The Pulse – July 25, 2014

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    Mindfulness meditation is becoming as popular as yoga. It’s the practice of being present in the moment, to really pay attention to what’s happening around us and within us. Everybody is doing it: stressed out parents, police officers, CEOs, doctors, nurses. Research shows that mindfulness meditation has a positive impact on people’s health, and that it’s an effective tool in stress reduction. Stephanie Marudas looks into whether this practice can be used to focus rambunctious school children and improve their ability to learn.

    Scientists have a good understanding of how sound reaches our ears, but the process of extracting meaning from sound remains a mystery. A University of Pennsylvania researcher is invstigating this question, and is deconstructing noises to answer just how we process sound. Taunya English visited Maria Geffen of the UPenn’s otorhinolaryngology department to find out more.

    The biggest technology companies in the world are quietly chasing the holy grail of the information age—quantum computing. They’re hoping to build a computer so powerful it would do everything from solving incredibly complex mathematical riddles to sorting through the universe of data collected about us. But as Todd Bookman explains, the first challenge is getting the quantum bits to dance how we want them to.

    A familiar backyard scourge is spreading shoots this time of year, striking fear into suburban America: poison ivy. Carolyn Beeler visited a front yard in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania to watch professionals go to battle with a serious patch of poison ivy. Along the way, she picked up a few tips on avoiding the painful rash.

    Emergency rooms and intensive care units are terrifying, almost violent places. Efforts to save a life can sometimes look and feel like the opposite, and many patients who return from the brink of death struggle with their experiences. Laura Benshoff reports on a growing body of research looking into PTSD as a result of intensive care.

    Remember those barefoot running shoes everybody seemed crazy about a while back? The toe-glove looking things that were supposed to keep runners’ feet and bodies in the most natural position? Well, that’s one class action lawsuit ago, and now there is a new “best thing ever” – a maximalist running shoe. Think platform sandal meets sneaker. Host Maiken Scott speaks with Brain Metzler, Editor-in-chief of Competitor Magazine and Competitor.com, to discuss the latest running shoe trends.

    Runners love their shoes. Runners also seem to covet a slow resting heart rate. But that may not be a good thing. Dr. Bethany Brookshire, also known as Scicurious, joins host us to talk low heart rates and their affect on an athlete’s body in the long run.

    On the latest edition of Patient Files, your stories of illness, recovery and healing, JJ Shirley and Raphael Cunniff of Philadelphia recall the dramatic birth of their third child, Declan.

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