Claudia Kalb

Stories by Claudia Kalb

  • Regina Benjamin on Childhood Obesity

    Regina Benjamin, America's Surgeon General, discusses the difficulty of tackling childhood obesity—and the highest peak of Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Clinton's Stent and the Truth About Heart Disease

    Celebrities and their maladies are a boon to public health. They put a well-known face to a medical condition and they give doctors (and medical reporters) an excuse to spotlight a disease and educate the public. Today, it’s Bill Clinton and his heart. Experts aren’t overly concerned about the former president’s condition. Stents—mesh scaffolds used to prop open clogged arteries—are used routinely in heart patients around the world and Clinton is likely to get back to his busy life very soon....
  • Haiti: Who Are The First Responders?

    The foreign doctors and nurses who have flown in to help Haiti are met with a decimated medical system. Luckily, they've been trained for that.
  • Two Big Boosts For Stem Cell Research: NIH Approves New Lines, Director Presents Moral Case For the Use of Embryonic Stem Cells

    It’s time for a stem-cell fist bump. Nine months after President Obama issued his executive order overturning Bush-era barriers to embryonic stem cell research, the NIH has approved 13 new human embryonic stem-cell lines for federally funded research.  More than 20 additional lines will be considered for approval at the end of this week and dozens more are on the runway for review. NIH director Dr. Francis Collins called the move “a real change in the landscape.”Despite charges to the contrary, scientists are still very interested in human embryonic stem cells. Critics of the research have argued loudly that these cells, which require the destruction of human embryos, are no longer relevant now that researchers have successfully created induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, out of genetically reprogrammed adult cells. Translation: embryonic-like cells without the embryos. This summer, Chinese researchers moved the iPS field forward when they announced that they had bred mic...
  • Waging the Swine-Flu PR War

    To combat both H1N1 and the lies and misperceptions about the disease, the government is going on an unprecedented multimedia information campaign.
  • Photomicrography: Capturing Beauty, Up Close

    They are shades of the rainbow—blues, yellows, reds, and greens—arranged in a luminous pattern of imperfect rectangles. They look like swatches of silk fabric. Or the tops of paintbrushes, one next to the other, dipped in multiple pots of color. Amazing to think that the glorious shapes in this digital photograph are actually the scales of a moth's wing. Magnified 100 times under a microscope, they are far more intricate than the shimmering wing you'd see with your naked eye. Charles Krebs, the photographer who took the image, is positively joyful when he talks about the drama of nature seen up close. "It's just absolutely stunning to peel off layer upon layer," he says. "Instead of getting simpler and simpler, it gets more complex."  It is called photomicrography—a process that allows scientists and hobbyists to create colorful and stunningly detailed photographs of nonliving objects and living organisms up close. Very close. Scientists have been documenting microscopic discoveries...
  • 9/11's Children Grow Up

    Children who watched the tragedy unfold are now on the brink of adulthood.
  • Swine Flu: Will Your Doctor Shirk the Vaccine?

    The CDC says health-care workers should be among the first in line to receive the swine-flu (H1N1) vaccine, which the government hopes will be available by mid-October. But will your doctors, nurses, and other medical providers roll up their sleeves? Only 45 percent of health-care workers get a seasonal flu shot every year, citing the same reasons for opting out that patients do: I'm healthy and don't need it; I'm worried about side effects; I'm afraid of needles. M.D.s and R.N.s are better covered than other staffers, like lab techs and home health aides. But everyone needs to improve. The CDC has been campaigning to raise immunization rates among the white-coat set for years. Already, seasonal flu kills 36,000 Americans annually. When swine flu starts surging, ask your provider: did you get your shot?
  • Health for Life: The Science of Forgetting

    Can painful, unwanted memories be altered or even eradicated? That's the provocative question being raised by the emerging science of forgetting.
  • Meds Shmeds, Gimme Fries

    One study found that 74 percent of teens dramatically overestimate their ability to manage their asthma.