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. 

Parkland Hospital is focused this week on ways to deal with higher than normal emergency room volume. KERA’s BJ Austin says the Dallas County Hospital wants to avoid a repeat of last week’s “red alert” – when patients had to be diverted to surrounding hospitals.

New and transfer students at Texas public and private colleges and universities must get a meningitis shot or they can’t move into the dorm or attend classes. KERA’s BJ Austin says that deadline is creating big demand for the vaccine.

kreep (cc) flickr

Many of us need more sleep than we know. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked with Dr.  Bradley Jones, an internal medicine physician at Baylor Medical Center at Irving, about problems associated with sleep deprivation and what to do about it.

Shutterstock

North Texas is one of two dozen U.S. locations selected for the "Partnership for Patients" initiative. It's a public-private collaboration to improve patient safety and reduce hospital acquired infections. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation is getting two million dollars to create a network of regional hospitals to tackle the problem of infection control. Foundation President Kristen Jenkins says the money comes from the Affordable Care Act and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Nihan Aydin / flickr

Tis the season for good cheer. But, for some, the holidays can bring about the opposite. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked with Dr. Randy Basham, an associate professor of social work at U.T. Arlington, about holiday depression and what can be done about it.

Dr. Basham: For the most part, around the holidays, people are concerned about a lot of things: End of the year, comparing themselves to where they were the year before. If they've had any loss in their life, it's become an anniversary season. There's commercialization.

The Food and Drug Administration requires makers of most prepared foods to list nutritional information on the package. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked to a registered dietician with U.T. Southwestern Medical Center about how to make sense of what's on the label. Lona Sandon begins with Percentages of Daily Value.

Dallas, TX –

Often during holiday periods, you'll hear more appeals for blood donations. People tend to get busier around this time, so fewer come in to give. But Dr. Jeanie Chiu of Carter Blood Care says the need for blood remains the same. She talked about this with Sam Baker in this KERA Health Checkup.

Dallas, TX – On this World AIDS Day, the Dallas County number of newly diagnosed HIV/AIDS cases is rising. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more on the worrisome trend, and some efforts to reverse it.

There was a time, says Mark Brown - not his real name - when a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS was a death sentence. Brown, who is gay and in his 40s, says it was not that long ago.

Dallas, TX –

Thanksgiving's past with plenty of Christmas, New Year's and holiday party food and drink still ahead. But in our KERA Health Checkup, Dr. Christopher Ray of the Center for Healthy Living and Longevity at the University of Texas at Arlington told Sam Baker you can avoid the potential weight gain by keeping track of the calories you intake and balancing them with exercise - or just plain simple movement.

Dallas, TX –

In a recent report, the American Pediatrics Association and other medical groups advised cholesterol screening for all children nine to 11 years old. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Jeff Schussler, a cardiologist with Baylor University Medical Center. He says some nine to 11 year old children already are being screened.

Dallas, TX – A new report about children's health in Dallas County shows nearly one third live in poverty and child abuse and neglect cases increased 39% over the past decade. KERA's BJ Austin says authors of the report hope the "numbers" will be a call to action.

Dallas, TX –

For some it's simply ringing in the ears, but some 40 to 50-million people suffer from chronic or prolonged tinnitus. In a KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Kenneth Pugh. The head of audiology at U-T Dallas' Callier Center for Communicative Disorders described what tinnitus is.

Dallas, TX – Almost one third of children in Dallas County live in poverty. That's one of the disturbing findings in the annual Children's Medical Center study released this morning. as KERA's Shelley Kofler reports.

According to the report 29 percent of Dallas County children last year were living below the poverty line. That's more than 192,000 children, enough to fill Cowboys Stadium more than twice.

Dallas, TX –

Dallas, TX –

It's such a simple act, but washing our hands can make a big difference on health. In our KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked about this with Dr. Anna Bowen, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control.

Dallas, TX – In today's KERA Checkup we want to remind you of a statewide service that will help you find low-cost health providers. KERA's Shelley Kofler says the first step is picking up your phone.

Dial 2-1-1 anywhere in Texas and you'll be connected with a trained specialist who knows about the low-cost medical services in your community.

Dallas, TX – naa

Students in Denton and Ellis counties have recently tested positive for tuberculosis. But TB isn't unusual for North Texas. Dallas County, for instance, had 188 cases of the disease last year. In a KERA Health Checkup, Sam Baker talked with Dr. Garry Woo. He's the Medical Director in charge of Tuberculosis Control for Dallas County Health Services.

Dallas, TX – Imagine walking into a room with so many loud voices you can't understand any of them. Then you activate your smartphone app and you clearly understand the conversation you want to hear. That technology is already being tested in clinical trials at the University of Texas at Dallas. KERA's Shelley Kofler reports on how it's helping cochlear implant patients hear the world around them.

Dallas, TX – A diagnosis of cancer can be terrifying. For some, so are the fears from treatment side-effects. KERA's Bill Zeeble reports on nanotechnology research at TCU aimed at new drug delivery methods that eliminate side effects.

Dallas, TX – The Center for Disease Control estimates that more than three million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C. In Dallas, University Of Texas Southwestern's Dr. William Lee first started seeing patients more than twenty years ago, when the cure rate was just five percent. Now his patients are seeing a cure rate of close to 70 percent thanks to two new drugs that received FDA approval this summer. KERA's Sujata Dand has more on this groundbreaking research.

Dallas, TX – This week, KERA 90.1 is airing a series of reports: 'Engineering Hope: Groundbreaking Research That Could Change Our Lives'. In today's report KERA's BJ Austin visits a lab where researchers from North Texas universities are developing the next generation of prosthetic limbs for injured soldiers. It's cutting-edge research that could allow amputees to move more naturally and sense feeling with their artificial limbs.

Dallas, TX – Priority one for state lawmakers meeting in Austin next week is to plug a $25 billion budget shortfall. Just how big is that? Well, if you shut down all the prisons, laid off every state trooper, eliminated every service except public education, higher education and health care, you still wouldn't cut $25 billion.

Governor Rick Perry and others have suggested Texas drop out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low income children, elderly and the disabled. It's Texas's fastest growing expense.

Pages