Bioscience-Medicine | Texas Public Radio


Bioscience-Medicine news from Texas Public Radio reporters.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Bioscience-Medicine News Desk, including Xenex Disinfection Services, the John and Rita Feik Foundation, the John and Susan Kerr Charitable Foundation, the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Jean Cheever and San Antonio Technology Center.  Additional support comes from Cappy and Suzy Lawton and InCube Labs.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

A growing career field is attracting many Texas Hispanics. The job of community health worker, known as promotoras in Spanish, is drawing many non-traditional students back to the classroom.

In a classroom on San Antonio’s West Side, women of all ages were learning the latest on the Zika virus, an emerging public health concern.

SA Obesity Genome Project Tackles A Weighty Problem

Aug 30, 2016
Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Texas has one of the highest obesity rates in the nation. One in three Texas adults is considered obese. Now, San Antonio researchers are using South Texas volunteers to collect an obesity genome registry. This data bank will help tackle a weighty issue.

Stepping on the scale can be a frustrating routine for millions of people carrying around extra pounds. People like Judy Winkler of Hondo. At 5’2”, she weighed 185 pounds at her heaviest.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

A San Antonio lab is conducting important research into the Zika virus. The information scientists gather here could help in development of a vaccine for the disease, which threatens to rear its head in South Texas in the next couple of years.

The World Health Organization calls Zika a global public health emergency. While mosquitoes may not be spreading the virus in Texas yet, the routine bite of the flying pest is spreading fear.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

For South Texas blood donors, consenting to have your blood screened for Zika will no longer be voluntary. It will be mandatory.


 Today the Food and Drug Administration mandated the entire donated blood supply be screened for the emerging mosquito-borne virus.


The lifeblood of the South Texas medical community is donated blood. There’s no substitute for human blood, but it has to be screened to keep patients who receive that blood safe.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Zika can be transmitted several ways, through mosquito bites, sex and blood transfusions. The virus lasts in the bloodstream for a week or two. Although the risk of acquiring Zika through blood products is considered fairly low in the U.S. right now, blood banks are facing a tough transition when dealing with this emerging health threat.

​Expanded Screening