Lauren Silverman

Lauren Silverman is the Health, Science and Technology reporter/blogger for KERA News. Before joining KERA, she worked at 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, Cal., that won a National Association of Black Journalism’s ‘Salute to Excellence Award.’

As a freelance reporter, Lauren has written and recorded stories in English and Spanish for a variety of news outlets, including American Public Media’s Marketplace, NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Latino USA.

About three hours southeast of Dallas, there's a city that's been hit by almost every disaster you could imagine including earthquakes, hurricanes and even bombs. It's appropriately called Disaster City.

It's a training site for first responders, but the facility is looking ahead to a different kind of disaster — infectious diseases like Ebola, and robots may play a key role.

One of the first things you see when you enter Disaster City is an enormous pile of rubble.

Snake venom, vitamin C, Nano Silver and herbs have all been pitched online as a treatment or cure for Ebola. None has the backing of the FDA.

"Unfortunately during public health threats such as Ebola, fraudulent products that claim to prevent, treat, cure disease often appear on the market almost overnight," says Gary Coody, the FDA's national health fraud coordinator. In particular, the FDA wants consumers to beware Ebola "cures" peddled online.

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Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At a church in South Dallas, in one of the poorest parts of town, the room is packed with hundreds of couples. They're sitting, holding hands and staring into each other's eyes.

Their hosts, multi-millionaire couple Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, are on a mission: to save marriages. They're trying to saturate the city with relationship counseling at workshops like this one, aiming to reach couples who wouldn't or couldn't otherwise afford to attend conventional marriage counseling.

If you've ever tried to drink something through one of those little red coffee stirrers instead of a full-sized straw, you know what it's like to breathe with asthma.

Twenty-five million Americans have been diagnosed with asthma. And for 10 percent of them, medications like inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists aren't enough to keep them out of the hospital.

The case of the Texas woman, 22 weeks pregnant and being kept on life-support machines at a Forth Worth hospital against her husband's wishes, goes before a judge in North Texas on Friday.

Marlise Munoz has been on respirators and ventilators since she was found unconscious in her home in November, when she was 14 weeks pregnant.

If you want to lift weights or use the treadmill at Downsize Fitness, you have to be at least 50 pounds overweight.

Kendall Schrantz is a fan – and a member.

The 24-year-old has struggled with her weight since she was in the second grade. The looks she got at other gyms made her uncomfortable.

But now she drives more than an hour to Downsize Fitness in Fort Worth three times a week, just to exercise.

"It's worth every single penny I paid for gas," she said. "It's worth the time I spend on the road, the miles."

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. more than a decade ago. But in recent years, the highly infectious disease has cropped up in communities with low vaccination rates, most recently in North Texas.

There, 21 people — the majority of whom have not been immunized — have gotten the disease, which began at a vaccine-skeptical megachurch.

The outbreak began when a man who contracted the virus on a recent trip to Indonesia visited the Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, about an hour and a half northwest of Dallas.

Forty years ago, thousands of Mexican-Americans in Dallas, Texas came together for a protest at city hall. Four days earlier, a white police officer had shot and killed 12-year-old Santos Rodriguez. The death of Rodriguez sparked a riot. Eventually, it later spurred change that led to political representation and more Mexican-Americans on the police force.

The Situation Room is one of the most mysterious and important rooms in the White House. It's where Lyndon Johnson made decisions about the Vietnam War; where Bill Clinton learned about the bombing of the USS Cole; and where George W. Bush gave the order to begin the Iraq War.

The job hunt is complicated enough for most high school and college graduates — and even tougher for the growing number of young people on the autism spectrum. Despite the obstacles that people with autism face trying to find work, there's a natural landing place: the tech industry.

Amelia Schabel graduated from high school five years ago. She had good grades and enrolled in community college. But it was too stressful. After less than a month she was back at home, doing nothing.