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.

University of North Texas Ph.D candidate Ethan McBride prepares the precursor to the illegal drug PCP in a trailer.
Credit Lauren Silverman / 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. 

After giving birth, some women save the placenta in order to consume it in the following weeks. In fact, Texas just passed a law giving women the right to take the placenta home from the hospital, the third state to do so.

Science doesn't support a lot of the claims of its purported benefits. But for Melissa Mathis, it's about her rights. Last year she had her baby, Betsy, in a Dallas hospital. When Mathis took Betsy home, she wanted to take the placenta home, too.

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Texas health officials are investigating an outbreak of a stomach illness caused by consuming food or water contaminated with feces.

Children's Medical Center

This spring, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas opened a clinic that specializes in helping kids and their families work through a condition called gender dysphoria. On Monday's Think, Krys Boyd talked to a pair of staff members, about the multistep treatment process:

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About 17,000 people are diagnosed with cancer that began in or next to the brain every year in the United States. These are called primary brain cancers.

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.

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In our series about real life health, Vital Signs, another look at delayed cord clamping.

Many doctors believe waiting as long as two or three minutes before cutting the umbilical cord provides a newborn with extra blood that can prevent iron deficiency.  But a new study of four year olds who had delayed cord clamping found a slight improvement in boys of social and motor skills.  

KERA’s Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Sheri Puffer, an OB-GYN with Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.

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.

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Last year, when Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to die from Ebola in the U.S., he left behind his fiancée, Louise Troh. On Monday's Think, Krys Boyd talked to Troh about how she leaned on her family and faith to make it through.

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There have been at least two dozen deaths from recent flash flooding in Texas.

Some of those helping state teams search for flood victims work in UT-Southwestern’s emergency medicine department.

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Texas doctors say they have done the world's first partial skull and scalp transplant to help a man with a large head wound from cancer treatment.

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.

West Nile Virus Came To Texas Early This Year

Jun 1, 2015
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West Nile Virus season usually shows up in Texas in June, but it came early this year. About two weeks ago, Mesquite had the first mosquito trap in Texas this year to test positive for West Nile. Harris County reported the state’s first human case around the same time.

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.

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Last week's segment of our consumer health series, Vital Signs, told you about fragility fractures, and how they often can be a first sign of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. Your diet can boost good bone health. 

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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In our consumer health series, Vital Signs: Fragility fractures. Fall from a standing height or less and your body should be able to withstand it without fracturing a bone. When injury does occur, it may mean you have osteoporosis.

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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. 

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The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a 49 percent increase between 2013 and last year in what’s known as vaginal rejuvenation surgery. It’s the subject of growing controversy.

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A large number of patients at Dallas County’s Parkland Hospital System have Type 2 Diabetes. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 Diabetes doesn’t require insulin injections – at least not right away – but it’s just as serious if it’s not managed properly.

UT-Southwestern Medical Center

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. – it kills almost 130,000 Americans each year. Getting the right treatment as quickly as possible is key. 

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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The initial symptoms suggest just about anything, but they may be signs of an inflammatory disease many don’t know about. Sarcoidosis can affect multiple organs – most often lungs and lymph glands.

Photos: Jeff Whittington/KERA Staff

WASHINGTON - Twenty two veterans take their own lives each day. That’s according to a study conducted by the Office of Veterans Affairs. Over the weekend, a small group of veterans hoped to shine a spotlight on the problem with a walk around the National Mall in Washington called Walk for the Voiceless.

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Texas cities again ranked among the most polluted in the nation in the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2015” report released today. The report focused on ozone, also known as smog, and particle pollution. High ozone levels exacerbate conditions such as asthma, lung disease and heart disease.

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Researchers are finding work stress can contribute to physical and mental health problems.

Mark Birnbaum / KERA News Special Contributor

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. Earlier this month, Jude's leukemia relapsed.

Parkland Health & Hospital System

Ten thousand babies are delivered each year in Parkland Memorial Hospital. This year, there was even a set of quintuplets. When the $1.3 billion dollar hospital opens in August, all those newborns and their mothers will be in a large building called the WISH Tower.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Before any healthy baby can be born, you’ve got to take care of mom. Tens of thousands of moms in Dallas rely on Parkland Hospital each year for checkups and prenatal care. In the new $1 billion Parkland, which opens in August, women are getting their own building that's outfitted with high-tech check-in kiosks and more privacy.

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