Topic: Health

Current Event April 29, 2015

Too Thin to Model

Civics/Government Health Ethics

Tall, ultra-skinny fashion models have graced the runways in Paris, France for decades, but a new French law could change the look of models. The new law, which aims to fight anorexia and other eating disorders, requires employers ask models for a medical certificate proving they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18. It also requires they periodically weigh their models to make sure they aren’t too thin. If companies use models that don’t meet these standards they face a fine and potential jail time.

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Current Event April 14, 2015

Scorpions and Brain Tumors

Life Science Health

People suffering from brain tumors often have surgery to remove them. But surgery is traumatic and once a surgeon gets to the brain it’s sometimes difficult to distinguish between the tumor and healthy brain matter. A potential solution has come from an unlikely source - scorpion venom. The venom is the base of a new substance called tumor paint, which can be used to make a brain tumor glow, thus making it easy to find during surgery. Listen to learn more tumor paint and how it can help surgeons when removing brain tumors.

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Current Event March 25, 2015

Body Clocks

Life Science Health

The human body is complex. It has long been thought that body systems are synchronized through a master clock in the brain. But recent studies have found that virtually all cells and all organs in our bodies have their own clock. These systems and cells are often in sync. But what happens when things go awry? Listen to learn more about how clocks in the human body work together to keep us going.

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Current Event March 24, 2015

Equality for Women

Civics/Government Gender Health

In 1995, the United Nations held the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China to focus on issues of gender equity. Twenty years later, the UN has released a report about the status of women in the world today. From areas of progress to inequities that remain, listen to learn more about the findings in the report.

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Current Event March 19, 2015

Hospitals of the Future

Civics/Government Life Science Economics Health

Hospitals have a reputation for being drab and sterile, but a new wave of hospital design is changing what patients can expect. An aging population, and increased access to healthcare due to the Affordable Care Act, has spurred a new era in hospital development. Listen to learn how two new hospitals in Dallas are revolutionizing the look of of patient care.

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Current Event March 15, 2015

Gym Class for Saudi Girls

Civics/Government Education Gender Health

The rights of women around the world vary widely. Women in Saudi Arabia have fought for their right to drive, be part of government, compete in the Olympics and, most recently, attend gym class. The school system in Saudi Arabia is divided by gender. Boys schools have long had gym class; a new policy would allow girls schools the same. The reaction within the country has been mixed. Some argue it breaks religious law, others say it is a natural and healthy way for young girls to grow. Listen to hear from women in Saudi Arabia.

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ELA

Food Safety and 'The Jungle'

Politics Health Ethics Fiction Reform Informational Text Persuasive

Our food supply is considered safe today thanks in large part to a movement to improve safety following the publication of the novel in 1906, "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. It was a vivid portrayal of the lives of immigrant families who worked in a meat-packing plant in Chicago. Americans were shocked and disgusted. This public radio story tells of how "The Jungle" galvanized public support to improve the safety of our food system.

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Current Event March 3, 2015

The Brain and Pain

Life Science Health Psychology

We have all experienced pain. Whether it is pain in your hand, leg, arm or chest - your perception of pain is controlled by the brain. New scientific studies have increased our understanding of how the brain can increase and decrease our perception of pain. Listen to learn more about the connections between the brain and pain.

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Current Event February 25, 2015

Fighting Cancer

Life Science Health

When the human body gets a cold, the immune system goes into action, killing the invading cells that are making you sick. However, when a cancerous tumor begins to grow, the immune system cannot detect it. A new cancer treatment, known as immunotherapy, is working to change this invisibility so that the immune system can fight off cancer itself, without the help of surgery and chemotherapy. Listen to learn how cancer cells work and how this groundbreaking treatment is fighting them.

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Science

Ebola: A Complex Virus to Cure

Life Science Health Viruses

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has inspired widespread fear throughout the U.S. and in many other countries. In reality, the threat of Ebola is actually quite small with only 1,700 deaths since 1976. The rarity of the Ebola virus has given major pharmaceutical companies very little incentive to develop a treatment for the virus given that the market for such a drug would be almost nonexistent. However, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, a small pharmaceutical company based in Frederick, MD, has been given government help to develop a cure for the virus. Listen to learn more about the complexity of the Ebola virus and what is being done to develop a cure.

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Science

Calculating Calories in Food

Life Science Health Nutrition chemistry

Food gives our body the energy needed to function and thrive. But what is energy? Where can you find it and how can you calculate it? This public radio story explores the energy in a cheese curl by burning it. Listen to learn about a great lab that allows you to calculate the energy in food.

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Science

Plague in Wildlife Threatens Ecosystem

Life Science Health Animals Ecosystems

Infectious diseases like plague don’t just impact humans, they can spread and decimate animal populations as well. One scientist saw the impact of plague in prairie dog colonies and among black footed ferrets. He questioned whether the scientific understanding of plague cycles and transmission was accurate. Listen to learn what scientists discovered about plague and its larger impact on ecosystems.

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Current Event February 6, 2015

Measles Outbreak

Civics/Government Life Science Health

Measles was a common and dangerous disease in the U.S. until measles vaccination became widespread in the 1980s. But recently an outbreak of measles in the U.S. has focused new attention on the disease. Measles is the most contagious infectious disease in the world, yet people remain unvaccinated. The disease is now rare in developed nations but continues to thrive in human hosts across the globe. Listen to learn more about measles transmission and prevention.

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Current Event January 9, 2015

Fine Parents for Teen Drinking

Civics/Government Life Science Health

The legal drinking age in the United States is 21, but surveys show that parties with alcohol have become common for underage teens. And often, the parents know the teens are drinking. Some communities are trying to hold the parents accountable for the underage drinking. Listen to learn how one county in Southern California is cracking down on teen drinking by fining parents.

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Current Event January 8, 2015

Powdered Caffeine

Civics/Government Life Science Health

Many people use caffeine as a pick me up throughout the day. They drink coffee or tea in the morning, and maybe a soda at lunch. A new powdered form of caffeine has hit the market but it can be deadly. Listen to learn more about the health impacts of powdered caffeine and the effort by some people to ban it.

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Current Event January 7, 2015

E-Cigarettes and Teens

Life Science Health

A new study on the lives of American teenagers shows that teens are choosing electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, over traditional nicotine products. These findings have sparked a debate about the safety and long term impact of e-cigarette use. Listen to learn more about this debate from public health advocates and e-cigarette companies.

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Current Event November 25, 2014

Virus Science

Civics/Government Life Science Health

In 2002, bats brought SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) to humans in China and killed 800 people. Now camels have brought MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) to people in the Middle East, sickening nearly 900 people already and killing one-third of those infected. Researchers in North Carolina have been studying MERS so they can better understand the virus. But this research has been shut down because the US government believes it's too dangerous. Listen to learn why this research is considered so dangerous, and yet so important.

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Current Event November 18, 2014

Acorn Snacks

Life Science Health Nutrition

Walnuts, pecans, peanuts and cashews are all nuts you typically see in the store and are healthy to eat. But what about acorns? Acorns, the tough nuts that fall from Oak trees are beloved by squirrels but rarely make it to the dinner table. In this public radio story we hear from a wild food advocate who is teaching people to eat acorns. We also hear about the history of eating acorns and the role of acorns in traditional Native American food.

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Current Event November 11, 2014

Viruses in Poop

Life Science Health Genetics

Bacteria and viruses are the source of most illnesses. A new source of ancient viruses has been found in the Canadian Arctic in the poo of caribou. Caribou, also known as reindeer, have lived and pooped in cold weather for millennia, so their frozen excrement is a source for ancient viruses. This public radio story introduces us to the scientist who discovered the DNA of two new viruses in 700 year old frozen Caribou waste.

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Current Event November 7, 2014

What is Quarantine?

Civics/Government Life Science Health

From New Jersey to Maine, there are ongoing discussions about how far quarantine should go to prevent the spread of Ebola disease. But what is quarantine? This public radio story explains the origins of government action to prevent the spread of infectious disease like the bubonic plague and influenza. It will get your students talking about the pros and cons of proactive government efforts.

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