The Pulse – March 21, 2014

    Listen

    What can our genes tell us about our health risks?  This week on The Pulse, we take a look at the prospects and possibilities of precision medicine and whether it’s living up to its hype. We also talk with Randy Scott, who works for a company that makes the genetics tests you can order through your doctor.  He starts off by explaining the difference between genomic and genetic testing. 

    As the Affordable Care Act enrollment approaches, many health advocates and government leaders are pulling out all the stops to spread the word and encourage people to sign up.  We check in with a few people who are making rounds in local neighborhoods. 

    In this week’s So What Do You Do?, we pair up Opera singer Valerie Gay with Michelle Johnson, director of Penn Medicine’s Rehabilitation Robotics Lab, to talk about Johnson’s work with robots in rehab therapy. 

    Diane Burko shows us how she’s using art to depict things that scientists struggle to explain and The Scientist’s Kerry Grens shares the latest science news of the week, including the detection of gravitational ripples originating from the Big Bang, research documenting the resurrection of ancient moss and scientific efforts to engineer tissue that closely mimics a natural heart muscle that beats. 

    In other science news, we head to Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center to find out what the smell of our earwax can tell us. 

    And our SciStarter spring preview features all of the hottest projects for citizen scientists this season, including critter counts, rain measurements and cherry blossom searches. 

    To listen to the full show, click on the yellow audio icon above. 

    Music from today’s show: 

    “Vaporis Congeries Magnae” – 1:32Samuel PellmanAlbum Selected PlanetsLabel Innova Recordings

    “Best Night” – 5:30The War on DrugsAlbum Slave AmbientLabel Secretly Canadian

    “Starving in the Belly of a Whale” – 3:41Tom WaitsAlbum Blood MoneyLabel Anti

    “Get Off the Internet” – 3:33Le TigreAlbum From the Desk of Mr. LadyLabel Mr. Lady

    “Bees” – 5:23CaribouAlbum The Milk of Human KindnessLabel Leaf/Domino

    “Goodbye Old Friend” – 2:06Noah and the WhaleAlbum Heart of Nowhere SoundtrackLabel Virgin EMI Records

    “Great Escape” – 5:06Washed OutAlbum ParacosmLabel Sub Pop

    “3030” – 6:56Deltron 3030Album Deltron 3030 – The InstrumentalsLabel 75 Ark

     

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.