organisms in our bodies do a lot more than just help us digest food.

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