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The Pulse

Health & Wellness Podcasts

Listen to full episodes of WHYY’s health, science and innovation program, The Pulse.

Listen to full episodes of WHYY’s health, science and innovation program, The Pulse.

Location:

United States

Description:

Listen to full episodes of WHYY’s health, science and innovation program, The Pulse.

Twitter:

@whyy

Language:

English

Contact:

215.351.2069


Episodes

The Generosity Spectrum

1/14/2022
When it comes to generosity, there’s a wide spectrum in terms of how far we’ll go for others. There’s buy-your-friends-dinner generosity, donate-to-charities generosity — and then there’s give-your-organ-to-a-perfect-stranger generosity. There’s generosity that makes us feel good, generosity that happens anonymously, generosity that goes viral on social media, generosity that changes someone’s mood, and generosity that changes someone’s life. On this episode, we explore generosity — what it...

Duration:00:45:29

Talking Therapy

1/7/2022
The new year often feels like a good time to make a fresh start, to tackle some issue that’s giving you grief — eating habits, work-life balance, having time for friends or exercise… but as the pandemic rages on, it’s hard to have the energy to keep trudging along, let alone become some better version of yourself. Which is why more people than ever are turning to therapy. But the process of therapy can still seem a bit opaque. What exactly happens in therapy? How does it work? And which...

Duration:00:51:57

New Developments in Cancer Treatment

12/31/2021
It seems like every week, we hear about new breakthroughs in cancer treatment — new discoveries, new medications, new hopes for a cure. The war on cancer has been a slow and steady grind, with incremental progress that’s been built one study, one breakthrough at a time. Behind each of those small but meaningful victories are years of unseen work — lifetimes spent studying specific cells, protein structures, gene mutations, and more. On this episode, we take a look at some of the latest...

Duration:00:50:00

Handmade Tales

12/24/2021
As a materials scientist, Anna Ploszajski was trained to analyze materials on a number of levels — their atomic structure, their chemical properties, their ability to conduct or resist electricity, their magnetism, hardness, ductility, and more. But Ploszajski quickly realized there was a hole in her knowledge — in terms of what it feels like to work with materials hands-on. She set out to understand things differently, learning by doing. Along the way, she met craftspeople who built their...

Duration:00:49:18

The Species We Save

12/17/2021
Humans have long tried to mitigate their own destructive impact on the planet through conservation efforts. Often, those efforts are attached to one iconic species or another — the majestic bald eagle, cuddly cute baby seal, or awe-inspiring blue whale. But is this about them, or is it about us? On this episode, we take a closer look at conservation, and dig into the human motivations and emotions behind it. We hear stories about a near-extinct fish called the delta smelt — and whether it’s...

Duration:00:48:49

Amnesia, Opioids and Why We Forget

12/10/2021
In 2018, Owen Rivers woke up in a hospital bed after a fentanyl overdose — and could no longer form new memories. It was a terrifying experience; he’d ask the same questions over and over — why he was there and what had happened to him — only to forget the answers. As it turns out, his case is part of a larger medical mystery surrounding a type of amnesia that appears to be related to opioid overdoses. On this episode, we’ll hear Owen’s story and explore what scientists are finding out...

Duration:00:49:49

The Memory of Land

12/3/2021
Living on a planet that’s been inhabited by humans for hundreds of thousands of years means pretty much every piece of ground that you walk on holds some history. Somebody was born right here, somebody died, somebody got married, gave a speech, or ran a store. Maybe a famous battle was fought on this spot. Maybe the piece of grass you call your lawn was once sacred ground. Over time, left alone, the structures and belongings of those who came before us return to the ground, becoming layers...

Duration:00:49:34

How We Process Information

11/26/2021
The human brain has an incredible capacity for processing information, from sensory data, to casual conversations, to everything we hear and read — in fractions of seconds. Not only that, our brains make sense of it all, allowing us to learn, work, form relationships, and navigate the world. On this episode, we take a closer look at how this all works — and why it sometimes doesn’t. We hear stories about listening instead of reading — and test the limits of speed listening; we’ll find out...

Duration:00:48:12

The Food We Eat

11/19/2021
Thanksgiving is near, which means many families will come together with loved ones over a shared meal that celebrates abundance. But along with their appetites, guests bring their food preferences. As omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, or those interested in eating sustainably grown food gather, a meal can turn into a battleground for arguments that go way beyond what’s on the plate. On this episode, we explore our desire to make food choices that benefit our health — and perhaps the health of...

Duration:00:48:52

Destination: Mars

11/12/2021
For thousands of years, humans have obsessed over Mars from afar. At first, maybe it was the fact that Mars stands out in the night sky because of its reddish color. But as we learned more about Mars and the conditions there, it was the possibility of life on this distant planet that captured our collective imagination. At its closest, Mars is nearly 40 million miles away from Earth — and we’ve tried for centuries to bridge that distance, using everything from telescopes to flybys and...

Duration:00:49:29

Conversations with Veterans

11/5/2021
There are 19 million veterans in the U.S. who have served in the armed forces. For many, the military gave them a sense of shared purpose, a strong connection to their comrades. But that community often disappears when they get out of the service, leaving many feeling alone, or misunderstood. On top of that, many veterans suffer with lingering health challenges, both visible and invisible. On this episode, we talk to veterans about what they experienced, and what they want other people to...

Duration:00:49:14

Health Care at Home

10/29/2021
A lot of us had our first taste of remote medical care during the pandemic — telemedicine checkups performed right in our own homes. It has its advantages — no travel time, no waiting room germs, no need to find a babysitter or change out of our jammies. And it can help doctors reach more patients without creating more strain. Health systems across the country are thinking about bringing care right into patients’ homes, with ideas that go way beyond virtual visits — including everything...

Duration:00:48:56

New fronts in the fight against climate change

10/22/2021
The search for solutions to address climate change is urgent. People want action now, something that will move the needle. But every solution that’s on the table has potential unintended consequences or tradeoffs involved. For example, wind power sounds like a great, clean option, but wind farms need space — where should they be located? A plan to construct them in the ocean is upsetting many fishermen and conservationists. Efforts to mine the ocean floor for precious metals needed to make...

Duration:00:48:45

Sending Signals

10/15/2021
The modern world is made possible by a web of electromagnetic radiation. Your phone, computer, TV, cable box, radio — all depend on millions of signals zipping past each other every second. As more and more devices and inventions rely on these signals, this highway of information is getting crowded. On this encore presentation, we explore this unseen world and some of the new issues that are emerging. We hear stories about how scientists are dealing with this increasingly crowded radio...

Duration:00:49:31

Finding Hope in an Experimental Treatment

10/8/2021
Jessie Flynn decided she’d had enough. For years, multiple sclerosis had taken more and more away from her life — her ability to move, her freedom, the job she loved, even her marriage. Now it seemed like medical treatments and physical therapy were no longer halting the illness’ progression — it seemed like she was on a rapid slide toward immobility. She wanted hope, and she wanted options. So she decided to try an experimental treatment called HSCT, which is not yet approved in the U.S. It...

Duration:00:49:48

What Will It Take to Diversify Medicine?

10/1/2021
Who becomes a physician in this country — and who never gets that chance? On this encore presentation, we explore this question a lot of medical schools are grappling with, as groups like Black people and Latinos remain especially underrepresented among students. What would it take to attract and retain a more diverse group of students? On this episode, we hear stories about people’s path to med school, and the challenges they face along the way. We learn about a major push to increase...

Duration:00:51:14

Handmade Tales

9/24/2021
As a materials scientist, Anna Ploszajski was trained to analyze materials on a number of levels — their atomic structure, their chemical properties, their ability to conduct or resist electricity, their magnetism, hardness, ductility, and more. But Ploszajski quickly realized there was a hole in her knowledge — in terms of what it feels like to work with materials hands-on. She set out to understand things differently, learning by doing. Along the way, she met craftspeople who built their...

Duration:00:48:51

Criminology Under the Microscope

9/17/2021
It’s one of the first questions we hear on detective shows after a heinous crime has occurred: “What’s the motive?” For hundreds of years, criminologists, politicians, and law enforcement have been asking a bigger version of that question: What causes crime? What makes criminals — criminals? People have turned to everything from appearance to biology and environment for answers, and they’ve tried to use science to address this question. On this episode, we look at science, crime, and the...

Duration:00:48:59

The Lessons of 9/11

9/10/2021
The passing of 20 years since the 9/11 terror attacks has meant that some of the wounds cut by that day have closed — others have not. Thousands of families lost loved ones in the attacks, and their grief became part of a national tragedy. Many more have since gotten sick or even died from illnesses related to exposure to dust and debris. The attacks changed how we think about the long-lasting impact of environmental hazards, what we know about grief and trauma, and how we build. On this...

Duration:01:00:48

The Evolving Nature of Work

9/3/2021
Sometimes, work can feel like Groundhog Day — different variations of the same thing, day after day. Same commute, same hours, same people, same conversations, same cubicle, same complaints. But then, everything changed because of COVID-19. The pandemic disrupted the way we do our jobs, whether you work at a cubicle, a diner, or a hospital. Many workers were laid off. Others started working from home instead of the office. Some realized they hated their jobs and quit. People learned new...

Duration:00:47:24