If Stevie Wonder had been born three decades later, we might never have gotten "Superstition" and "Isn't She Lovely" — but the musician might never have gone blind, either. Born premature, Wonder developed retinopathy of prematurity, an eye disease that afflicts more than half of babies born before 30 weeks of gestation.

Dr. William Benitz walks past the rows of clear plastic isolettes in the neonatal intensive care unit at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University.

There's little room to navigate — the space is jampacked with beeping machines and ventilators. The health team in the unit can care for as many as 70 fragile infants. One tiny, pink baby girl here today was born weighing 13 ounces.

Today I was thinking about a friend of mine — a teacher, a neighbor — who passed away earlier this week. Out of respect for her family's privacy, I won't call her by her name. But believe me when I say she will be missed — by her family, of course, but also by me and other neighbors, by my children and the many, many other children (and adults) she taught over the years. There was so much to cherish: her generous spirit, her quiet, consistent encouragement, her appreciation of all the different personalities that came into her life.

For some time now, I've been skeptical about the neuroscience of consciousness. Not so much because I doubt that consciousness is affected by neural states and processes, but because of the persistent tendency on the part of some neuroscientists to think of consciousness itself as a neural phenomenon.

Chuck Lee, 73, goes in for dialysis three times a week. Each session takes four hours.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

For more than 600,000 patients living with end-stage kidney disease, dialysis is a lifesaver. But the blood-cleaning process keeps people attached to a large machine for hours multiple times per week.

What if there were a device they could just wear around?

The Supreme Court decided Friday to hear a challenge to a 2013 Texas law that has already forced the closure of more than half of the state's 40 clinics that perform abortions and could result in the closure of a dozen more.

Anne and Omar Shamiyeh first learned something was wrong with one of their twins during an ultrasound, when Anne was 18 weeks pregnant.

"The technician was, like, 'Well, there's no visualization of his stomach,' " says Anne. "And I was like, 'How does our baby have no stomach?' "

It turned out that the baby's esophagus was not connected to his stomach. He also had a heart defect. At the very least, he was likely to face surgeries and a long stay in intensive care. He might have lifelong disabilities.

StoryCorps' Memory Loss Initiative supports and encourages people with various forms of memory loss to share their stories with loved ones and future generations.

Teresa Valko lives in California, and her mother, 80-year-old Evelyn Wilson, lives in Georgia. They keep in touch with regular phone conversations.

Eight years ago, Wilson began to show symptoms of memory loss.

Nearly 1.2 million public housing units would need to become "entirely smoke-free" under a new rule put forth Thursday by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

The proposed rule would give more than 3,100 public housing agencies 18 months to ban cigarettes, cigars and pipes in all living units, indoor common areas and within 25 feet of buildings. The ban would also apply to administrative offices.

A street drug made of various chemicals sprayed on tea leaves, grass clippings and other plant material continues to send thousands of people suffering from psychotic episodes and seizures to emergency rooms around the country.

In 2015, calls to poison control regarding the drug already have almost doubled, compared to last year's total, and health professionals and lawmakers are struggling to keep up with the problem.

With 42 days having passed since the last negative blood test from an Ebola patient in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization has declared the deadly virus is no longer being transmitted in the country. Ebola killed more than 3,500 people in Sierra Leone's outbreak that began in May of 2014.

Marking the occasion Saturday, Dr. Anders Nordström of the WHO says that in Sierra Leone, "8,704 people were infected and 3,589 have died, 221 of them healthcare workers, all of whom we remember on this day."

A staffing shortage at Western State Hospital has created a crisis situation. Federal inspectors this week determined that patients and staff face immediate risk for harm.

The U.S. Supreme Court justices said Friday they would hear a group of cases brought by religious hospitals, schools, and charities that object to the system devised under Obamacare to spare them from paying for birth control coverage for their employees and students.

NPR's Nina Totenberg reports:

An intense debate has flared over whether the federal government should fund research that creates partly human creatures using human stem cells.

A doctor takes a blood sample from an older patient.
Flickr Photo/World Bank Photo Collection (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/

American seniors are growing in numbers. But the number of geriatricians, doctors who specialize in treating older patients, is actually shrinking.

And there aren’t enough in the pipeline to meet the growing need.