Here's a bit of good news for Medicare, the popular government program that's turning 50 this week. Older Americans on Medicare are spending less time in the hospital; they're living longer; and the cost of a typical hospital stay has actually come down over the past 15 years, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Monthly premiums for California's 1.3 million Covered California customers will rise a modest 4 percent, on average, officials with the agency said Monday. This increase is slightly less than last year's increase of 4.2 percent for consumers who bought policies on the state's health insurance marketplace.
Some consumers could even achieve a reduction in their premium, of an average of 4.5 percent, if they choose to shop around.
Last April, I joined more than a dozen cognitive scientists at a workshop called "Breaking New Ground in the Science-Religion Dialogue." The workshop, organized by Cristine Legare at the University of Texas at Austin, aimed to encourage a sophisticated, evidence-based look at the psychology behind science and religion, as well as psychological factors that affect people's perception of believers, atheists and the relationship between science and religion.
Lihong Wang creates the sort of medical technology you'd expect to find on the starship Enterprise.
Wang, a professor of biomedical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has already helped develop instruments that can detect individual cancer cells in the bloodstream and oxygen consumption deep within the body. He has also created a camera that shoots at 100 billion frames a second, fast enough to freeze an object traveling at the speed of light.
The New York Times recently carried a fascinating report on how a walk in nature can actually change the wiring in your brain. According to the story, not only did a brief walk in the woods make people report they felt happier but, using brain scans, researchers found time nature changed neurological functioning as well.