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. 

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The National Kidney Foundation says they send a half-million people to emergency rooms each year because of kidney stones - hard objects made from chemicals in the urine. They’re very small, but at a couple of centimeters or more, kidney stones can be quite painful. Dr. R. Carrington Mason, a urologist with Methodist Health System, explains what causes the pain.

Laurie Holloway/Dallas Zoo

A Dallas Zookeeper went on a fossil hunt with his little boy at a construction site in Mansfield. And the 4-year-old picked up what turned out to be a dinosaur bone – likely 100 million years old. On Wednesday, scientists found another key bone.

Mark Birnbaum / KERA News Special Contributor

Surviving childhood cancer comes with costs. Survivors are at a higher risk for developing secondary cancers later in life. The treatments they receive as kids can affect their growth, their ability to have children, and even their learning. Then there’s the lingering fear of remission.

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If you don’t manage it carefully, diabetes can lead to several complications, including damage to the eyes. The most common form is also is one of the leading causes of blindness among adults in the U-S.

In our consumer health series, Vital Signs, Dr. Noel Santini, chief of Adult Medicine for Parkland Hospital’s Community Medicine Division, explains why regular screenings are key to dealing with diabetic retinopathy.

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Last week, Dallas County District Attorney Susan Hawk acknowledged that she sought treatment for prescription drugs during her campaign. On Tuesday's Think, KERA's Krys Boyd talked with a panel of addiction experts about the unique challenges in treating this type of dependence.

Mark Birnbaum / KERA News Special Contributor

Jude Cobler’s bone marrow transplant changed him physically, by altering his blood type. And emotionally, too, by creating an unbreakable bond with his brother, who helped save his life. For Jude and other cancer patients, a bone marrow transplant is really just the beginning.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

After nearly five years of construction, the new Parkland Hospital had its official dedication Monday.

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A new study suggests a vegetarian diet, or one based on vegetables and fish, could lower your chances of getting colon cancer. The study focused on 77,000 Seventh-Day Adventists. Dr. Ronney Stadler, a colorectal surgeon with Baylor Medical Center in Irving, explains for KERA's consumer health series, Vital Signs. 

Maybe you've seen them in the gym, or even squeezed into them yourself: super-tight T-shirts, leggings, knee and calf sleeves, even tube tops. More and more athletes are wearing compression garments, hoping they will improve their performance and recovery.

But do they work? This is a question Abigail Stickford, a postdoctoral researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, wanted to answer.

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Cancer can take a toll on a kid’s physical health, but there are psychological effects, too. Many survivors experience anxiety, while some suffer from post-traumatic stress.

Christina Ulsh / KERA News

For all the breakthroughs in cancer care over the last few decades, sometimes the best treatment just doesn’t work. That’s what happened to 6-year-old Jude Cobler of Plano. 

Blue Bell

Blue Bell is expanding the recall of some ice cream products because of possible exposure to the listeria bacteria.

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Beginning late 2015, North Texas cancer patients won’t have to leave town to get proton beam therapy. It’s an advanced form of radiation treatment using energized particles or protons to destroy cancerous cells.

Dr. Andrew Lee is medical director of The Texas Center for Proton Therapy. He launched a similar operation at M-D Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Dr. Lee talked about proton therapy for our consumer health series Vital Signs.

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For all the breakthroughs in cancer care over the last few decades, sometimes the best treatment just doesn’t work. That’s what happened to 6-year-old Jude Cobler of Plano. 

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Google "coconut oil" and you’ll see this popular product touted for a range of uses: from cooking to its use as a health food to treat a variety of illnesses. But does coconut oil live up to those claims? 

Sharon Cox, a dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, talks about this in our consumer health series, Vital Signs.

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A study released in the journal Circulation found young and middle-aged women can have a harder time in various ways recovering from a heart attack than men. The study also found the poorer recovery was due in part to greater stress among women.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

After a bone marrow biopsy left her with back pain a few years ago, Naveen Khan was given a set of physical therapy exercises to follow. And like many patients, she forgot how to do most of them by the time she got home.

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Nancy Nichols surprised the North Texas restaurant world last week by stepping down as dining critic at D Magazine. The pasta, the pancakes, the artisan bread she loved for 18 years in the job were conspiring to kill her. She recently sat down for lunch to talk about the decision:

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In this edition of our consumer health series, Vital Signs - the most aggressive form of breast cancer.

Eric Aasen / KERA News

A North Texas doctor helped spark an international discussion this week -- about peanut allergies. 

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Trying to remember a grocery list or a phone conversation isn’t always easy. And it turns out, there are certain thoughts that may make these types of tasks even harder.

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Our consumer health series, Vital Signs, recently identified six foods to help maintain good cholesterol levels. The suggestions are good for anyone to follow, but  a new report from the advisory committee behind the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines says healthy adults no longer have to worry so much about cholesterol.

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Your toes may be numb and your lips chapped, but the cold isn’t all bad for your health. Here are three things to appreciate about cold weather.

About 1.2 Million Texans Signed Up Through Health Exchange

Feb 18, 2015
Lauren Silverman / KERA News

FORT WORTH-- Nearly 1.2 million Texans have signed up or were re-enrolled for health insurance through the federal marketplace by a February 15 deadline.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Even though dozens of people in Dallas have heart attacks every day, most of them do not call 911. Instead, they wait, ignore the symptoms or drive themselves to the hospital.

KERA News

A landmark type of cancer treatment has found a home in Dallas. UT Southwestern Medical Center has been charged with developing the country’s first National Center for Heavy Ion Radiation Therapy. 

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High cholesterol is one of the leading risk factors contributing to heart disease, heart attack or stroke, but your diet can help prevent that.

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State lawmakers are poised to consider scrapping the longtime pilot program NorthSTAR, which provides mental health care to lower income residents in seven North Texas counties.

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Why are more than 40 million Americans in a state of anxiety? At 1 p.m., Think host Krys Boyd will talk to Scott Stossel, Atlantic magazine editor and the author of My Age of Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind. 

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It’s been recommended for some time that a low-dose aspirin a day helps to avoid heart attack and stroke. But a study out last month in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests some people take the drug "inappropriately."

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