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.



Wed March 23, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

How Risky Is Infant Formula Made With Tokyo Tap Water?

The warning that Tokyo's tap water contains twice as much radioactive iodine as allowed for infants strikes a particularly distressing chord.

Infants are especially vulnerable because their cells are dividing faster than at any other time of life, and dividing cells are especially sensitive to radiation damage.

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Mon March 21, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Radioactive Milk Only A Danger After 58,000 Glasses

The World Health Organization weighed in Monday on the risk of eating food contaminated by radiation emitted by the still-troubled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant.

Peter Cordingley, a Manila-based WHO spokesman, told Reuters that the radioactive-food situation is "a lot more serious than anybody thought in the early days, when we thought that this kind of problem can be limited to 20 to 30 kilometers."

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Fri March 18, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Radiation Data Near Nuclear Plant Offers Little Cause For Concern

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:05 am

Stephanie d'Otreppe NPR

The first radiation measurements from within a 37-mile radius of the disabled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant do not reveal any immediate health threat — and perhaps not even any health problems measurable decades from now, if levels stay where they are.

This may surprise people who assume that radioactivity in the vicinity of the plant must be dangerous, since radiation levels inside the plant are so high that workers can stay outside for only minutes at a time.

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Thu March 17, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Decontamination After Radiation Exposure: Simpler Than You May Think

The Japanese government says 20 workers at the disabled Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant have been decontaminated after exposure to radioactive material.

Dozens more, at least, have reportedly been decontaminated within the 12-mile evacuation zone around the plant after Geiger counters picked up evidence of radiation exposure.

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Tue March 8, 2011

Scientists Grow Parts For Kids With Urinary Damage

For going on 30 years, scientists have been trying to grow replacement parts for diseased, defective or damaged tissues and organs. They've had more disappointments than successes. But now and again, they come up with results that rekindle the flame.

The latest involves five Mexican boys between 10 and 14 who suffered terrible damage to their urinary tracts from auto accidents. They were unable to urinate normally.

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