The Pulse – January 3, 2014

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    As the NFL enters its post-season march toward the Super Bowl, we take a look into the science behind sports-related concussions. Can new and improved helmets save the brains of the next generation? How can we measure the impact of a concussion on a young athlete’s mind? And how to heal yourself if you suspect you’ve suffered a severe blow to the head. 

    We associate coral reefs with TV commercials for far-flung destinations, but experts see them as barometers of oceanic health. The Pulse spends an afternoon in a laboratory where researchers are trying to unlock the secrets of how these massive organisms are able to live for up to 4,000 years, and why they’re dying off at an alarming rate. 

    Double cheeseburger with extra bacon, or kale salad with no dressing? The answer seems obvious until you see how many calories you’ll be ingesting. We take a look at the effectiveness of posting calorie counts on menus at fast food and chain restaurants.

    Also, a conversation with a scientist who sees the future of energy production not underground but in the clouds where strong winds could be the answer to the question: So what happens when we run out of coal, natural gas, and oil?

    Plus, the return of the chemistry set, the complicated science of predicting sea level rise, and how a gaggle of young journalists are trying to make an impact on the health and well-being of the communities they report on.

    For those stories and more, click on the audio icon above.

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