Jane McGonigal
Wikipedia/Public Domain

Ross Reynolds interviews Jane McGonigal, director of game research and development at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, about her new book "Superbetter."

While recovering from a debilitating concussion, McGonigal applied what she knew about game science and cognitive psychology to speed her recovery. She points to research that finds games can help control pain more effectively than opiates and help reduce post-traumatic stress disorder.

When Deciding To Live Means Avoiding Guns

Sep 24, 2015

When you're managing a mental health issue, home's not always a safe place.

I recently talked with a 23-year-old in Oakland, Calif., who says he's worried about an upcoming visit to his aunt's home on the East Coast. He's afraid of what he might do to himself there.

"I know that in my aunt's house there are three guns in the basement," says the young man, who asked that NPR not use his name.


Seattleite Amelia Bonow is not the type to whisper about anything. But her abortion was something she kept to herself – until a few days ago.

We know who we are: women of a "certain age" trying to hold back the assault of menopausal symptoms, and we are often desperate. Some of us remain on hormone replacement therapy. But many of us are unable to use hormones for medical reasons or by choice. As a result, droves of us turn to all sorts of treatments, everything from acupuncture to yoga to antidepressants to herbs. And surveys show most women are completely befuddled as to whether any of these treatments actually work.

Take a look at the latest obesity data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and you can see that the country's obesity epidemic is far from over.

Even in Colorado, the state with the lowest rate, 21.3 percent of its population is obese. Arkansas tops the list with 35.9 percent.

When doctors told Robert Madison that his wife had dementia, they didn't explain very much. His successful career as an architect hardly prepared him for what came next.

Harborview Hospital, Seattle, 2002
Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)/

A new federal grant gives Harborview Medical Center a boost in combating gun violence. The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday awarded about $500,000 to organizations in Seattle, including Harborview.

The hospital wants to talk with gunshot victims about the reasons they ended up in the hospital -- sometimes due to gang activity or crime. 

Guys, we need to talk. You lag behind women when it comes to getting health coverage, according to a recent U.S. Census report. Not only that, you tend to shy away from health screenings.

And compared to women, you don’t have a regular clinician to go to when you’re sick or need medical advice. That’s according to the Journal of American Medical Association.

The wealth gap in America manifests itself not just in our pocketbooks but also in our bellies: The poor are eating less nutritious food than everyone else.

So concludes a new review of 25 studies published between 2003 and 2014 that looked at the food spending and quality of diets of participants in SNAP, the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps.

Jon Tucker (left), 76, has been a regular mall walker for 10 years.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Shops aren’t open yet, but a little before 8 a.m., Bellevue Square is already buzzing with walkers.

Carrying a portable oxygen tank, Jon Tucker is one of them. “I’m not very fast, but I get there,” he says.

It's our own fault.

In the U.S., Japan, Korea and elsewhere, we use antibiotics too much. We use them to treat coughs and colds — for which they're ineffective. We've used them in animal feed in an attempt to prevent disease and to fatten cows and chickens. And the more we use antibiotics, the greater the likelihood that clever bacteria will evolve in ways that resist the attack of antibiotics. So once-treatable infections become difficult or impossible to cure.

With school in full swing and flu season just around the corner, you might be looking for a way to keep those germs at bay. But if you're stocking up on antibacterial soaps, a study suggests you might as well be reaching for that regular old bar of soap instead.

More people die prematurely because of the air they breathe than the 2.8 million who die each year of HIV/AIDS and malaria combined.

That's the startling statistic from a new study in this week's journal Nature. The annual global death toll from outdoor air pollution is 3.3 million. (Premature death is a medical term that means a usually preventable death that occurs before expected — for instance, earlier than the life expectancy of age 78 in the U.S.).

Participants in a lung-cancer screening study interpreted their results 'in all kinds of different ways that were not very accurate,' says Dr. Steven Zeliadt of the UW  School of Public Health.
CDC Photo/Debora Cartagena

We screen for breast cancer and colon cancer, among others. The scientific consensus: These screenings help detect disease and prevent it from spreading. But one Seattle doctor found that lung cancer screening alone may not be enough to motivate smokers to quit.

People use Instagram to share all kinds of images online — taking selfies and posting photos of brunch, of course, but also discovering raw talent or telling stories that might not otherwise get attention.

That's exactly what many photojournalists use Instagram for: posting photos to draw attention to issues they're passionate about. And visual media giants like Getty Images have taken notice.