WNPR

Health

Roots of Prejudice

May 16, 2011
Linda, Creative Commons

Prejudice is one of the more troubling and baffling aspects of human nature

It has been the subject of scientific study for years.  But while social psychologists have learned a great deal about attitudes and societal influences that cause intergroup conflict, little effort has been devoted to understanding how adult humans come to have these biases in the first place.  So a Yale study set out to discover the roots of human prejudice, by studying groups of rhesus monkeys.

Brooke Singer

From shopping to banking to taxes “design thinking” is all around us....But beyond the buzz phrase, what does it mean?

Here’s another one: “Data Visualization” - and you’ve gotta come up with something better than an overhead projector showing a pie chart.  

Today we try to understand these new ways of looking at the systems that govern our lives, health, finances, even our environmental impact.  

DC Central Kitchen, Creative Commons

The Connecticut Health Investigative Team or C-HIT has uncovered that many school cafeterias in Connecticut are not getting regular inspections as required by law.  Some schools, who were cited for various health infractions, did not even get a follow-up inspection to ensure they had resolved their health issue.  We talked to C-HIT reporter and co-founder, Lisa Chedekel about the story.

Reporters on Health Care Reform

Apr 29, 2011
Chion Wolf

This week, state officials got a visit from an administrator in the Obama administration - who gave the state high marks for its efforts to implement health care reform.

But tell that to supporters of a “public option” under the state-run SustiNet plan, who held a rally to try and get that back into the state’s reform plan.   

Meanwhile, in Vermont, we’re hearing some say that state is moving toward “single-payer” health care - a kind of holy grail for some reform advocates.  Others say, hold on...it’s not really a single payer system.

Casey Serin, Creative Commons

About one in five prisoners in Connecticut is receiving mental health treatment .

According to the 2010 recidivism report recently released by the state, inmates with mental health problems are significantly more likely to end up back in jail once they get out.

The statistics reveal a flawed system of treatment and rehabilitation for the mentally ill in the state’s justice system - but it’s not confined to Connecticut.  

creative commons, danielle_blue

Children who sleep with fumes from water-based paints and solvents are two to four times more likely to suffer allergies or asthma, according to a new scientific study. Swedish and U.S. scientists measured the compounds - propylene glycol and glycol ethers - in the bedroom air of 400 toddlers and preschoolers, and discovered that the exposed children had substantially higher rates of asthma, stuffy noses and eczema. The irony is that these compunds are supposed to be healthier than the old, high-polluting, oil-based paints and solvents.

Addicted to Food

Apr 25, 2011
stev.ie, creative commons

Cocaine v. Chocolate Milkshake? Could there be a similarity?  

One Yale researcher says that addictions to both food and drugs have similar reactions on the brain. Using an MRI, participants’ brains were scanned while looking at and eating a chocolate milkshake.

StemConn 2011

Mar 24, 2011

Stem cells hold the promise of treating a host of diseases in the future. Today in Farmington, some of the top Stem Cell researchers in the country gathered to share the latest discoveries in this new technology.

Every two years, Connecticut hosts StemConn, a full day symposium that looks at the latest research and trends in this promising technology. Stem cells have the ability to regenerate and replenish various tissue in the body, which could potentially treat diseases such as cancer, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

One year ago today President Obama signed into law his health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Today at the state Capitol a host of supporters, including most of Connecticut's Washington delegation, will join together to celebrate the anniversary.  We checked in with Judith Stein, the executive director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, to hear how this law has affected Connecticut residents over the past year.

therichbrooks, creative commons

Today’s guest memorized the precise order of an entire deck of cards in one minute and forty seconds.

This supreme act of memorization earned Joshua Foer a US record for speed and a winning title at the US memory championship in 2006.  But how does his uncanny ability to memorize useless information relate to our daily blunders of lost car keys, forgotten birthdays…and the classic: “I know you just told me… but what’s your name again?!” 

Chion Wolf

Today's show was occasioned by a controversial New York Times page one article about Dr. Donald Levin.

It said: "Like many of the nation’s 48,000 psychiatrists, Dr. Levin, in large part because of changes in how much insurance will pay, no longer provides talk therapy, the form of psychiatry popularized by Sigmund Freud that dominated the profession for decades. Instead, he prescribes medication, usually after a brief consultation with each patient."

Mills Baker, Creative Commons

More than 336,000 residents of Connecticut use food stamps – up over 30% in the past year. 

This program, now known as SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs – provides an average of $263 a month for each household on the program. 

Andres Rueda, Creative Commons

How We Age

Feb 11, 2011
Creative Commons, Machinate

Advanced science and technology is helping to keep people alive longer than ever, but our emotional and mental ability to cope with aging are as regressed as ever. 

Dr. Marc Agronin is a geriatric physciatrist and author of the new book How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey Into the Heart of Growing Old

Where We Yawn

Feb 9, 2011
Campanero Rumbero

Today, we’re going to take a break from our usual talk about the state budget crisis…or transportation policy…and talk about something really exciting.  Boredom!

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  Especially in these mid-winter stir crazy days.  What to do with myself?  Well, according to author Peter Toohey, there’s about 3000 years of bored humans dealing with the same problem.   His book is called Boredom: A Lively History.

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