Crushing Medical Debt

Nearly a quarter of us owe past due medical debt, and hospitals are moving more aggressively to collect. The rise is the result of a tradeoff–Americans have avoided higher health insurance premiums only to be jeopardized by extremely high deductibles and out-of-network costs. Experts explain what unpaid medical debt can mean, how patients can escape its clutches, and how one charity works to buy and forgive debt.

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Climate Change = Less Nutritious Foods

Rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are making crops grow bigger & faster. However, researchers have found that these crops contain significantly lower levels of protein, iron, zinc, and other important nutrients, potentially endangering nutrition for hundreds of millions of people. Experts explain the effect will get worse as CO2 levels continue to rise, and what might be done to combat the problem.

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Heat and Violence

Violence increases as temperatures rise in the summer, but are higher temperatures a cause of aggression? New research shows that the answer is yes, especially in family conflict, and that poor neighborhoods bear the brunt of the relationship. Researchers discuss the synergy between poverty, heat, and aggression, and speculate that a warmer world in the future could be a more violent one.

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The Economics of Later School Start Times

Thirty years of research have shown that teenagers’ biology prevents them from getting to sleep much before 11pm, and with most high schools starting classes around 8 am, they are chronically sleep deprived. Experts discuss how students and even the economy would benefit from later start times and the reasons many people and school districts still oppose the change.

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