Shots - Health News NPR's online health program.

Fifty years ago, the typical first-time mother in the U.S. took about four hours to give birth. These days, women labor about 6 1/2 hours. Carsten/Three Lions/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Carsten/Three Lions/Getty Images

A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals sometimes called synthetic marijuana. New York moved to ban a wide range of products like these this week. Kelley McCall/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Kelley McCall/AP

Thinking The Unthinkable: What If The Whole Affordable Care Act Goes Down?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/149647740/149635792" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This image shows the grid structure of the major pathways of the brain. It was created using a scanner that's part of the Human Connectome Project, a five-year effort which is studying and mapping the human brain. MGH-UCLA Human Connectome Project hide caption

toggle caption
MGH-UCLA Human Connectome Project

A patient is treated at the Nord Hospital in Marseille, France, in February. European countries have also been engaged in intense debates on the future of their health care systems, where universal coverage is the norm. Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Anne-Chrisine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

Activists gather in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday as the court hears a third day of arguments on President Obama's health care law. Kevin Dietsch /UPI /Landov hide caption

toggle caption
Kevin Dietsch /UPI /Landov

Supporters of the health care law rally in front of the Supreme Court Wednesday, the final day of arguments over its constitutionality. Charles Dharapak/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Charles Dharapak/AP

People wait for tickets to attend the last day of arguments over the Affordable Care Act at the Supreme Court. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A Struggle To Define 'Death' For Organ Donors

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/149463045/149512188" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

If the Supreme Court rules that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, does that invalidate the rest of the law? Adam Cole/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Adam Cole/NPR