The Pulse – March 13, 2015

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    If someone tells you they have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, what thoughts run through your mind? Be honest. Of course many of us are going to say “Oh, that’s terrible!” but really, on the inside, aren’t we all rolling our eyes, thinking, ‘sure.. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.. right.’ It’s a controversial disease and there’s no real test for it. But there’s a push for more research and the disease just got a new name – Systemic Exertion Intolerance Disease. Elana Gordon reports on what that new name means for people who actually have the illness.

    We’re doing a series of stories on the issue of cancer this month, leading up to the new Ken Burns production “The Emperor of all Maladies” which airs on PBS stations at the end of this month, This week, we hear from David Bolgiano about his grueling cancer treatment in a story by Carolyn Beeler and the toxic stress and physical toll that can come from battling survival in a story by Maiken Scott. 

    This March marks a once in a lifetime occasion of epic proportions: It’s the ultimate Pi Day – not just 3/14 as usual, it’s 3/14/15. So, this won’t happen for another hundred years. Joining us this week to talk about Pi and its allure is Aatish Bhatia, a writer for the Emperical Zeal blog for Wired.com and the associate director of Princeton University’s Council on Science and Technology.

    This week, we launch a new segment called Lab Rat, in which we test out the latest health and science apps, products and treatments. In our first edition, we take on the topic of genetic testing – an exciting frontier of personalized medicine that’s also run into some early controversy. Zack Seward visited a local startup that’s making it easier for you to know your own DNA.

    We’ll also hear about the science of wind tunnels and a Franklin Institute after school program aimed at dispelling the notion that science is the domain of stodgy, old white men with thick glasses.

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