Lauren Silverman | KERA News

Lauren Silverman

Reporter/Host

Lauren Silverman is the Health, Science & Technology reporter/blogger at KERA News. She is also the primary backup host for KERA’s Think and the statewide newsmagazine Texas Standard. In 2016, Lauren was recognized as Texas Health Journalist of the Year by the Texas Medical Association. She was part of the Peabody Award-winning team that covered Ebola for NPR in 2014. She also hosted "Surviving Ebola," a special that won Best Long Documentary honors from the Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). And she's won a number of regional awards, including an honorable mention for Edward R. Murrow award (for her project “The Broken Hip”), as well as the Texas Veterans Commission’s Excellence in Media Awards in the radio category.

Before joining KERA, Lauren worked at NPR’s weekend All Things Considered in Washington, D.C. There, she produced national stories on everything from the politics of climate change to the future of online education. While at All Things Considered, Lauren also produced a piece on neighborhood farms in Compton, Calif., that won a National Association of Black Journalism’s Salute to Excellence Award.

As a freelance reporter, Lauren has written and recorded stories in English and Spanish for a variety of news outlets, including NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Here & Now; American Public Media’s Marketplace; Sound Medicine and Latino USA.

Ways to Connect

UNT Health Science Center

There’s a serious doctor shortage in Texas.

Catching up will be hard to do, but three new medical degree programs in the state are scheduled to open classes in 2018, including a joint program in Fort Worth between the UNT Health Science Center and Texas Christian University.

So what impact will the new schools have?

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As our devices get smarter, they also are at risk of more sophisticated cyber security attacks.

Yes, that car connected to the internet makes tracking trips and monitoring teen drivers easier, but it also means killing the motor with a few keystrokes is no longer science fiction.

Cooper Neill / Texas Tribune

A year ago this month, the first patient diagnosed with Ebola on U.S. soil entered Texas Health Presbyterian in Dallas. On Friday, the hospital is releasing findings from an independent panel that reviewed what happened and what went wrong.

In her third year of medical school, Karen Duong found herself on the other side of Texas. She had driven 12 hours north from where she grew up on the Gulf Coast to a panhandle town called Hereford.

"Hereford is known for being the beef capital of the world," she says, laughing. "There's definitely more cows than people out there."

UT Southwestern

Four volunteers recently went on a zero gravity ride with the help of NASA in Houston – in the name of science.

Imagine you’re flying in a plane, high above the Gulf of Mexico — and then you start to fall. Eight thousand feet in just 30 seconds.

UT-Arlington

UT Arlington professor Sahadat Hossain is standing on an enormous mound of dirt at the city of Denton landfill, smiling. Because he’s literally turning trash into treasure.

Timberlawn Mental Health System

One of the state’s oldest residential treatment centers for people with mental illness could lose its federal funding on Tuesday. Timberlawn Mental Health System, a Pennsylvania-based chain that’s been in Dallas since 1917, is in trouble with regulators for violating patient care and safety.

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This summer, dozens of mosquitos in testing sites across North Texas have turned up positive for West Nile virus. It’s nothing like the record year of 2012 when 89 people died across Texas. So far this year, only two human cases of the virus have been reported in North Texas. But the dry weather that's come after big rains could mean we're in for a long skeeter season.

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There used to be a standard treatment for hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause: hormone replacement therapy. But in 2002, studies showed a possible link to cancer and what was once standard practice became a rare prescription. Since then, scientists have been searching for alternative therapies. Recently, a biochemist at UNT Health Science Center found a drug that looks promising.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A proposed cemetery has sparked a debate in small-town Texas. The Islamic Association of Collin County wants to build a 34-acre cemetery in Farmersville, about an hour north of Dallas. That’s led to some pretty heated rhetoric from a number of locals who are trying to stop it. Although the mayor of the predominantly white community has said the cemetery is allowed to be built, some people are pushing for a no vote.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act opened up services and opportunities for people with disabilities. Twenty-five years later, North Texas developers are testing new technologies with the disabled community in mind.

Parkland Hospital/Facebook

Starting in January, you can legally carry handguns in public in Texas. And later next year, you can have concealed handguns on state university campuses. There are still a few strictly gun-free zones, like hospitals. Some Second Amendment advocates are trying to change that.

Cobler family

KERA’s recent Breakthroughs series “Growing Up After Cancer” profiled a North Texas boy named Jude Cobler. He was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia when he was 5 years old. In April, Jude's leukemia relapsed.

ra2 studio / Fotolia.com

144,000 Texans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year—that’s one every 4 minutes. For those who survive there’s often cognitive and psychological difficulties, like depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Some parts of the body repair themselves. Skin, for instance. Bone, even the liver.

Heart muscle does not.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

In Dallas, the $800 million Clements University Hospital opened to patients in December. Later this summer, the $1.3 billion dollar Parkland Memorial Hospital will open. Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster says despite their high-tech gadgets, both hospitals are lacking the human touch. 

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The Supreme Court says same-sex couples have the right to marry in all 50 states in a 5-4 ruling Friday morning.

Vinli

Can any car be turned into a smart car? A Dallas-based startup called Vinli has captured the attention of drivers across the country with a device promising to do just that. We tested it out.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Batons and handcuffs move aside. The newest addition to the police uniform is high tech, and doesn’t require that you lift a finger.

U.S. Justice Department

Police departments in Texas are outfitting officers with body cameras. Would a body camera have changed what happened with the officer in McKinney?

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

After any flood, mold moves in. And the record flooding across Texas has brought up old concerns about the fungi. How dangerous is it?

Tech Wildcatters

Technology is transforming the work of first responders. That’s the focus of a new startup accelerator program that’s a collaboration of the local Tech Wildcatters, the federal Department of Homeland Security and the Center for Innovative Technology.

Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Hundreds of people showed up last night in McKinney to protest the police. The mostly peaceful demonstration comes after a viral video taken at a pool party.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

John Rodakis wasn't looking to launch an investigation into autism.

But that's what happened after the Dallas man began a quest to understand why his son's autism symptoms changed dramatically while taking an antibiotic for strep throat.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Instead of having to go to the doctors for a checkup, how about getting a physical every day, without having to do anything at all? Starting this fall, a senior citizen will move in to a live-in laboratory in Fort Worth.

Long hospital stays and frequent checkups are a drag. And they’re especially hard on kids who often fall behind in school and miss spending time with friends. To help these patients stay home, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas is trying to connect with kids using video and Bluetooth after organ transplants.

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Consulting a doctor by phone, text or video is becoming popular. And in Texas, the debate over safety and access to health care is heating up. 

National Weather Service / Twitter/@nwsfortworth

As you drive into the city of Van from the west, the mailbox is hard to miss. It says “Storms.”

Figure 1

While you’re on Instagram looking at lolcats, artisan desserts and celebrity selfies, some doctors are on a different photo sharing app, called Figure 1, looking at gangrene, gallstones and rashes.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

If you like chili peppers, tomatoes or blueberries, you like bumblebees. The larger, hairier cousin of the honey bee is a social insect, and  especially good at pollinating the tasty crops mentioned above. What’s concerning is that bumblebees are on the decline, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has designated the American bumblebee as a “species of greatest conservation need.”

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