Health/Science/Tech | KERA News

Health/Science/Tech

Every week, KERA explores the latest in health, science and technology in North Texas through two main series, Vital Signs and Breakthroughs.

Charts at UNT Health Science Center's Human Movement Performance Lab.
Credit Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

Vital Signs

In Vital Signs, Sam Baker taps into the expertise of local health care leaders to provide insight into your everyday health and well-being.

Breakthroughs

In Breakthroughs, KERA reporters delve into the latest health-related technologies developed in North Texas and across the state. From the Zika virus to fried chicken, no scientific topic is off limits. 

Learn more in-depth multimedia projects: Surviving Ebola, a look at how Ebola made its way to Dallas and the lessons local hospitals and governments learned; Growing Up After Cancer, the journey of one North Texas boy with cancer; and The Broken Hip, an in-depth look at how a fall can change everything. 

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A new state law that took effect in September requires health providers to perform additional testing for congenital syphilis, but a county hospital official says education is key to effectively addressing the surge in cases.

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Transitioning from military to civilian life is notoriously challenging. For female veterans, the process involves several unique barriers, many that are just now being acknowledged. 

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It’s estimated there’ll be nearly 269,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer this year. It’s not a disease most people care to think about until it happens to them. As a result, there are plenty of myths out there about breast cancer.

EPA Proposes New Regulations For Lead In Drinking Water

Oct 11, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a new proposal that would change how communities test for lead in drinking water. It's the first major update to the Lead and Copper Rule in nearly 30 years, but it does not go as far as many health advocates had hoped.

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Sleep disorders keep many people from getting a good night's rest. Neurologist Dr. Guy Leschziner joins Think host Krys Boyd to talk about sleepwalking and why some people find themselves driving, eating or cooking in their sleep. His new book is called, “The Nocturnal Brain: Nightmares, Neuroscience, and the Secret World of Sleep.”

If you have a cellphone or a laptop or an electric car, you have UT Austin professor John Goodenough to thank for helping create the lightweight, rechargeable battery that makes it work.

Goodenough was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for his part in the creation of the lithium-ion battery, almost 35 years after it became commercially viable.

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The CDC currently estimates more than 1,000 cases of lung-related illnesses across the country related to e-cigarettes. The cases have developed over years, and doctors have learned a lot over that time about vaping. But one pulmonologist worries about what we still don’t know.

How To Talk To Teens About Vaping

Oct 6, 2019

Vape pens are easy to conceal, they're easy to confuse with other electronic gadgets like USB flash drives, and they generally don't leave lingering smells on clothes. All these things make them appealing to underage users, and confounding to parents. Gone are the days when sniffing a teenager's jacket or gym bag counted as passive drug screening. Now if parents want to know if their teens are vaping nicotine or cannabis, their best bet is a good old fashioned conversation.

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Although some students view school as a pain, it really may be a pain for others because of heavy backpacks. A local physical therapist talks about ways to minimize the discomfort.

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We all have an ACE score, or a tally of adverse childhood experiences. ACEs refer to any kind of abuse, neglect or traumatic experience that a child faces before they turn 18. The more of those difficult experiences a person faced, the higher their ACE score.

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As if the discomfort from the virus wasn't enough, here's another reason to get your flu shot: New research suggests the vaccine may help avoid heart attacks and strokes.

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Whether it's a passion for health care or a desire to help others, many therapists get into the profession for deeply personal reasons. KERA's Syeda Hasan has been talking with therapists around the state. Here are their stories about what drew them to this line of work.

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More people can now take advantage of a less invasive way to replace the major valve in the heart and avoid open heart surgery.

An asylum-seeking boy from Central America runs down a hallway of a shelter in San Diego after arriving from an immigration detention center on Dec. 11, 2018. Experts say when parents are detained or deported, the children's trauma can last a long time.
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Physical pain, post-traumatic stress and inconsolable crying are just some of the experiences of migrant children highlighted in a report out this month from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. 

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One more reason to avoid high blood pressure: A new study suggests a possible link between high blood pressure and dementia.

The study followed about 4,800 Americans for 24 years. The results found two blood pressure patterns associated with increased risk of dementia.

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Lithium has been hailed a "miracle drug" for treating bipolar disorder. Walter A. Brown, clinical professor emeritus at Brown University, talks with Think host Krys Boyd about how the drug has been a transformative treatment for many people with bipolar disorder. 

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It's normal to have anxiety around forgetting parts of our past, but the process can be beneficial to our life experience, says author Lewis Hyde.

At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.

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Americans usually eat salad at lunch or dinner, but a current food trend involves salad for breakfast. A North Texas dietitian says this can be a great way to get a healthy start.

El Paso residents place flowers at a makeshift memorial for the victims of the Saturday mass shooting at a shopping complex.
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News of the El Paso shooting hit close to home for Julio Acosta. His family came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was two, and he grew up in North Texas, where the suspected shooter lived.

Acosta sees the attack as the culmination of ongoing anti-immigrant attitudes and policies.

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The Texas heat makes air conditioning nothing less than a necessity, but it also can make for health-related problems if you’re not careful.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

One in 6 people will have a mood disorder, according to a new UT Southwestern study that looks at how the medical community can better treat depression. UT Southwestern's Dr. Madhukar Trivedi talks with KERA's Think host Krys Boyd about the people we should look to for early detection -- primary care physicians.

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Individual household cleaning products are considered safe when handled correctly. But the North Texas Poison Center says mixing any of them is a bad idea.

Could it happen here? It's a question a lot of people ask in the wake of a traumatic event.

Even if you're not directly connected to the events in El Paso, Gilroy or Dayton, chances are you've felt the weight of them.

Melody Stout and Hannah Payan comfort each other during a vigil Saturday night for victims of the El Paso shooting.
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Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas needs to do a better job of addressing its mental health care challenges after a deadly mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart.

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More than 3 million people are diagnosed each year with the spinal disorder spondylolisthesis, in which  one bone slips onto another. It can impact both adults and children and is common among teenagers involved in athletics.

New research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference last month is shedding light on why the disease affects more women than men.

According to the association, two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease are women, and researchers point to a number of factors that could contribute to this discrepancy.

At the dedication of the St. Dymphna Center at the St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Dripping Springs last February, Father Charlie Garza told parishioners the story of Christopher Rosilier, who had “set the tone” for the previous five years of his pastoral work.

Carter Blood Care

Time's running short for Carter BloodCare. The Texas-based blood bank says blood collections are not keeping pace with transfusion needs of hospital patients.

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About 250,000 people each year get pacemakers implanted to help maintain a steady heartbeat. Infection rates from the procedure are low in the U.S. But a simple mesh envelope is helping to reduce that rate further. 

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