NPR Health

Shots - Health News
4:22 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Teens Who Skimp On Sleep Now Have More Drinking Problems Later

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:55 am

Sleep-deprived teenagers find it difficult to focus in class, and they're more likely get sick. They are also more likely to develop problems with alcohol later on, according to a study published Friday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

The study included teens who suffered from conditions like insomnia as well as those who simply weren't getting enough sleep. Teenagers ages 14 through 16 who had trouble falling or staying asleep were 47 percent more likely to binge drink than their well-rested peers.

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Goats and Soda
2:12 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Can A New Ban On Witchcraft Protect The Albinos Of Tanzania?

Children with albinism, a genetic condition that can cause vision problems, study at a school for the blind in Tanzania. Because albinos are often attacked, the school is a rare sanctuary.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 3:24 pm

This week, albinos and so-called witch doctors have made headlines. A number of news outlets reported that Tanzania had announced a ban on these "witch doctors" to curb attacks on people with albinism.

That made us wonder: What, exactly, is a witch doctor? And why are people with albinism under attack in Tanzania?

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Shots - Health News
11:56 am
Fri January 16, 2015

A Weight-Loss Device Aims To Curb Hunger By Zapping A Nerve

Electrical impulses generated by a pacemaker-like device are transmitted to the vagus nerve by electrodes.
Enteromedics

What if you could zap your hunger away? A device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday promises to do just that.

The VBLOC vagal blocking device, developed by EnteroMedics of St. Paul, Minn., generates an electrical pulse in the vagus nerve, perhaps blocking communication between the brain and stomach. Normally, the nerve helps tell the brain whether the stomach is empty or full, among many other tasks.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Pope, On Visit To Philippines, Defends Catholic Ban On Contraception

Pope Francis holds a Virgin Mary statue as he arrives at the Mall of Asia arena in Manila, Philippines, on Friday. The pontiff has issued a strong statement supporting the church's teachings on artificial contraception.
Alessandra Tarantino AP

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 11:01 am

Speaking to one of Asia's fastest-growing populations, Pope Francis issued what is being described as his strongest defense yet of the Catholic Church's opposition to artificial contraception, urging that Philippine families be "sanctuaries of respect for life."

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Shots - Health News
3:23 am
Fri January 16, 2015

By Making A Game Out Of Rejection, A Man Conquers Fear

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 7:56 am

Fear is one of the strongest and most basic of human emotions, and it's the focus of Fearless, the second episode of Invisibilia, NPR's new show on the invisible forces that shape human behavior.

This segment of the show explores how a man decided to conquer his fear of rejection by getting rejected every day — on purpose.

The evolution of Jason Comely, a freelance IT guy from Cambridge, Ontario, began one sad night several years ago.

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