Science

Disease and Injury
6:10 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Living longer, but sicker in the USA

How the leading causes of death are increasing, or decreasing, since 1990
IHME

Americans are likely to live longer than we might have in the past – but the quality of our golden years appears to be getting worse, when it comes to health.

A new study by Seattle researchers shows Alzheimer’s, depression, and back pain have been increasing dramatically since 1990.

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Space
5:01 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Washington companies could help NASA get humans to Mars

An artist's rendering of the Orion module and upper rocket stage.
NASA

Washington companies could have a major role in future trips to the moon, an asteroid or Mars. NASA engineers are in Seattle this week meeting with contractors working on the Orion program, designed to launch astronauts far into space, well beyond where the space shuttle traveled.

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Science
10:20 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

All TV is educational, just maybe not in the way you want

Anyone who says watching TV has no impact on children’s behavior is ignoring a lot of scientific research. The latest study, from pediatricians in Seattle, shows you can improve the behavior of young children by changing what they watch. 

They took this approach after about two decades of trying to get parents to turn off the TV, and severely limit screen time for young kids. They were almost ready to give up. The best they could achieve was cutting TV time for pre-school age children from four-and-a-half hours per day to four hours per day.

That hardly seemed worth the effort.

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earthquakes
10:50 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubble from New Zealand quake shows Seattle what to expect

Recovery workers at the CTV building in Christchurch, New Zealand, after it crumbled in an earthquake on Feb. 24, 2011.
Rob Griffith AP

The Northwest hasn’t had a killer earthquake since 1965 – and it’s been three centuries since anything massive shook this region. That’s how New Zealanders felt, until two years ago, when a quake knocked their third largest city to its knees. 

Lessons from Christchurch, NZ, and other Pacific Rim cities, are resonating at a meeting of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, in Seattle this week.

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allergic reactions
11:11 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Proposal would make adrenaline shots more readily available

During a severe allergic reaction, this common brand of epinephrine injector could save a life
EpiPen

The idea of putting a needle of adrenaline into someone might seem intimidating – but that’s how you save their life if they’re in allergic shock. The legislature is considering empowering school staff to give injections more widely.

Last year, a girl in Virginia died after eating a peanut given to her by a friend.

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medical care
2:19 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

Doctor will see you anytime you want, via webcam

Dr. Ben Green (left) tests a new webchat service launching this week.
Carena

The days of using an emergency room when you have a confusing late-night or weekend illness may be numbered. New telemedicine services are expanding in Washington – which allow you to see a doctor using a webcam.

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Health
2:18 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

New Norovirus Strain Rips Through The U.S.

This cluster contains enough norovirus particles to make you sick.
Charles D. Humphrey CDC

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:18 am

It's here. A variant of norovirus first spotted in Australia is now sweeping the U.S.

The wily virus causes stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. The sickness is sometimes referred to as the stomach flu, though influenza has nothing to do with it.

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Health & Science
2:04 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

What makes you feel fear?

Movies like The Shining frighten most of us, but some brain-damaged people feel no fear when they watch a scary film. However, an unseen threat — air with a high level of carbon dioxide — produces a surprising result.
Warner Bros. Photofest

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:39 am

In shorthand often used to describe the brain, fear is controlled by a small, almond-shaped structure called the amygdala.

But it's not quite that simple, as a study published Sunday in Nature Neuroscience demonstrates.

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Health
5:01 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Natural living: 5 myths about nature vs. technology

Is the "other white meat" actually healthy pork?

Technology has made us healthier in a lot of ways. It’s beaten back old threats from smallpox to stillbirth to scarlet fever. But many think the march of progress has gone too far, and we need to get back to nature. 

Author Nathanael Johnson says most of us are in the middle – suspicious of technology run amok, but unwilling to trade the condo for a mud hut. He investigates whether the natural approach is really better for us in his book, “All Natural.” 

Nathanael also laid out five common myths about nature versus technology. Get the gist below, or click below and listen to the full conversation:

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Science
7:23 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Big science paves the way forward

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Big science in orbit: the Hubble Space Telescope
NASA

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 1:01 pm

Arguments are often heard against big (read: expensive) scientific projects, especially those without an immediate pay off. "Why spend so much money building this machine or spacecraft, when there are so many pressing social issues we must deal with?"

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Science
9:04 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Science
10:07 am
Mon January 28, 2013

No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines

Could you say "no" to this face? Christoph Bartneck of the University of Canterbury in New Zealand recently tested whether humans could end the life of a robot as it pleaded for survival.
Christoph Bartneck

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:15 pm

In 2007, Christoph Bartneck, a robotics professor at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, decided to stage an experiment loosely based on the famous (and infamous) Milgram obedience study.

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Weather
10:42 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Really Cool Video: 'Shroud Of Cold Air Descends On The U.S.'

An image from the animated look at how cold air has spread over the nation.
NOAAVisualizations

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:28 am

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Medicine
9:55 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Been to the Emergency Room a Lot? Let’s Talk

If you’ve been to an emergency room in Washington in recent months, you're probably in a new database.

The goal is to treat more injuries and illnesses outside the emergency department, in a simpler setting, which should save money, curb drug abuse and also benefit patients.

Washington's hospitals and doctors have agreed to enter some basic information about their emergency patients into a computer system. Once you hit your fifth emergency visit per year, the hospital will assign a case manager to look at your records.

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drugs
5:26 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Prescription overdose deaths drop again in Washington

Prescription painkillers
massdistraction Flickr

Drug overdose deaths are on the decline across Washington, at least when it comes to prescription painkillers.

Those pills have been under scrutiny since overdose deaths rose dramatically starting in 1998. They reached a peak in 2008, killing more than 500 people that year.

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