KERA Breakthroughs

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Benefits Of Sports To A Child’s Mind And Heart All Part Of The Game


Amy Roegler and her husband, Octavio Herrera, live with their young kids, Jake and Alyssa, in Los Angeles. When it comes to pro baseball, they're all Dodgers fans. And Jake loved balls even as a baby, Octavio says. "We have a picture of him as a 3-month-old with a little Dodger jersey and a glove," Octavio says. "So he was definitely going to be introduced to sports early, and he took to it right away." Today 10-year-old Jake is on his baseball league's All-Star team. Meanwhile his sister, 8-year-old Alyssa, has a passion for gymnastics. She, too, was a natural, her parents say — swinging on the monkey bars at age 2 and practicing splits on a balance beam today. The parents know that the physical exercise their kids are getting is good for their health. But that's not their only motivation for encouraging the children to participate in organized athletics. Read More

Should Tanning Bed Warnings Take A Cue From Graphic Cigarette Labels?


Young white women like indoor tanning a lot. Nearly a quarter of them hit a tanning bed in the past year. (The beds are even found on many college campuses.) That habit is particularly concerning to public health officials because melanoma rates in young women are on the rise owing to UV exposure from the sun and from tanning beds. The Food and Drug Administration requires indoor tanning machines to bear a label saying that these aren't intended for people under 18, and it requires that consumers get other cautionary messages, too. But they're not particularly attention-grabbing. Read More

What Babies Understand About Adult Sadness


Babies tend to wear their hearts on their tiny little sleeves. They cry because you took away that thing they picked up off the floor and then put in their mouths. They cry because they're tired. Sometimes, they cry just because. But by the middle of their second year of life, it turns out, babies do understand that a stiff upper lip can be appropriate in certain situations. Children this age show more concern for adults who overtly express sadness, according to a study published this week, but they're also understanding of people who are more emotionally reserved. Read More

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Meet the Team

KERA News

Lauren Silverman

Lauren Silverman

Reporter/Blogger

Lauren Silverman came to KERA this spring to cover health, science and technology after three years with NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered in Washington D.C. Lauren produced national stories on everything from the politics of climate change to the future of online education, including a piece on neighborhood farms in Compton, Calif., that won a National Association of Black Journalists Salute to Excellence Award. She’s written and recorded stories in English and Spanish for a variety of news outlets, including American Public Media’s Marketplace and NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Latino USA.

Sam Baker

Sam Baker

Senior Editor/Morning Edition Host

Sam Baker worked in commercial television for six years before moving to public broadcasting. The Beaumont native was News Director and Morning Edition host at KWGS-FM in Tulsa, Okla., for three years before joining KERA in 1991. He hosts and produces the station’s Vital Signs series, edits radio commentaries and has produced KERA versions of the NPR series This I Believe and StoryCorps. He also was the longtime host of KERA-TV’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He won a 2008 regional Emmy for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and also has earned honors from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters and the Public Radio News Directors.


Dallas stock photography provided by Justin Terveen

General stock photography provided by Shutterstock

ABOUT THIS BLOG

“Breakthroughs” is a KERA News project devoted to the latest innovations in health, science and technology — with a North Texas accent. We’ll focus on medical breakthroughs rooted in hospitals, clinics and labs throughout North Texas. We’ll explore the science labs and tech centers that anchor the region. And we’ll have some fun. You’ll find stories on everything from doctors using proton beams to treat cancer to patients using iPhone apps to monitor eye disease to a boat made of recycled water bottles that crossed the Pacific and landed for good in downtown Dallas. You have a key role in this blog: Share your stories, suggestions and questions – tweet #KERAbreakthroughs.

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