Health

8:50am

Tue December 18, 2012
Shots - Health News

Seniors Looking To Quit Smoking Get More Help From Medicare

Medicare is making it easier for beneficiaries to stamp out cigarettes for good.
larding Flickr

Everyone knows that quitting smoking is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk of dying.

But it has taken a long time for some Medicare beneficiaries to get the same kind of help with quitting that's routinely available to people with private health insurance.

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1:18am

Tue December 18, 2012
Shots - Health News

NIH Revisits Debate On Controversial Bird Flu Research

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:14 am

A prefectural officer carries a chicken on a poultry farm on Oct. 15 on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, where chickens suspected of being infected with bird flu were found.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health in Maryland is holding a second day of talks about whether and how to continue funding some controversial scientific experiments.

Back in January, virologists agreed to temporarily stop research that was creating new forms of bird flu because critics argued that the work was too dangerous. NIH officials are now seeking input from scientists and the public about how to proceed.

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3:08pm

Mon December 17, 2012
Shots - Health News

Lead Poisoning Cases Offer New Reminder About Hazards Of Ancient Remedies

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 2:37 pm

The Ayurvedic remedies above were included in a 2004 study by researchers at Harvard Medical School that found dangerous levels of heavy metals in 14 out of 70 products.
CHITOSE SUZUKI ASSOCIATED PRESS

These days, just about everyone seems to be looking for more natural alternatives to what they eat and drink. So it's easy to see the appeal of traditional medicine. But as two recent cases from New York City highlight, just because a remedy is ancient or holistic doesn't necessarily mean it's safe.

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1:04pm

Mon December 17, 2012
Shots - Health News

Scientists Look For New Drugs In Skin Of Russian Frog

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:01 am

Before the advent of refrigeration, Russians had a neat trick for keeping their milk from spoiling. They'd drop a live frog in the milk bucket.

The Russians weren't sure how this amphibian dairy treatment worked, but they were convinced it did.

Since then, researchers have discovered that the goo some frogs secrete through their skin has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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8:53am

Mon December 17, 2012
Shots - Health News

Herbs And Empires: A Brief, Animated History Of Malaria Drugs

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 6:57 am

Adam Cole NPR

What do Jesuit priests, gin and tonics, and ancient Chinese scrolls have in common? They all show up in our animated history of malaria.

It's a story of geopolitical struggles, traditional medicine, and above all, a war of escalation between scientists and a tiny parasite. Malaria has proved to be a wily foe: Every time we think we have it backed into a corner, it somehow escapes.

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