Health & Science

Men are dying after opioid overdoses at nearly three times the rate of women in the United States. Overdose deaths are increasing faster among black and Latino Americans than among whites. And there's an especially steep rise in the number of young adults ages 25 to 34 whose death certificates include some version of the drug fentanyl.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Underwater - that is the status again today across a lot of the Midwest. Take Nebraska, where many homes and offices and roads are submerged. People are dragging sandbags, shifting everything they can to higher ground and hoping and waiting for the water to recede. Well, our next guest has had a bird's-eye view of the damage. Major General Daryl Bohac is the head of the Nebraska National Guard. He's been touring the state by helicopter today. General, first of all, welcome and, second of all, where exactly have we caught you?

A recent study that questioned the healthfulness of eggs raised a perpetual question: Why do studies, as has been the case with health research involving eggs, so often flip-flop from one answer to another?

The truth isn't changing all the time. But one reason for the fluctuations is that scientists have a hard time handling the uncertainty that's inherent in all studies. There's a new push to address this shortcoming in a widely used – and abused – scientific method.

The European Commission is hitting Google with a fine of 1.49 billion euros (some $1.7 billion) for "abusive practices" in online advertising, saying the search and advertising giant broke the EU's antitrust rules and abused its market dominance by preventing or limiting its rivals from working with companies that had deals with Google. The case revolves around search boxes that are embedded on websites and that display ads brokered by Google.

In 'Horizon,' Considering All That Is Connected

20 hours ago

A Barry Lopez book is never a quick read: "Each place on Earth goes deep."

Of course, deftly sketched landscapes are one of his chief delights — and Horizon, suspended halfway between travelogue and memoir, offers plenty of them. But Lopez — who often chronicles himself wandering from one landscape to another, or away from the group he's journeying with, or away from the initial reason for coming to a place — wants us, above all else, to consider. To find context and connections. To think about where to go from here. To take our time.

The Sackler family's $1.3 million donation to the U.K.'s National Portrait Gallery will not go ahead as planned, as both sides say they're concerned that allegations of opioid profiteering against the family could overshadow the gift and become a distraction.

"It has become evident that recent reporting of allegations made against Sackler family members may cause this new donation to deflect the National Portrait Gallery from its important work," a spokesperson for the Sackler Trust said.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The race to build the next generation of super-fast mobile-data networks has begun in Germany, which started auctioning off its spectrum licenses for 5G on Tuesday.

But this highly technical event has become the center of a geopolitical storm between the U.S. and China, with Europe caught in the middle.

States. They're just as perplexed as the rest of us over the ever-rising cost of health care premiums.

Now some states — including Montana, North Carolina and Oregon -- are moving to control costs of state employee health plans. Their strategy: Use Medicare reimbursement rates to recalibrate how they pay hospitals. If the gamble pays off, more private-sector employers could start doing the same thing.

A San Francisco federal jury unanimously agreed on Tuesday that Roundup caused a man's cancer — a potentially massive blow to the company that produces the glyphosate-based herbicide currently facing hundreds of similar lawsuits.

After five days of deliberation the jury concluded the weed killer was a "substantial factor" in causing non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Edwin Hardeman, a 70-year-old Sonoma County man.

Weed use is taking off as more states move to legalize it. And with all the buzz over medical marijuana, it's starting to gain an aura of healthfulness. But there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use. One of the more troubling ones is the risk of having a psychotic episode.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Naturally a parent whose child is addicted to opioids would want them in rehab and would want their insurance to cover them for as long as it takes. But for Becki Sarnicky's son Nick, what seemed like the best way to help him wasn't.

"I find that I am bored with anything I understand," Karen Uhlenbeck once said - and that sense of curiosity is part of why she won the prestigious Abel Prize, from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

Uhlenbeck, an influential mathematician who was for decades a professor at the University of Texas at Austin and who has sought to encourage women to study mathematics, has become the first woman to win the Abel Prize — often called the Nobel Prize of math.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

After years of criticism and multiple lawsuits alleging that Facebook engaged in discrimination by allowing advertisers to select which users could see their ads, the social media giant announced it will make changes to its ad platform by the end of the year.

The U.S. surgeon general's office estimates that more than 20 million people have a substance-use disorder. Meanwhile, the nation's drug overdose crisis shows no sign of slowing.

Yet, by all accounts, there aren't nearly enough physicians who specialize in treating addiction — doctors with extensive clinical training who are board certified in addiction medicine.

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