health

Food scientists at the University of Massachussetts Amherst have come up with a technique they say could make it a lot easier to avoid food poisoning.

The main piece of equipment? Your smartphone.

Currently, to identify the bacteria that can get you sick, like E. coli or salmonella, food scientists often use DNA testing.

They obtain samples from, say, raw spinach or chicken skin, by rinsing the food and collecting a tiny bit of bacteria from the water. Then they let that bacteria multiply over 24 hours to get a big enough sample.

Portuguese Man O' War Season Hits South Florida

Feb 12, 2018
David Santiago / Miami Herald

Predatory balloon-like creatures on Florida’s shore declare the arrival of Portuguese man o’ war season and prompt lifeguards to fly purple beach warning flags.

The peak of the flu season could still be several weeks away, federal health officials cautioned Friday.

"We may be on track to break some recent records," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly all states are still reporting widespread flu activity, with less severe reports only coming from Oregon and Hawaii.

"Flu is incredibly difficult to predict and we don't know if we've hit the peak yet," Schuchat said in a call with reporters. "We could still see several more weeks of increased activity."

Four months after having her second baby, Jessica Porten started feeling really irritable. Little things would annoy her, like her glider chair.

"It had started to squeak," she says. "And so when I'm sitting there rocking the baby and it's squeaking, I would just get so angry at that stupid chair."

Miami Herald File

After several news stories highlighted that Publix routinely denies employees access to  HIV prevention medication and growing outcry on social media, the grocery store chain announced a change of course Tuesday.

On its official Twitter account, Publix said it will now cover Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)--a medication that reduces the risk of catching of HIV. Florida leads the country in new HIV cases. 

Advertising campaigns, tobacco taxes and public bans have lowered rates of smoking significantly in the U.S. since the 1960s. And for people who never smoke or manage to quit, there are major health benefits: lower risk of cancer, heart problems and stroke.

But 15 percent of Americans — about 40 million people — continue to smoke.

Who are they? And why are they still smoking?

Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Keys are famous as a place to party. That's how they got the nickname "Margaritaville."

But the hard-drinking lifestyle is taking a toll on the residents.

Marian Smith somehow missed getting a flu shot this year, which is unlike her — in the past, she always got one.

The 58-year-old Washington D.C. resident says it was easier to remember to get it when the vaccine was provided at a clinic at work. But now the clinic is a bus ride away, and getting the shot wasn't at the top of her mind.

"Of course, I could get it right here at the grocery store," Smith tells NPR, as she rushes to pick up her lunch. "But I just didn't get it — I don't know, I can't tell you why."

The idea that each of us has a unique nutrition blueprint within our genes is a delicious concept.

Perhaps, this helps explain the growth in personalized nutrition testing and services such as Habit, Profile Precise and Nutrigenomix.

So, what exactly can these tests tell you?

We live in an age of heightened awareness about concussions. From battlefields around the world to football fields in the U.S., we've heard about the dangers caused when the brain rattles around inside the skull and the possible link between concussions and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Central Florida is seeing a spike in flu cases. Florida Hospital’s urgent care Centra Care locations saw 1,200 cases last week.

House Panel Backs Plan For New Birth Options

Jan 17, 2018

Women with low-risk pregnancies would not have to deliver at hospitals to get epidurals or to have cesarean sections, under legislation overwhelmingly approved by a House panel Tuesday despite safety concerns raised by Florida hospitals.

Now, there is ample reason for you to cover your nose when you sneeze. It's flu season, after all, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has made it quite clear it doesn't want you spreading your germs with reckless abandon.

But let's not go overboard here, people.

When I went to the imaging center for my regular mammogram last year, the woman behind the desk asked me if I'd like to get a "3-D" mammogram instead of the standard test I'd had in the past.

"It's more accurate," she said.

What do you say to that? "No, thanks, I'd rather have the test that gets it wrong?" Of course, I agreed.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Two Palm Beach County organizations have a new vehicle for their message of breast cancer awareness.

Palm Tran and Susan G. Komen South Florida rolled out the “Shades of Pink” bus on Thursday, Jan. 11. It features portraits of nine Palm Beach County African-American survivors of breast cancer.

Palm Tran Executive Director Clinton Forbes said the bus could be seen by 124,000 people every day.

“Our mission and hope is that many women, by seeing this bus wrap, will get checked or decide to educate and advocate for the cause,” Forbes said.

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