What if you could zap your hunger away? A device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday promises to do just that.
The VBLOC vagal blocking device, developed by EnteroMedics of St. Paul, Minn., generates an electrical pulse in the vagus nerve, perhaps blocking communication between the brain and stomach. Normally, the nerve helps tell the brain whether the stomach is empty or full, among many other tasks.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 7:24 am
More than eight months after Oklahoma officials struggled to perform the execution of a condemned man who eventually died of a heart attack, the state executed another prisoner, Charles Frederick Warner, Thursday night. The Associated Press reports that Warner was declared dead at 7:28 p.m. CST. Warner was convicted in the 1997 rape and beating death of an 11-month-old girl.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:41 am
A Papa John's pizza delivery driver who says she shot a would-be robber in the face will not be fired, despite her violation of the company's policy against employees carrying guns. Instead, the employee will be reassigned to work inside a store.
The shooting occurred in the Atlanta area Sunday night, when the driver was making a delivery that police now suspect was a setup for a carjacking and robbery.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:42 am
Google Glass Phase 1 is officially over. The Google Glass team posted a statement with the news to Google+ today. But the announcement says that Glass is not dead, it's just going through a "transition," and that the Google Glass team is "continuing to build for the future." The first, "Explorer," version of Glass was, according to the team, an "open beta" version, or basically a big, public test of the new product. The team didn't give a timeline for future versions.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:53 am
Duke University announced this week it would allow the traditional Muslim call to prayer from the Duke Chapel bell tower. The reaction from some Christian groups was angry, and today the private university in Durham, N.C., reversed course.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:39 am
The "Lone Genius" character is hot right now in television and movies. Sometimes the genius is real (think Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game), and sometimes he's fictional (think Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock). But one thing is almost always certain: He's a guy.
Now one researcher says that gender stereotype in art may have a real impact on women in academia.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:59 am
The bar-headed goose is famous for its long, annual migration from the Indian subcontinent to central Asia, a flight that takes it over snowcapped Himalaya Mountains so high and dangerous that human climbers struggle just to stay alive.
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 5:21 pm
As expected, this year's flu vaccine looks like it's pretty much of a dud.
The vaccine only appears to cut the chances that someone will end up sick with the flu by 23 percent, according to the first estimate of the vaccine's effectiveness by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 6:56 am
When I was just beginning my third year as a medical student, I learned an important lesson about what matters most in health.
It was a typical summer afternoon in St. Louis, with the temperature and humidity both approaching 100. My patient was a woman in her 40s who was being admitted to the hospital because her lungs were filling with fluid, a complication of kidney failure. She had missed all three dialysis appointments that week.
Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 1:36 pm
Sometime in March, Barack Obama is expected to announce his choice of the institution that will hold his presidential archive. Vying for the honor (and the money that comes with it) are the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language spelling of the state's name).
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 11:45 am
NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This story is part of a three-part series about veteran benefits (Part 1 /Part 2).
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 7:13 am
The charter school movement is built on the premise that increased competition among schools will sort the wheat from the chaff.
It seems self-evident that parents, empowered by choice, will vote with their feet for academically stronger schools. As the argument goes, the overall effect should be to improve equity as well: Lower-income parents won't have to send their kids to an under-resourced and underperforming school just because it is the closest one to them geographically.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 10:59 am
Last Wednesday, a federal judge overturned California's ban on the sale of foie gras, the delicacy made from the livers of fatty ducks and geese that have often been force-fed. The ban was approved by California voters in 2004, and went into effect in 2012.
Since the ban was overturned, some chefs using foie gras in their menus have been receiving threats.
Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 10:33 am
New York City officials unanimously agreed Tuesday to eliminate solitary confinement for inmates ages 21 and younger. The decision is groundbreaking: Jails across the U.S. impose solitary confinement on misbehaving inmates.
In recent years, the Department of Correction has been plagued by accusations of inmate abuse at Rikers Island, the second-largest jail in the U.S. In 2012, the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) published Boxed In: The True Cost of Extreme Isolation in New York's Prisons, a yearlong investigation.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:17 pm
If you've traveled outside the U.S. recently, or sent your U.S.-made products abroad, you've probably noticed that the dollar is getting stronger. The stronger dollar is the sign of a healthier U.S. economy, but its strength has the potential to erode growth.
There are a number of factors behind the dollar's rise, says economist Jens Nordvig, a currency expert at Nomura Securities. The main one is the health of the U.S. economy.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:05 pm
The FBI arrested Christopher Lee Cornell of Cincinnati, charging him with buying weapons to carry out a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. Cornell, 20, was monitored by federal agents who say he used Twitter to express support for the extremist group Islamic State as well as "violent jihad."
The arrest warrant for Cornell, who authorities say was known online as Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, says that he "purchased and possessed firearms in furtherance of a plan to shoot and kill United States Government officers and employees."
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm
A year ago, as part of our series on the Great Plains oil rush, we brought you the story of a 36-year-old father who had recently lost his job when one of the last major timber mills in the Northwest shut down. After several years struggling to find steady work and even after going back to school, Rory Richardson decided to commute 550 miles from his home in far western Montana, to a place where jobs are plentiful - the oil fields of North Dakota. But after a little more than a year, he and his family have decided the toll is just too great.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 4:33 pm
At the U. S. Supreme Court Wednesday, the question before the justices boiled down to whether a sock can be considered drug paraphernalia.
Each year 30-35,000 people are deported for drug crimes. But federal law does not treat all drug crimes equally. The question before the justices was whether the government can deport legal permanent residents for minor drug offenses.