The Pulse – March 28, 2014

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     Allow us to reintroduce ourselves…

    This week on The Pulse, we renew our commitment to keeping listeners abreast of the most important news and trends in health, science, and innovation in the Delaware Valley. We’re doing this by looking back at some of our team’s best work.

    The Pulse tackles topics that play big roles in our lives. This week, the workplace wellness movement promises benefits to both employees and employers by encouraging and rewarding healthy lifestyle choices. But critics, and some new data, question the effectiveness of these programs. We look at the practical application of workplace wellness and the ethics of tying our health to our paychecks.

    In our regularly recurring segment “So, What Do You Do?” we arrange conversations between scientists and laypeople in an attempt to broaden our understanding of both science and the livelihoods of those we stand on line with at our neighborhood coffee shop. This week public health grad school candidate Teagan Keating sits down with malacologist Amanda Lawless about her lifelong passion for studying mollusks.

    One of the universal shared human experiences has to do with frustration over different aspects of our healthcare system. In our special segment “Pain In The Neck,” we attempt to share the experiences of folks dealing with doctors, hospitals, insurers, etc., and get them answers to common questions. This week, we try to understand why surgeons downplay recovery times.

    Patient Files is The Pulse’s forum for people struggling with disease and injury. The stories are inspiring, heart-breaking, and occasionally, hilarious. This week we hear from 25-year-old Scott Clifford, who had broken 50 bones by the time he was just eight years old. Then he stopped counting. Clifford talks about living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or brittle bone disease. We also hear how Philadelphia comedian Valerie DiMambro’s life was forever altered when she found out she had celiac disease, meaning she was allergic to her Italian grandmother’s pasta.

    Bringing to life the incredible science that happens in the labs of Delaware Valley every day is another important mission of The Pulse. This time we go on the job with some highly trained “super dogs” that can sniff out deadly cancers, we look for beauty in the sometimes panic-inducing experience of getting an MRI scan, we look into the future of disease fighting with Penn State scientists who have created microscopic “nanomotors” small enough to fit inside a human cell, and we recount the solving of an ancient puzzle by a group of Philly-based paleontologists.

    If you’re a regular listener, we hope you enjoy this stroll down memory lane. If you’re new…welcome.

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