Science, Health & Tech

We cover these essential linchpins of the Pittsburgh regional economy, and how they impact residents' personal health and employment. 

Richard Vogel, / AP

Driving for companies like Lyft or Uber can be a hustle. Once you factor in gas and the cut these companies get from each ride, drivers might even lose money some days.


The public health community has long called for a needle exchange in south Pittsburgh, as fatal overdose data indicates high opioid use in this area. On Tuesday, a proposed site for distributing sterile syringes to injection drug users passed its final hurdle. 

Kathleen J. Davis

The very first video game console, the Magnavox Odyssey, is being recreated in an ongoing project that aims to give others the opportunity to play with the system.

Federal Judge In Philly Blocks Trump Birth Control Coverage Rules

Jan 15, 2019
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A federal judge on Monday put a nationwide hold on Trump administration rules that allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control.


A new study from University of Pittsburgh researchers finds the price of brand-name medications is growing five times faster than the rate of inflation.

Animaxx3d / BigStock

More funding to help Alzheimer’s patients will soon be available thanks to federal legislation passed at the end of last year. Advocates hope it will create opportunities to bring better care to those with the disease and reduce race-related disparities in Philadelphia-area communities.

Kailey Love / 90.5 WESA

Soon, people will no longer be having babies at UPMC Mercy in Uptown.


A south-Pittsburgh needle exchange is no longer being proposed for a residential area of the Carrick neighborhood. Instead, the Allegheny County Board of Health on Wednesday gave approal to an alternative location on Route 51. 

Elaine Thompson / AP

A group representing rural Pennsylvanians says expanding high speed broadband internet access in the state needs to be a priority this year, but acknowledges funding for infrastructure upgrades continues to be a challenge.

Pennsylvania Criticized For How It Handles Elder Abuse Cases

Jan 9, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

A Pennsylvania state watchdog agency is criticizing how county-level agencies investigate thousands of complaints they receive about elder abuse and how the state ensures complaints are investigated adequately.

Susan Walsh / AP

The public comments period ended Friday for a proposed federal rule that would allow more employers to use health reimbursement arrangements, which are untaxed funds that employers could set aside for employees to use on health care expenses. Most employers are currently prohibited from using the arrangements, which are also known as HRAs.

Jason Redman / AP

Starting January 1, a new federal rule is requiring hospitals to publish online their official charges for different medical services, like diagnostic tests or surgeries.

Hannah Owens / Flickr

The first day of the new year is a great date to turn over a new leaf, but setting an overly ambitious new year’s resolution may not be the best way to make a major change.

Court Rules Mothers' Drug Use In Pregnancy Isn't Child Abuse

Dec 28, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

 Pennsylvania's highest court says mothers who use illegal drugs while pregnant can't be considered perpetrators of child abuse against their newly born children under the state's child protection law.

John Minchillo / AP

Diagnosing concussions could become easier with technology that tracks minute eye movements, according to a study by Allegheny Health Network.

Katie Meyer / 90.5 WESA

One of the first things you notice when you walk into the Case Management Unit in Dauphin County is the boxes, piled up in offices and between rows of cubicles.

Toby Talbot / AP

Pennsylvania has a new online tool to report suspicious prescription drug activity, in an effort to curtail illicit opioid use.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Mobility is an issue for many senior citizens. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Virtual Senior Academy helps older Allegheny County residents learn and explore without traveling far from home.

Andrew Harnik / AP

The number of Pennsylvanians enrolling in insurance plans sold through the federal marketplace for 2019 shrank slightly for a second straight year, despite stable premiums and an increased choice of plans.

Nearly 370,000 Pennsylvanians signed up for coverage for the coming year, according to figures released this week. Enrollment for 2018 was 400,000 and 426,000 in 2017.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Life ends. It’s a fact, but not one that most of us encounter on a daily basis. Theresa Brown does; she’s a hospice nurse for Healthcare @ Home, part of the Allegheny Health Network. She says hospice is really about providing care for an entire family as they encounter the reality of death. “We are all going to die,” she says. “If we’re lucky we get to think about how we want to die.”

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

New mothers dealing with pregnancy-related mental health disorders can keep their babies with them as they seek treatment at West Penn Hospital's new Alexis Joy D'Achille Center for Perinatal Mental Health. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 90 percent of a forest's plant diversity lies in its understory, a layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy. Too many deer grazing in an area can decimate that plant layer. 

Sabrina Bodon / 90.5 WESA

When Jai Sawkar was a freshman at Carnegie Mellon University, he slipped and hit his head.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is giving out another 23 permits to sell medical marijuana through dispensaries under the state's program that opened for business last February.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

Google is piloting a laptop and wifi hotspot lending program with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Emma Lee / WHYY

Pennsylvania is making it easier for doctors to provide treatment for opioid addiction. 

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Beginning next year, paramedics and emergency medical technicians for the City of Pittsburgh will work 12-hour shifts, instead of the current eight-hour shifts.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Eighty locations across Pennsylvania are getting ready to hand out free naloxone this Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Pennsylvania's independently elected fiscal watchdog is urging state lawmakers to rein in pharmacy benefit managers, saying the companies are allowed to operate in secrecy in ways that let them profit while driving up health care costs.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale released an 18-page report Tuesday saying many other states have taken action to lower drug costs by forcing more transparency on pharmacy benefit managers.

Bizuayehu Tesfaye / AP

A computer scientist at Duquesne University is working to develop software that strips unique words and phrases from a piece writing to preserve anonymity for the author.