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How Ricin Can Sicken And Kill

Ricin is a naturally occurring toxin that's found in castor beans. Castor-oil plants, the source of beans, are popular with gardeners. You can get sick by eating beans. But purified ricin can be made pretty easily and used for no-good.

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

A new strain of bird flu has sickened 82 people and killed 18 in China. But many people who have caught the H7N9 flu say they hadn't been near poultry or other birds. So what's fueling the outbreak of the virus?

Boston Blasts Remind Us Of Fragility Of Life

The attack in Boston makes us think about our own vulnerability. Psychologists have used the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and other tragedies to track the arc of recovery from this kind of incident.

Low-Sodium Food Labels Woo, And Confuse, Consumers

Governments set standards for different types of food labels, but most people don't pick up on those nuances, according to a new study on sodium labels. When asked about a variety of health issues, including losing weight and diabetes, participants in a survey said that lower-sodium products would prevent all of them.

Stunting From Malnutrition Affects 1 In 4 Kids Worldwide

Even very poor countries, like Ethiopia and Nepal, are making rapid progress against malnutrition in babies and young kids. A report from UNICEF finds that while stunting in kids worldwide is prevalent, it has dropped by a third in the past two decades.

Quality Conundrum: Complications Boost Hospital Profits

Hospitals can make more money when surgery leads to complication that need to be fixed. Critics say the current payment system rewards hospitals for bad care and fails to provide incentives that would benefit patients.

How To Avoid A Colonoscopy Billing Kerfuffle

Save yourself some hassles by checking with your doctor before the test to make sure the office will bill the insurer for the procedure as preventive screening rather than a diagnostic test.