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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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."

UT Southwestern Medical Center

You might say the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital has an identity problem.

Inside, you could almost forget you’re in a hospital. The hallways look like art galleries, the bright patient rooms like spas, and the ER exam rooms like private law offices.

Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK

Cancer of the pancreas – an organ that lies behind the lower part of your stomach - accounts for only two percent of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. each year. But it’s the fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in this country. 

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

On Thursday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public hearing in Arlington on proposed updates to the national air quality standards for smog.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Forget neon signs and puppies in the window. Glass-Media co-founder Daniel Black says digital displays are what’s hot for businesses.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

When your anatomy says you’re one gender, but early on you know you’re not, what can you do? Where can you go for help?

There’s a new box to check on income taxes for 2014. Showing proof of health insurance for most folks will be easy as checking a box, but for others there are extra forms to fill out. Susan Hoff, with United Way in Dallas, helps sort through new tax time rituals.

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The World Health Organization lists glaucoma as the second leading cause of blindness in the world. It’s estimated more than two million Americans have the disease, but only half know it. No one’s certain exactly what causes the damage to the optic nerve that results in glaucoma, but in this edition of KERA's consumer health series, Vital Signs, Dr. Roger Velasquez, an opthalmologist with Parkland Hospital System in Dallas says there are certain risk factors to watch out for.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. But there are people trying to make a difference for the millions of Americans who have the disease. Molly Meyer helps people living with Alzheimer’s rediscover lost memories, and create new ones through poetry.

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Amid high flu activity in North Texas, health officials also are tracking respiratory syncytial (sinSISHuhl) virus. In this edition of KERA's consumer health series Vital Signs, Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, explains why he calls RSV “probably the most important respiratory virus that most people have never heard of.”

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Usually its IV poles being wheeled down hospital hallways. Today, it’s a harp.

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Flu activity remains high in North Texas.  Dallas County has reported five flu-related deaths this season. There have been two in Tarrant County.

With Texas and 45 other states reporting widespread flu activity, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared a flu epidemic. Part of the blame goes to the current flu vaccine. It's less effective against Influenza A or H3N2 - the more severe strain causing the majority of cases.

However, Dr. Glenn Hardesty says get the shot, if you haven’t already. The emergency room physician at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital talked about the vaccine and the flu season in this edition of KERA’s consumer health series, Vital Signs. 

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Dr. Daralie Wilkerson, a podiatrist at Parkland Hospital says we don't stop to think about the long hours we spend on our feet during our normal daily routine - not to mention all those activities over the holidays like shopping, parties and extra cooking. Skin problems from winter weather don't help either.

Dr. Willkerson shares some tip to better care for your feet in this edition of Vital Signs. She begins with the crucial step of choosing the right shoe.

UT Dallas

This year in Breakthroughs, we’ve reported on everything from Ebola-fighting robots and high-tech fall prevention to an academic rehab program for concussions. Here's a best of 2014 stocking stuffer for the New Year.

 

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No one’s sure why. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found annual rates of shingles have been on the rise in the U-S. It’s a highly uncomfortable disease that strikes adults who’ve already had chickenpox.

Dr. Brian Jones, a family health physician with Methodist Family Health Center in Cedar Hill, talked about shingles in this edition of Vital Signs.

Aimee M Lee / Shutterstock

One of the Texas patients sickened in a multistate listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples may have bought a caramel apple in Dallas County, health officials say.

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A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found women ages 40 to 59 have the highest rate of depression of any group based on age or gender.

Dr. Quazi Imam is medical director of the Texas Health Behavioral Health Center at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital. He talked about some of factors behind the findings in this edition of Vital Signs.

Aimee M Lee / Shutterstock

Texas health officials say one person has died and three became sick in a food poisoning outbreak linked to prepackaged caramel apples.

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Researchers have found people diagnosed with diabetes in their 50s are significantly more likely than others to suffer mental decline by their 70s.

In this week’s Vital Signs, Dr. Angela Bentle, a geriatrics and internal medicine specialist with Methodist Charlton Medical Center, explains why this seems to occur in middle age than with younger people.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

If you’re trying to combine education with entertainment this holiday season you’re not alone. The aisles of kids toys are packed with high-tech gadgets promise to challenge the mind. So which ones are good?

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If you’re searching for a stocking stuffer, flu medicine might not be a bad idea. Normally flu cases in North Texas spike after the Christmas holidays. This year, the virus has come early.

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A recent survey for the American Heart Association found 40 percent of more than 5,100 calls to poison centers for "energy drink exposure" involved children under the age of six. Consuming the drinks at that age can have serious consequences. 

In this edition of Vital Signs, Mike Yudizky, Public Health Education Manager of the North Texas Poison Center, says the problem is the high amount of caffeine.

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The deadline to sign up for health insurance for the New Year through healthcare.govis Monday, Dec. 15th.

A warning: Research shows consumers often choose a plan that’s not the best deal. We’ve got some tips for shopping health care.

University of North Texas

Spoons, forks, candelabra…The Dallas Museum of Art has the world’s largest collection of American silver objects from the 19th and 20th century. But curators and conservators don’t have much history on what they’re made of or how they were created. To investigate the artifacts, a scientist at the University of North Texas Dallas is using nano-scale tests.

Courtesy of Amy Ho

Text messages from your doctor are just the start. Millennial physicians are taking over hospital wards and doctors’ offices – and they’re bringing new technologies and new ideas about life-work balance.

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In this edition of Vital Signs – beer. It has health benefits, provided you don’t drink too much of it. Navin Hariprasad, a dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, has details.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

A year after the launch of the Affordable Care Act, more than half a million Dallas County residents still lack health insurance. Dallas officials joined the Health and Human Services Secretary urging people to sign up.

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While we all look forward to the holiday feast, people living with diabetes have to exercise caution. In this week’s Vital Signs, Sharon Cox, a dietitian with Parkland Hospital System, talks about ways to keep blood sugar levels stable.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

A little travel tech could help you get to your turkey on time.

At a National Press Club luncheon, Dr. Anthony Fauci with the National Institutes of Health said Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital made a mistake sending Thomas Eric Duncan home with a fever. Fauci was part of the team that treated Dallas nurse Nina Pham in Maryland after she contracted Ebola from Duncan.

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