Jon Hamilton

Jon Hamilton has served as a correspondent for NPR's science desk since 1998. His current beat includes neuroscience, health risks, behavior, and bioterrorism. Recent pieces include a series on the chemical perchlorate, which is turning up in California's water supply; a government effort to find out just how many autistic children there are in the U.S.; and an exploration of "neuromarketing."

Before joining NPR in 1998, Hamilton was a media fellow with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation studying health policy issues. He completed a project on states that have radically changed their Medicaid programs for the poor by enrolling beneficiaries in private HMOs.

From 1995-1997, Hamilton wrote on health and medical topics as a freelance writer, after having been a medical reporter for both The Commercial Appeal and Physician's Weekly.

Hamilton graduated with honors from Oberlin College in Ohio with a B.A. in English. As a student, he was the editor of the Oberlin Review student newspaper. He earned his master's degree in journalism from Columbia University where he graduated with honors, won the Baker Prize for magazine writing, and earned a Sherwood traveling fellowship.

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1:26am

Mon September 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

A Doctor Unlocks Mysteries Of The Brain By Talking And Watching

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 1:23 pm

Dr. Allan Ropper speaks with residents and fellows as they do rounds at the neuroscience intensive care unit at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
M. Scott Brauer for NPR

The heavyset man with a bandage on his throat is having trouble repeating a phrase. "No ifs ..." he says to the medical students and doctors around his bed at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

"Can I hear you say no ifs, ands or buts?" says Dr. Allan Ropper, the Harvard neurologist in charge. The patient tries again. "No ifs, buts, ands or," he says.

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1:34am

Tue September 23, 2014
Shots - Health News

Death Cuts Short The Life Of An Alzheimer's Research Volunteer

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 2:45 pm

Justin McCowan poses for a portrait outside of his house in Santa Monica, Calif., on Aug. 14.
Benjamin B. Morris for NPR

If you're a regular Shots reader or Morning Edition listener, you may remember a recent story about Justin McCowan, a man with Down syndrome who wanted to help researchers find a treatment for Alzheimer's disease. McCowan died in his sleep on Thursday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 40.

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4:25pm

Thu September 18, 2014
Cities Project

A Coastal Paradise Confronts Its Watery Future

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:59 pm

Half the land in the city of Satellite Beach is only 6 feet above the waterline.
Jon Hamilton NPR

Dan Reiter, 37, is a long-board surfer and contractor who used to live in Tampa, Fla. Then he discovered the surf breaks along a stretch of coast south of Cape Canaveral. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world to live and surf and raise your kids," says Reiter, 37, as we watch head-high waves roll into Hightower Beach.

But there's trouble in this coastal paradise. It's on a low-lying barrier island that's getting lower as sea level rises. So the cities here are looking for ways to keep the water at bay or retreat from it.

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1:25am

Mon August 25, 2014
Shots - Health News

People With Down Syndrome Are Pioneers In Alzheimer's Research

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 6:53 am

Justin McCowan, 39, has Down syndrome and lives at home with his parents in Santa Monica, Calif.
Benjamin B. Morris for NPR

When researchers at the University of California, San Diego wanted to study an experimental Alzheimer's drug last year, they sought help from an unlikely group: people with Down syndrome.

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1:43am

Wed August 6, 2014
NPR Ed

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 4:40 pm

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

When it comes to brain development, time in the classroom may be less important than time on the playground.

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