The Pulse – July 18, 2014

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    The word “cure” is one we don’t hear much from the cautious medical and scientific communities. But a much anticipated new drug has left those who suffer from hepatitis C with a hope that the pain and worry could be over with just a three-month treatment regime. Although at $1,000 per pill, the cost of the drug has raised serious questions about the cost of a cure. Pulse reporter Elana Gordon looks into the drug’s promise and the price tag.

    Dropping 20-plus pounds quickly is an all-American pursuit, and a gym in Haverford Pennsylvania is pushing a new approach to getting in shape, called “negative force.” The show movements make it seem like a hybrid of tai-chi and weightlifting. It certainly makes you slow, but how does it work? Pulse host Maiken Scott puts on her gym clothes and gives it a shot.

    Lead paint is a thing of the past, but the past continues to haunt cities like Philadelphia, where the vast majority of the housing stock is older. In 2012, Philly residents passed a law requiring landlords to have older properties tested for lead paint before they can rent to families with small kids, but children are still being exposed. Reporter Audrey Quinn takes a look at the impact of lead—past and present—in the city.

    Your body needs iron to carry oxygen throughout the body in red blood cells, but too much iron can be toxic. In this edition of our series patient files, we meet Craig Hooper who suffers from hemochromatosis—a dangerous buildup of iron in the blood. Over a million people in the US have this condition. Hooper has to continue the weekly bleedings for about a month, or until his iron levels return to normal.

    Tim Lee got a PHD in ecology and evolution from UC Davis, and then he decided that spending the rest of his life in a lab coat wasn’t for him. He had always had an interest in comedy, so he exchanged his microscope for a microphone and hit the nightclub circuit. We sit down for a conversation with this rare “Scientist Turned Comedian.”

    Finding a job is a major challenge for a lot of people with disabilities, especially in a tight job market. A Philadelphia program is trying to equip special needs high school students with job skills to give them a leg up on the competition. Jeanette Woods reports on a collaboration between Einstein Medical Center’s Ancillary Hospital Services Program and Philadelphia schools that has lasted 40 years.

    Also on this week’s show, flying dinosaurs, genetic pacemakers and laboratory safety. 

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