Richard Knox

Since he joined NPR in 2000, Knox has covered a broad range of issues and events in public health, medicine, and science. His reports can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Talk of the Nation, and newscasts.

Among other things, Knox's NPR reports have examined the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa, North America, and the Caribbean; anthrax terrorism; smallpox and other bioterrorism preparedness issues; the rising cost of medical care; early detection of lung cancer; community caregiving; music and the brain; and the SARS epidemic.

Before joining NPR, Knox covered medicine and health for The Boston Globe. His award-winning 1995 articles on medical errors are considered landmarks in the national movement to prevent medical mistakes. Knox is a graduate of the University of Illinois and Columbia University. He has held yearlong fellowships at Stanford and Harvard Universities, and is the author of a 1993 book on Germany's health care system.

He and his wife Jean, an editor, live in Boston. They have two daughters.

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3:44pm

Fri February 8, 2013
Shots - Health News

Widely Used Stroke Treatment Doesn't Help Patients

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 4:09 pm

An angiogram of a 48-year- old patient after treatment for a stroke. A blockage was targeted with clot-busting drugs using a catheter.
Zephyr Science Source

It's another case of a beautiful idea colliding with some ugly facts.

The beautiful idea is the notion that clearing the blocked artery of a stroke patient with a device snaked right up to the blockage would salvage threatened brain cells and prevent a lot of disability.

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9:37am

Mon February 4, 2013
Shots - Health News

Experimental Tuberculosis Vaccine Fails To Protect Infants

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 5:03 pm

Nurse Christel Petersen inoculates a child in the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative study in 2011.
Rodger Bosch AFP/Getty Images

Researchers are disappointed in the results of a long-awaited study of the leading candidate vaccine against tuberculosis, one of humankind's most elusive scourges.

But, pointing to more than a dozen other TB vaccines in the pipeline, they say they're not discouraged.

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2:40am

Thu January 24, 2013
Shots - Health News

Female Smokers Face Greater Risk Than Previously Thought

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:19 pm

Women smoke in New York City's Times Square.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There's still more to learn about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.

Studies in this week's New England Journal of Medicine show that the risk for women has been under-appreciated for decades. New data also quantify the surprising payoffs of smoking cessation — especially under the age of 40.

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10:55am

Wed January 23, 2013
Shots - Health News

Old Drug Extends Life For Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 2:55 pm

A CT scan showing an adenocarcinoma of the pancreatic head.
Wikimedia Commons

A large study is providing a rare glimmer of hope for patients with pancreatic cancer, perhaps the deadliest of all malignancies.

By the time they're diagnosed, most patients with pancreatic cancer have advanced disease that's spread to the liver and lung. And the primary tumor may be inoperable because it's wrapped around vital blood vessels and nerves.

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2:51pm

Fri January 18, 2013
Shots - Health News

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:57 am

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

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