The COVID pandemic has prompted people to clean and disinfect more than ever. However, experts believe that humans need a certain amount of germs for our immune systems to work properly. One expert discusses her concern that we’re living too clean in the pandemic, and how we can benefit from “good bugs” without danger from the bad ones.
Scientists are discovering that our food preferences are much more than a matter of taste, and that taste itself is more complicated than we thought. Psychology also plays a role. An expert discusses what determines preferences, such as why some people like jalapeno peppers & black coffee, and some don’t.
Success of COVID-19 vaccines depends on about 75 percent of people getting them, but distrust of medicine and of vaccines among African-Americans means they may not come close to that milepost. Two experts discuss historical reasons for distrust, how the system will have to come through in ways it has not in the past, and how community leaders will make a huge difference in how the new vaccines are accepted.
Researchers have found that severe emotional trauma in childhood triggers physical disease later in life, and has a cumulative effect. An award-winning science writer who has researched the topic discusses findings.
Millions of Americans are in financial straits due to COVID layoffs and furloughs. A doctor describes how he gets patients to talk about why they’re in trouble and what they do about it to create an eye-opening portrait.
This holiday season will be unlike any we’ve ever had before, with “loss” as a major theme—loss of little things such as routines as well as big ones. Two experts weigh in on how families can navigate this season while keeping it festive.
Hiccups are annoying and uncomfortable, and doctors don’t know why we (and most other species) get them. An expert explains what we know about what hiccups are and why most home remedies actually work.
Unlike most cells in the human body, the central nervous system cannot repair itself. People who suffer brain or spinal cord injuries, or neurological disorders such as MS and ALS have few alternatives. A neurological researcher describes how he has discovered previously unknown nerve growth factors that could someday allow such injuries and diseases to heal.
Since the beginning of the “baby on back” movement to reduce sudden infant death syndrome, many more infants are developing misshapen heads with a flat spot in one place. An expert discusses whether this is serious, how it can be treated with a helmet-like device, and how it might be prevented.
Some people are finding relief from mental health issues through music therapy, a combination of psychotherapy and music-making. A noted music therapist describes what the practiced is and how it works.
Handedness is a central part of a person’s identity. Left-handers are often seen as somehow different than the rest of us, and over history they’ve been stereotyped as more quirky, intelligent, and sinister than righties. Science shows that some labels are likely to be true. Experts discuss where handedness comes from, and what differences truly result.
Black lung disease among coal miners is often thought of as a relic of the past, thanks to environmental laws. The disease is completely preventable, but a distinguished reporter and author has still found plenty of it among today’s miners. He discusses his findings and why it’s still going on.
Grief can come from the loss of anything important to us—a loved one, a job, a home, a status in the community. Today many people are suffering from unresolved grief, since there are no rituals to ease these forms of grief and prohibitions against large gatherings such as funerals. An expert discusses the many forms of grief and how we can get through them.
In the race to perform the first human-to-human heart transplant, ethical corners were sometimes cut. An investigative journalist explains how a black man’s heart was harvested without his family’s consent for the first human heart transplant in the South, and how incidents such as this help to explain ongoing African-American distrust of medicine.
A searing, stabbing pain on one side of the face can be so severe it’s sometimes called “the suicide disease,” and may evade diagnosis. Trigeminal neuralgia is often caused by a throbbing artery in contact with nerves at the base of the brain. Treatment can be difficult though often ultimately successful. Two experts discuss.