Environmental services worker Jeanna Hibbert scrubs the hospital room to get rid of C-diff bacteria.
Michelle Faust / Side Effects Public Media

When Cleaning Is A Matter Of Life And Death

It’s usually doctors and nurses who are seen as the life-savers at hospitals. But when it comes to preventing certain lethal infections, the hospital’s cleaning staff play a vital role. The most common hospital-borne infection in U.S. hospitals is a stubborn spore that’s spreads easily and is tough to remove.
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They're not as ubiquitous as blood or sperm banks, but another kind of biological substance also sits in cold storage ready to treat desperately ill or ailing patients. In Pittsburgh, the use of stool banks for fecal transplants is on the rise.

Hidden Heart Disease Is The Top Health Threat For U.S. Women

4 hours ago

Tracy Solomon Clark is outgoing and energetic — a former fundraiser for big companies and big causes. As she charged through her 40s she had "no clue," she says, that there might be a problem with her heart.

It was about six years ago — when she was 44 — that she first suffered severe shortness of breath, along with dizziness. She figured she was overweight and overworked, but never considered heart disease.

"That was the furthest thing from my mind," Solomon Clark says. "I was young!"

Inventing A Machine That Spits Out Drugs In A Whole New Way

May 26, 2016

In a lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, all the work that happens in a vast pharmaceutical manufacturing plant happens in a device the size of your kitchen refrigerator.

MSU medical school students observe a surgery in Cuba
Michigan State University

Health care is considered a human right in Cuba, and it's free. The country spends far less than the U.S. on health care, yet Cubans have the same life expectancy as Americans.
 
But after students from Michigan State University's medical school were embedded in Cuban clinics and hospitals, they discovered the situation there is complicated. 

State Insurance Mandates For Autism Treatment Fall Short

May 25, 2016

Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books requiring health insurers to cover autism treatments. But research evaluating these insurance mandates suggests the efforts are failing to help many children get needed therapy.

The state requirements have increased the number of children by about 12 percent, according to the research presented Wednesday at a major conference on autism spectrum disorder.

Environmental services worker Jeanna Hibbert scrubs the hospital room to get rid of C-diff bacteria.
Michelle Faust / Side Effects Public Media

It’s usually doctors and nurses who are seen as the life-savers at hospitals. But when it comes to preventing certain lethal infections, the hospital’s cleaning staff play a vital role.  

The most common hospital-borne infection in U.S. hospitals is a stubborn spore that’s spreads easily and is tough to remove.

For People With Disabilities, New Technology Can Be Life Changing

May 23, 2016

For most of us, eye tracking technology sounds interesting. But it's not life changing. Eye tracking allows users to move a cursor around a computer or mobile device simply by moving your eyes and head.

Oded Ben Dov initially used eye tracking technology to develop a video game that he showed off on Israeli TV. The next day, he says, he got a phone call from a man who told him: "I can't move my hands or legs. Can you make me a smartphone I could use?"

We think of aging as something we do alone, the changes unfolding according to each person's own traits and experiences. But researchers are learning that as we age in relationships, we change biologically to become more like our partners than we were in the beginning.

Children play in a small pocket park.
Andrea Muraskin / Side Effects Public Media

What we're reading and listening to this week. 

A year ago, when Side Effects first reported on efforts to build a walkable neighborhood here, the lot at the corner of Oxford and Washington Streetswas empty and overgrown. But today, builders are at work on a 30-unit senior housing complex, set to open
Andrea Muraskin / Side Effects Public Media

A year ago, when Side Effects first reported on efforts to build a walkable neighborhood here, the lot at the corner of Oxford and Washington Streets was empty and overgrown. But today, builders are at work on a 30-unit senior housing complex, set to open in September. This isn’t your grandpa’s senior housing: there are plans for a fitness center, a bike share, a greenhouse and a walking path. Plus, the city has promised to add a crosswalk and pedestrian signal to connect residents to the other side of Washington Street, where a pocket park, library, two eateries and a floor hockey rink sit in close proximity.

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