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

What if your phone could help you quit smoking or lose weight? That’s the idea behind a new texting service created by San Antonio medical professionals and engineers. It's a new way to use your mobile device to improve your health.

A voice on a video says "quitting smoking is the best and most life-saving decision that you can make." That’s the greeting from a new automated messaging system called Quitxt, a program developed by UT Health San Antonio and University of Texas at San Antonio engineers to help smokers kick the habit.


Sleep apnea is a common breathing problem plaguing an estimated 22 million Americans. Some of those cases are so severe, patients have to sleep with a bulky device to help them breathe normally during the night. Engineers at the University of Texas at San Antonio are trying to come up with a more user-friendly device.

Joseph Barrios knows firsthand how sleep apnea can affect your life."It’s a terrible feeling," Barrios said. "You’re literally suffocating and you wake up just (breathing hard). I was constantly waking up due to snoring, breathlessness at night. And that’s what led to the CPAP prescription."

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Thousands of childhood cancer survivors of diseases like leukemia and lymphoma end up unable to father children. Some San Antonio scientists are working on new ways to preserve the fertility of young cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy and radiation. These experiments are generating hope.

It’s a heart-breaking scenario. A young boy is cured of cancer, only to find out when he tries to start a family, he’s infertile.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

Wearable technology like FitBit, AppleWatch and Garmin are predicted to be a $25 billion industry by 2019. The feedback you get from those devices can help you stay fit or lose weight.

Now, San Antonio's Southwest Research Institute is working on new technology that will help athletes, soldiers, even patients perform at their peak.

Wendy Rigby / Texas Public Radio

The entire University of Texas system is going smoke free.

By the end of this academic year, all 14 UT institutions will prohibit tobacco use.

UT System Chief Medical Officer David Lakey, MD, said the move will have a huge positive impact on the lives of students and employees.

UT becomes the largest single employer in the state to prohibit smoking in the workplace.