Rob Stein http://wkms.org en Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes http://wkms.org/post/father-devises-bionic-pancreas-help-son-diabetes An alarm sounds on Ed Damiano's night stand in the middle of the night. He jumps out of bed and rushes into his son's room next door.<p>His son, David, has Type 1 diabetes. The 15-year-old sleeps hooked up to a monitor that sounds an alarm when his blood sugar gets too low. If it drops sharply, David could die in his sleep.<p>"The fear is that there's going to be this little cold limb, and I screwed up. It's all on me," Damiano says.<p>But when he touches David's hand, he's warm. He's OK. Mon, 16 Jun 2014 13:49:05 +0000 Rob Stein 41324 at http://wkms.org Father Devises A 'Bionic Pancreas' To Help Son With Diabetes Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO http://wkms.org/post/keep-or-kill-last-lab-stocks-smallpox-time-decide-says-who The World Health Organization is revisiting a question that's been the subject of intense debate for decades: whether to destroy the only known samples of the smallpox virus.<p>The World Health Assembly, the WHO's decision-making body, is set to <a href="http://www.who.int/mediacentre/events/2014/wha67/en/">convene </a>May 19 to vote on a <a href="http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA67/A67_37-en.pdf">recommendation</a> to destroy the stocks of smallpox virus held at the U.S. Fri, 09 May 2014 20:51:00 +0000 Rob Stein 40464 at http://wkms.org Keep Or Kill Last Lab Stocks Of Smallpox? Time To Decide, Says WHO 'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Sperm http://wkms.org/post/out-skin-cells-sperm-provocative-fertility-treatment Scientists reported Thursday they had figured out a way to make primitive human sperm out of skin cells, an advance that could someday help infertile men have children.<p>"I probably get 200 emails a year from people who are infertile, and very often the heading on the emails is: Can you help me?" says <a href="http://www.montana.edu/news/12229/internationally-recognized-stem-cell-scientist-to-lead-msu-s-research-enterprise">Renee Reijo Pera</a> of Montana State University, who led the research when she was at Stanford University.<p>In a <a href="http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211 Thu, 01 May 2014 20:54:00 +0000 Rob Stein 40274 at http://wkms.org 'Provocative' Research Turns Skin Cells Into Sperm Genetic Sequencing May Not Be Ready To Become Routine http://wkms.org/post/genetic-sequencing-may-not-be-ready-become-routine Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block.<p>Getting your entire genetic code deciphered is the cutting edge of medicine. The test to spell out every letter in one's genetic blueprint can be done quickly and has become relatively inexpensive. That's raising the question: Is the technology ready for primetime? NPR's Rob Stein joins us now to talk about one of the first carefully done studies aimed at answering that question. Tue, 11 Mar 2014 20:53:00 +0000 Rob Stein 39189 at http://wkms.org Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs http://wkms.org/post/scientists-question-safety-genetically-altering-human-eggs A panel of government advisers has expressed serious concerns about a controversial proposal to allow scientists to try to make babies using eggs that have been genetically altered to include DNA from another woman.<p>Members of the Food and Drug Administration panel said they were worried that not enough research has been done to know whether the experiments would be safe.<p>"I think there was a sense of the committee that at this particular point in time, there was probably not enough data either in animals or in vitro to conclusively move on to human trials ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 21:48:00 +0000 Rob Stein 38936 at http://wkms.org Scientists Question Safety Of Genetically Altering Human Eggs Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? http://wkms.org/post/can-probiotics-help-soothe-colicky-babies When Melissa Shenewa and her husband imagined their first weeks with their new baby, they pictured hours of cuddling. Instead, they're enduring hours of inconsolable crying.<p>Their 6-week-old son, Aladdin, is a colicky baby. He cries for hours, usually in the middle of the night. They've tried everything they could think of. Nothing helps.<p>"Being a parent when your child is screaming in pain for hours on end and there's nothing you can do, you feel helpless," says Shenewa, 24, who lives in Houston. "You feel like you're not a good parent."<p>The Shenewas are far from alone. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 10:19:00 +0000 Rob Stein 38149 at http://wkms.org Can Probiotics Help Soothe Colicky Babies? Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues http://wkms.org/post/getting-your-microbes-analyzed-raises-big-privacy-issues After spending months working on a series of stories about the trillions of friendly microbes that live in and on our bodies, I decided it might be interesting to explore my own microbiome.<p>So I pulled out my credit card and paid the $99 needed to sign up for the <a href="http://americangut.org/">American Gut Project</a>, one of a couple of "citizen science" or crowdsourced microbiome projects.<p>Organizers of the American Gut Project are recruiting thousands of people to donate their microbes to science — along with lots of personal information — to help researchers learn more about the tri Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Rob Stein 36243 at http://wkms.org Getting Your Microbes Analyzed Raises Big Privacy Issues Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders? http://wkms.org/post/could-detectives-use-microbes-solve-murders In the woods outside Huntsville, Texas, scientists are trying to determine whether they can use the microbes that live on the human body as microscopic witnesses that could help catch criminals.<p>It's a strange scene at the <a href="http://www.shsu.edu/%7Estafs/">Southeast Texas Applied Forensic Science Facility</a>. Mon, 23 Sep 2013 21:01:00 +0000 Rob Stein 35105 at http://wkms.org Could Detectives Use Microbes To Solve Murders? Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together http://wkms.org/post/diverse-gut-microbes-trim-waistline-and-health-go-together Scientists have discovered new clues about how microbes in our digestive systems may affect health.<p>European researchers found that the less diverse those microbes are, the more likely people are to gain weight, become obese and develop risk factors for serious health problems.<p>Evidence has been mounting in recent years that bacteria and other organisms in our bodies do a lot more than just help us digest food.<p>"We had kind of a notion that all these bacteria that live in our body will be important for health and disease," says <a href="http://jobs.inra.fr/en/Career-opportunities/Portrai Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:12:00 +0000 Rob Stein 34405 at http://wkms.org Diverse Gut Microbes, A Trim Waistline And Health Go Together Brains Of Dying Rats Yield Clues About Near-Death Experiences http://wkms.org/post/brains-dying-rats-yield-clues-about-near-death-experiences A burst of brain activity just after the heart stops may be the cause of so-called near-death experiences, scientists say.<p>The insight comes from research involving nine lab rats whose brains were analyzed as they were being euthanized. Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:03:00 +0000 Rob Stein 33923 at http://wkms.org Brains Of Dying Rats Yield Clues About Near-Death Experiences