Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing and editing stories for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years (more than we can count) producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. Her work has been honored for many awards. Most recently she was a finalist for "Best Topical Reporting" from the Online News Association. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

Weight Loss Study Finds Fitness Tracker is No Help

Fitness trackers remain wildly popular, but do they make us fit? Maybe not, according to a study that asked overweight or obese young adults to use the tiny tracking tools to lose weight. The 470 people in the study were put on a low-calorie diet and asked to exercise more. They Read More … Source:: … Continue reading Weight Loss Study Finds Fitness Tracker is No Help →

Some Rules to Help Get Your Kids (and You) Off the Phone

My mother swears I learned to read by watching The Electric Company on TV, so maybe that’s why I was initially a bit lax when it came to my daughter and screen time. But after realizing she would be perfectly content to spend every free minute switching between the PBS Kids Read More … Source:: … Continue reading Some Rules to Help Get Your Kids (and You) Off the Phone →

Lipedema: The Fat Disorder That Millions Have But No One Has Heard Of

In college Judy Maggiore remembers looking in the mirror, perplexed by her body’s disproportion. “I was skinny. I was a stick. The upper part of my body was really, really thin. You could see my ribs!” exclaims Maggiore. “But from the waist down, it was like there were two of me Read More … Source:: … Continue reading Lipedema: The Fat Disorder That Millions Have But No One Has Heard Of →

Computer Program Maps Cancer Progression

What if doctors could call up a computerized map that would show them how a case of cancer is likely to progress? Tumor cells can mutate in unexpected ways. And cancers can suddenly grow. For doctors, anticipating cancer’s next moves can help guide timely, effective patient treatment. The program maps cancer progression Read More …Source:: … Continue reading Computer Program Maps Cancer Progression →

Wait, an Edible Battery? Not So Hard to Swallow

“I’m not comfortable eating a watch battery.” That’s how researcher Christopher Bettinger describes one of the biggest obstacles for sending tiny medical robots into the human body for diagnosing and treating diseases. These devices run on batteries (like those in watches) and they are usually made of toxic materials such as Read More … Source:: … Continue reading Wait, an Edible Battery? Not So Hard to Swallow →

Paralyzed Man Surfs Again With Modified Board and Help From Friends (Video)

For engineer Matt Bellina, of Cocoa Beach, Fla., riding the perfect wave was a group mission. ‘I feel like I’m home.’Matt Bellina, back in his wheelchair, after surfing again for first time since being paralyzed. More than 15 friends gathered on Florida’s Cocoa Beach on a Saturday Read More … Source:: Future of You – … Continue reading Paralyzed Man Surfs Again With Modified Board and Help From Friends (Video) →

23andMe Crowdsources Customers’ Genetic Data to Find Depression Link

A study from the consumer genetic-testing company 23andMe and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has found 15 new DNA regions associated with mutations that could predispose individuals to major depression. The study was huge: Researchers took the DNA of over 75,000 people who reported being clinically diagnosed with depression and Read More … Source:: Future of You … Continue reading 23andMe Crowdsources Customers’ Genetic Data to Find Depression Link →

In Search of an Opioid That Reduces Pain, But Without the Euphoria

Once people realized that opioid drugs could cause addiction and deadly overdoses, they tried to use newer forms of opioids to treat the addiction to its parent. Morphine, about 10 times the strength of opium, was used to curb opium cravings in the early 19th century. Codeine, too, was touted Read More … Source:: Future … Continue reading In Search of an Opioid That Reduces Pain, But Without the Euphoria →

IBM Watson Replaces Experts’ Brainpower for Cancer Treatment

A computer may soon be able to offer highly personalized treatment suggestions for cancer patients based on the specifics of their cases and the full sweep of the most relevant scientific research. Time is of the essence in formulating precision treatment plans for cancer patients. ‘By the time we got through Read More …Source:: Future … Continue reading IBM Watson Replaces Experts’ Brainpower for Cancer Treatment →

2 Proteins in Zika Virus May Be Cause of Birth Defects

Scientists at the University of Southern California discovered a key weapon used by the Zika virus to ravage the brains of infected fetuses: proteins. In an article published Thursday in the journal Cell Stem Cell, researchers identified two proteins in Zika potentially responsible for causing microcephaly. Microcephaly is a birth defect in Read More … … Continue reading 2 Proteins in Zika Virus May Be Cause of Birth Defects →

VR Plus Robotics Help Paraplegics Regain Some Movement (Video)

Researchers in Brazil who are trying to help people with spine injuries gain mobility have made a surprising discovery: Injured people doing brain training while interacting with robot-like machines were able to regain some sensation and movement. The findings, published in Scientific Reports (one of Read More … Source:: Future of You – Digital Policy

Fed Up With Insurance, Doctors Bolt the System to Get More Patient Time

Ann Caponio doesn’t get around much anymore. But at 59, arthritis in her hands means no more knitting. Until recently, hip problems kept her mostly confined to her living room.Inside her one-bedroom apartment, it’s clear she’s a knitter — all around her home in Half Moon Bay, California, are baskets of Read More … Source:: … Continue reading Fed Up With Insurance, Doctors Bolt the System to Get More Patient Time →

Hospitals Create Separate Units to Accommodate Elderly

Janet Prochazka was active and outspoken, living by herself and working as a special education tutor. Then, in March, a bad fall landed her in the hospital. ‘The older you are, the worse the hospital is for you.’ Doctors cared for her wounds and treated her pneumonia. But Prochazka, 75, didn’t sleep Read More … … Continue reading Hospitals Create Separate Units to Accommodate Elderly →