A miner at the black lung laboratory in the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Beckley, W.Va., has his lung capacity tested. Blood samples were also taken and his heartbeat was monitored while walking on a treadmill. These and other tests were used to determine if miners had coal dust particles in their lungs.
Patty and Gary Quarles lost their son, Gary Wayne Quarles, in the explosion at Upper Big Branch mine. Their son's post-mortem diagnosis indicated he had black lung, a puzzling finding since he was only 33.
It wasn't supposed to happen to coal miners in Mark McCowan's generation. It wasn't supposed to strike so early and so hard. At age 47 and just seven years after his first diagnosis, McCowan shouldn't have a chest X-ray that looks this bad.
"I'm seeing more definition in the mass," McCowan says, pausing for deep breaths as he holds the X-ray film up to the light of his living room window in Pounding Mill, Va.
Some Internet users may be out of luck when they try to log on Monday. They're victims of an international malware attack — a malicious software picked up by their computers online over a year ago. The FBI has turned off Internet servers set up as a stop-gap to keep tens of thousands of victims online.
One of the places you'd expect to find healthy food is in hospitals - boring, but healthy. But in recent decades, fast food restaurants have worked their way into hospitals around the country. That's despite growing evidence linking fast food menus to high rates of obesity, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Elana Gordon from member station KCUR in Kansas City takes us to one place that has been wrestling with that situation.
The House Rules Committee takes up a bill Monday called the "Repeal of Obamacare Act." And just like it says, the bill would wipe away the president's Affordable Care Act. A vote of the full House is planned for Wednesday.
It's the first legislative response from House Republicans after the Supreme Court upheld the law. But it is far from the first time the GOP has voted for repeal.
The southern African nation of Botswana has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. Nearly 25 percent of all adults in the country are infected with the virus. Only the nearby kingdom of Swaziland has a higher rate.
But Botswana is also remarkable for its response to the epidemic. It has one of the most comprehensive and effective HIV treatment programs in Africa. Transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their fetuses and newborn babies has been brought down to just 4 percent.
In Washington, D.C., the glittering marble of public buildings and monuments can conceal the darkest of deeds. And in the crime novels of Mike Lawson, they do.
"When I started writing, the very first decision I made was, I wanted the book set in D.C.," says Lawson, who recently published his seventh Washington-based thriller, House Blood. "That was before I had a character, or anything else."
Researchers are studying the ability of beneficial micro-organisms - or probiotics - to treat a range of conditions from eczema to inflammatory bowel disease. And the idea that "good" bacteria are healthy for us is gaining traction.
Syrian activist Karam Nachar is pursuing a doctorate in Middle Eastern history at Princeton. His family is working on several fronts against the Syrian regime. His father, who has been jailed previously, helped form the Syrian National Council, an organization of dissidents.
The Nachar family has long been on the radar of the Syrian government, and since last year, they have become even more visible.
When Syrians first started openly protesting inside the country in the spring of 2011, 29-year-old Syrian Karam Nachar was working on his doctorate in Middle East history at Princeton University. He joined demonstrations outside U.N. headquarters in New York.
There are two big factors that will determine the outcome of the presidential election: the economy and demographics.
The economy is weak and doesn't look likely to improve by much, but the makeup of the electorate on the other hand is highly dynamic. It continues a trend underway for years: a rapid rise in the number of people who are not Anglos in both the population and at the polls.
That percentage actually doubled between 1992 and 2008, says Alan Abramowitz, a political scientist at Emory University.