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Is Organic Food Better For Consumers' Health? – 9/4 KQED Science News Roundup

Is Organic Food Better For Consumers' Health? – 9/4 KQED Science News Roundup

Here's today's roundup of science, nature and environment news from the Bay Area and beyond.

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Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Should Men Get A PSA Blood Test To Screen For Prostate Cancer?

Medical experts disagree on whether prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests are an effective screening technique for prostate cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against PSA screening for men of any age, but recent research disagrees with this assessment.

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In Defense of Science: An Interview with NCSE’s Eugenie Scott

In Defense of Science: An Interview with NCSE’s Eugenie Scott

Eugenie Scott, longtime director of Oakland's National Center for Science Education, has won numerous awards for helping the public understand science and defending evolution, especially against threats to replace it with “creation science” in public schools. She shares her thoughts on the challenges of communicating science in a climate of denial.

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Arm Yourselves for the Upcoming (Genetics) Revolution

Arm Yourselves for the Upcoming (Genetics) Revolution

As a nation, we aren’t teaching the right genetics in our schools. And for those of us out of school, the situation is, if anything, even worse. By and large we lack the fundamental knowledge needed to properly interpret the avalanche of data headed our way.

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Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Doubt and Denialism: Vaccine Myths Persist in the Face of Science

Many people continue to doubt the evidence for climate change, evolution, and vaccine safety, even though the scientific consensus on these issues is rock solid. Among the most troubling evidence-resistant theories is the long-debunked yet persistent myth that vaccines cause autism—a completely unfounded belief–leading to general doubts about vaccine safety, with dangerous public health consequences.

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Rethinking Reproductive Biology

Rethinking Reproductive Biology

Everyone knows that women are born with all the eggs they can ever make, right? Well, a recent study shows that everyone just might be wrong.

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Newly Discovered Stem Cells Cause Clogged Arteries

Newly Discovered Stem Cells Cause Clogged Arteries

Scientists thought they understood how arteries hardened and clogged, but they may have been wrong. New research indicates that a previously unknown type of stem cell is actually the underlying cause of clogged arteries. If confirmed, it could lead to new therapies.

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Prescription Drug Disposal: Who Should Foot the Bill?

Prescription Drug Disposal: Who Should Foot the Bill?

A new ordinance in Alameda County requires the pharmaceutical industry to pay for disposal of extra medicine. The regulation is part of a larger movement to shift responsibility for waste disposal from local governments to companies that make products like paint, medicine and batteries.

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Pregnant Women Face Big Questions With Cheaper DNA Sequencing

Pregnant Women Face Big Questions With Cheaper DNA Sequencing

In the very near future, a pregnant woman will be able to learn a whole lot more than she currently can about the fetus she is carrying. And she can find out in a way that poses no risk to the fetus.

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A Unique HIV Case Inspires New Research

A Unique HIV Case Inspires New Research

More than 34 million people live with HIV/AIDS worldwide but only one person may have been cured of the virus. We look at promising, genetic research that is aimed at replicating this apparent cure.

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Hope for an Anti-Nicotine Vaccine

Hope for an Anti-Nicotine Vaccine

Recent research shows that a new vaccine led to consistently high anti-nicotine antibody levels that prevented nicotine from reaching the brain. If these findings are confirmed in people, this vaccine could be an effective therapy to help prevent nicotine addiction.

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How I Learned to Love Olives and Hate Their Pests

How I Learned to Love Olives and Hate Their Pests

I've always hated olives. I'd pick them off pizzas and out of salads. But in the last few weeks, I've actually started eating them on purpose. It could be because I'm pregnant, a condition which has me craving salt—and few foods are saltier than a nice olive.

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KQED Science Fan Spotlight

KQED Science Fan Spotlight

We'd like to share your stories about why you're passionate about science.

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Farmworkers Pay a Heavy Price for California's Bounty

Farmworkers Pay a Heavy Price for California's Bounty

California farmworkers work long days for about $7.50 an hour to pick fruit in orchards doused with nitrogen fertilizers. A UC Davis study released in March found that nitrates from fertilizers and dairy waste have contaminated groundwater supplies. Because farmworkers live near the fields they work in, they're at high risk for nitrate-contaminated drinking water.

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Tackling the Cause of Cystic Fibrosis One Mutation at a Time

Tackling the Cause of Cystic Fibrosis One Mutation at a Time

There was big news in the cystic fibrosis (CF) field recently: a new CF drug called ivacaftor (or VX-770 or Kalydeco) has been approved that does more than target the symptoms of CF. It actually works to get the broken gene working again. The good news is that this is the first treatment that has […]

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Screening Sunscreens: Environmental Working Group's 2012 Report

Screening Sunscreens: Environmental Working Group's 2012 Report

It’s time to grab your bottle of sunscreen and head outdoors, but how can you tell if your sunscreen is safe? Use the Environmental Working Group’s new sunscreen guide to make sure your sunscreen isn’t on their “Hall of Shame.”

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Why Your Newfound Uniqueness is a Nightmare for Your Doctor

Why Your Newfound Uniqueness is a Nightmare for Your Doctor

A couple of new studies confirm what many of us have feared: each of us is surprisingly unique genetically. This is to be feared because of the impact it will have on the future of personalized medicine.

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Making Women Partners in Breast Cancer Research

Making Women Partners in Breast Cancer Research

Dr. Susan Love, breast cancer surgeon and women's health advocate, has long railed against cancer researchers' fixation on treatments and cures. After spending more than $4 billion on breast cancer research, we still don't know what causes the disease or how to prevent it. It's time to focus on looking for causes, she says. And she wants your help.

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Personalized Medicine: A Potential Tool for Predicting Disease?

Personalized Medicine: A Potential Tool for Predicting Disease?

We may finally be at the threshold of the age of personalized medicine. In a recent study, scientists were able to predict that a man was at a higher risk for developing Type 2 diabetes and over a two-year period tracked his health as he developed the disease.

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New Research Hopes to Conquer Food Allergies

New Research Hopes to Conquer Food Allergies

A food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room every three minutes. However, the 15 million people with food allergies now have hope. New clinical trials show promise for three experimental treatments: oral immunotherapy, sublingual immunotherapy and food allergy herbal formula-2. Scientists are also trying to understand how food allergies develop to help prevent them.

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