WNPR

Health

Could 'Contagion' Strike Connecticut?

Mar 22, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, blmurch

Which is a worse way to die: the Spanish influenza that nearly killed off Elizabeth McGovern in Downton Abbey, or the respiratory virus that took out Gwyneth Paltrow in the movie Contagion?

Flickr Creative Commons, EssjayNZ

If I tell you that today's show looks into the near future and sees a wave of new drugs and other therapies that can enhance moral behavior, maybe you'll tell me: enough with the science fiction. But in some ways, the drugs are already here.

Oxytocin, sometimes known as the love hormone, increases empathy and social bonding.  And oxytocin can already be taken -- for other reasons -- in nasal spray form.

miamism, creative commons

More people are buying local food, choosing more sustainably-produced food, and growing their own.

This trend is the topic of The Fifth Annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium at CCSU.

Today we talk to some of the panelists -- Bill Duesing - head of the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, which is involved in a lawsuit against Monsanto and is pushing for “Genetically Modified” labeling in Connecticut.

Connecticut, like every state trying to reduce health care spending, is looking closely at how it cares for people with chronic conditions.

Gov. Dannel Malloy has promised to move more than 5,000 poor and disabled patients out of nursing homes in five years.

Adult Ed For Teens

Mar 15, 2012
preetamrai, creative commons

Thousands of teens are leaving traditional high school in Connecticut and opting for adult education programs instead.

These programs have more flexible hours and fewer requirements for graduation, allowing students - in some cases - to finish school more quickly.

But there are complicated reasons why some teens are taking this opportunity.  One is that some low-performing students - or those with troubled pasts - are being “pushed out” of the traditional school system...and there aren’t always spaces in “alternative” schools.

Brunosan, Flickr Creative Commons

As the brain ages, it becomes harder to know when its time to move from one task to the next. That’s according to a new study by Yale University researchers, who say understanding how the brain ages may help an older workforce.

The study is called Lost in Transition. Mark Laubach, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine, came up with the title after waiting to buy a ticket at the Washington, DC train station. He was anxious to get back to Connecticut to see his son play in his first Little League game.  

For Women, Baldness Need Not Be Faced Alone

Mar 8, 2012
Flickr Creative Commons, midiman

Whether its Rogaine, HairClub or countless As Seen on TV cures, baldness is a problem often associated with men. But for women suffering with alopecia areata, baldness can be an embarrassing and often secret problem.

West Hartford native Thea Chassin is providing support for these women with a group she calls "Bald Girls Do Lunch."

TRANSCRIPT:

Thea Chassin says she used to have a lot of hair.

I had hair. I had really great hair. I loved my hair.

Patient Safety

Mar 6, 2012
isafmedia, creative commons

Patient safety is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges.

Patient safety advocates say that thousands of people are put in harm’s way from preventable hospital-acquired infections and medical errors.

Connecticut alone reported more than 16-hundred “adverse hospital events” 2004 and 2011, including 157 cases in which patients died.

But reporting by the Connecticut Health Investigative Team shows that few of these cases are actually investigated by the state.

Disciplined Docs Reap Drug Company Benefits

Mar 6, 2012
Eric P / Creative Commons

In 2010, as state health officials were investigating allegations that Dr. Gerson Sternstein of Berlin was overmedicating patients, three pharmaceutical companies were showering thousands of dollars on the psychiatrist for meals and speaking engagements. Some of the payments continued even after his license was suspended in August 2010.

Wow. When I decided to do a show on genetically engineered foods, I had no understanding of the bitterness and distrust that exists on both sides of the issue. This is one of those debates in which pretty much everything is contested, from the credentials of the person talking against your points to the language employed in the discussions.

Helping Victims of Domestic Violence

Feb 27, 2012

Connecticut legislators met on Monday to discuss how the state can do a better job helping victims of domestic violence. 

Polish Businesses Clash With State Over Medications

Feb 21, 2012
Sarah Miner

New Britain is home to a thriving Polish community, and the stores along the city’s Broad Street are at its heart. Some goods and services in these shops, including medicines, are sold or delivered in the Polish language – a fact that’s recently brought store owners into conflict with state officials. WNPR’s Sarah Miner reports.

This is Roly Poly Bakery in New Britain. A vibrant Polish marketplace that sells everything from paczkis to purses. 

Governor Dannel Malloy recently committed to investing 291 million of the state’s dollars in a new genomic research facility on the Farmington campus at the University of Connecticut. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on what the center can do for medicine and jobs in the state.

C-HIT: Is Myriad's Patent on Breast Cancer Genes Valid?

Feb 17, 2012

As Myriad Genetic Laboratories nears its one millionth predictive genetic test for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, the cost of the test has more than doubled, and the company’s 15-year patent monopoly is being challenged by critics who contend it is stymieing other potentially life-saving screening.

Chion Wolf

We kept hearing it from business...there really are jobs in Connecticut...we just don’t have the right workers.

Business owners were telling us they weren’t finding people with the right competencies in science, technology, engineering and math...what are called the STEM subjects.

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