Infants, toddlers, and grade school children use many cues to learn language. Some of them are visual, involving seeing the mouth move. Some depend on clearly hearing speech. Both have been impacted by mask wearing during the pandemic. Experts now studying how far behind children are as a result discuss how language develops in children and how it’s been affected in the pandemic.
A recent report shows that more than a dozen refineries around the US are emitting benzene pollution into the air at higher levels than allowed by the EPA. An activist discusses this newly labeled problem and what the agency can do to curb it.
Hundreds of patients nationally have diseases that have confounded doctors and yielded no diagnosis and no reliable treatment. Today the Undiagnosed Diseases Network, founded and funded by the NIH, helps these patients, but its funding is uncertain beyond 2022. Patients and a physician leader of the UDN discuss the lonely plight of these patients and the hope UDN provides.
Many Americans believe that healthy food doesn’t taste good, and tasty food isn’t healthy. A chef who is also a cardiologist discusses how to find a balance by seeking out healthy ingredients rather than whole categories of foods.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, public health experts have looked to vaccines with the goal of creating “herd immunity,” where so many people are vaccinated that the virus stalls out. Now it is clear we will not reach that goal, meaning the threat of the pandemic may drag on for years. One of the nation’s leading infectious disease experts discusses how we are missing the target and what it means.
People of color are less likely than others to receive timely treatment for medical issues. This is reflected in Covid-19 vaccination numbers, in cancer treatment, and in clinical trial participation. Experts discuss ways to increase participation, especially in clinical trials that might ultimately raise trust in medicine.
Since the 1980’s, almost all production of generic drugs has moved overseas, where FDA inspectors have a much tougher time making sure they’re following rules for safety. An investigative journalist describes the ways she’s found that many drugmakers cut corners, putting safety at risk, and details what consumers can do to protect themselves.
Covid-19 is usually a respiratory disease, but it can affect virtually any organ in the body. The nation’s top kidney disease expert discusses how Covid can prompt life-threatening kidney effects in the previously healthy, and how those with kidney disease are more susceptible to severe Covid infection.
The US birth rate has been declining since the Crash of 2008, but it took an even larger decline during the pandemic to levels unseen since the Great Depression. Today fertility rates are below replacement levels, which could have big impacts on education, employment, and the tax base years down the road. Experts discuss how people make fertility decisions and the impacts they can have on the nation.
Colon cancer is striking much younger people than it used to, leading experts to lower the age on screening recommendations. A noted colon surgeon discusses screening and treatment options, and the way COVID-19 has changed patients’ approach to getting screened.
Many of those who’ve had COVID-19 have suffered from a temporary loss of their sense of smell, but some have had what seems to be an even worse symptom weeks or months later—a distorted sense of smell, where everything, from coffee to flowers, smells sickeningly awful. An expert and a former sufferer discuss how disruptive to life this can be and what people can do to make it through to recovery.
In the mid-1960’s, many Ivy League and Seven Sister colleges as well as prestigious prep schools allowed researchers to photograph incoming students naked as part of work on a now-discredited theory linking physical characteristics to leadership potential. A former student who went through it, now a physician and writer, discusses how research ethics have changed in the last 50 years.
Bottled water sales have skyrocketed, in part because many people believe it is safer than tap water. Actually, bottled water faces few of the safety regulations that tap water does. The disconnect, according to a new study, comes from society’s pervasive distrust in all governmental institutions. The lead researcher discusses how restoring faith in water could begin to restore faith in all American institutions.
Studies show that as many as a third of people who were very ill with COVID-19 later develop PTSD. Caregivers and health care workers may be afflicted as well. An expert discusses how this develops and what people can do to get better.
Millions of Americans cannot afford the medications they’ve been prescribed. Many skip doses, split pills or don’t fill prescriptions at all as a result, with sometimes even fatal consequences. But doctors are often unable to consider cost very well in prescribing, as the same drug often costs patients vastly different amounts due to insurance differences. Experts discuss the problem and what patients can do to save.