Staying healthy with wearable fitness trackers grows in popularity

Fitbit pedometers and other wearable fitness trackers topped lots of shopping lists for the holidays and have been popular among MU employees. While some people say the devices make them lazy, others are using them to stay healthy.

Pope picks 15 new cardinals reflecting diversity

None of the new cardinals came from the United States. Cape Verde, Tonga and Myanmar gained cardinals for the first time. The picks make clear that the pope is laying out a new vision of the Catholic Church's identity.

The delivery of a diagnosis leaves lasting impact on patients

Some physicians work hard to develop the skill for delivering bad news, but others seem unwilling to learn how to share unwelcome information with patients.

New diet guidelines might pull back from meat

A dietary pattern higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is "more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet," said the draft of the latest version of the government's dietary guidelines.

Fake bar part of research into anti-drinking drug

A replica of a fully stocked bar inside the hospital at the National Institutes of Health is part of an important study that is helping researchers test how a hormone afects people desire for alcohol.

Health insurance enrollment tops 100,000 in Missouri

The figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show that about half of the Missourians who signed up are new enrollees.

Columbia artist Kerry Hirth paints the music she hears

Kerry Hirth has synesthesia, a neurological condition in which one sensory experience will stimulate another sense. Hirth sees music in terms of color and uses that experience to create art.

Outbreak of flu this year is far greater than last year

The total for 2014, so far, is 1,059 cases, compared to only 85 in 2013. This flu season the H3N2 virus, part of the H3 strain, has been the most problematic for the county Health Department and the public.

E-cigarette use surpasses tobacco cigarette use among teens, survey shows

While teen cigarette smoking has decreased nearly 50 percent over the past five years, more teens now use e-cigarettes than tobacco cigarettes.

INTERACTIVE GRAPHIC: More than half of Missourians skip the flu vaccine

Vaccination rates for people age 65 and older plateaued in the 2013-14 flu season.

U.S. moves to end ban on blood donations by gay men

The lifetime ban dates from the early years of the AIDS crisis and was intended to protect the blood supply from what was a then little-understood disease. Activists say the ban is discriminatory and perpetuates negative stereotypes.

Much work still needed on health care sign-ups

Analysts believe the administration can meet or surpass its goal of 9.1 million customers in the exchange through a combination of returning customers and people signing up for the first time.

Do heart patients fare better when doctors away?

The findings were only at teaching hospitals, typically affiliated with medical schools and involved in doctor training and sometimes research.

New assistant physician law presents licensing, regulation challenges

Under a new Missouri law, medical school graduates who don't get a residency will be eligible to become "assistant physicians" and can provide primary care in underserved rural and urban communities. But the devil seems to be in the details.

Alcohol calorie counts to be on menus by next year

The new rules will not apply to drinks ordered at the bar or those that aren't listed on the main menu.

First night of Hanukkah draws dozens to MU Student Center

Several dozen people gathered around a 9-foot menorah for a lighting ceremony hosted by Chabad of MU and Mid-Missouri.

First-graders from Lee Expressive Arts Elementary spread holiday cheer at MU concert

Dozens of elementary students converged on the steps of MU's Memorial Union on Tuesday to sing holiday songs despite the day's cold weather.

New surveys show e-cigarette use now higher than regular cigarettes among teens

Researchers like University of Michigan professor Lloyd Johnson worry the progress made in reducing teen cigarette use will be undermined by e-cigarettes.

Flu vaccine not perfect but still worth getting, health officials say

At this point in 2013, the health department had a total of 273 reported cases of influenza. This year, there have been 438 reported cases since December 9.

ANY QUESTIONS: When can I send my sick kid back to school?

Flu season is upon us. How do you know when it's safe for your sick kids to re-enter school after spending a few days in bed? Turns out there's a protocol for that.