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Health And Science

The Takeaway

Study: Memories Can Be Passed Between Generations

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine recently released a study arguing that memories can be passed on through DNA. It’s the latest piece in a growing body of evidence for transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, and if it’s right, it could change the way we act in our everyday lives.

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The Takeaway

Scientists Discover Surprisingly Bright Black Hole

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Turns out black holes really aren't so black. A team of researchers has discovered an incredibly bright black hole located some 22 million light years away in the neighboring Pinwheel Galaxy. It’s twice as bright as astronomers ever thought possible. Joining The Takeaway to explain is Joel Bregman, co-author of the study and professor of astronomy at the University of Michigan.

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The Takeaway

HealthCare.Gov Site Picks Up Speed

Monday, December 02, 2013

HealthCare.gov can reportedly now handle 800,000 users a day. But with Americans rushing to meet the December 23rd enrollment deadline in order to get coverage by January 1st, administration officials admit the site might become overloaded. Congresswoman Diana DeGette, a Democrat representing Colorado’s 1st district, is among those who have been concerned.

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The Takeaway

The 'Paradox' of American Healthcare: Spending More for Less

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

While Americans have long known that we spend more on healthcare than any other country, most of us aren't reaping the benefits. Compared to most other developed nations, the U.S. falls short on measures of life expectancy. Elizabeth Bradley, a professor of public health at Yale University, and Lauren Taylor, a presidential scholar at Harvard Divinity School, are the co-authors of "The American Health Care Paradox." They argue that the problem may lie in the way Americans think about health care.

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The Takeaway

FDA Challenge Raises Questions on Right to Genetic Information

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The genetic-analysis company 23andMe has garnered a devoted following since its launch in 2006. Now the Food and Drug Administration has ordered the company to halt sales of its signature product, the Saliva Collection Kit and Personal Genome Service. Nita Farahany, professor of law, genomics and policy at Duke University, took the 23andMe test. She argues that the FDA is overreaching in their regulation of the company.

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The Takeaway

Revisiting the Dark and Toxic Tale of Love Canal

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Retro Report documentary team takes us back to 1978, when residents of Love Canal in Niagara Falls, New York got some shocking news about the disposal of toxic chemicals in their community: In the 1940s and 50s, Hooker Chemical company had dumped 21,800 tons of toxic waste in the canal. Thirty-five years later, J. P. Olsen, producer for Retro Report, reports on what he found when he went back to the community.

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The Takeaway

Law, Regulation & Medicine: A Tricky Balancing Act

Friday, November 22, 2013

Perhaps no other field represents the tricky balance between public protection and private life than medicine. Questions of when the legislature should intervene to protect the public, and when decisions are best left to the doctor and her patient, have been politically fraught territory for decades. Jessie Hill, a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University, is an expert on the law, regulation, medicine, and the difficult decisions in between.

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The Takeaway

Climate Change Talks Reignite Cold War-Era Conflicts

Thursday, November 21, 2013

United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Warsaw have reopened old wounds this week. Representatives from some of the world's poorest countries staged a walk-out yesterday as the United States, the European Union, Australia and other developed nations refused to discuss payment for extreme environmental damage until after 2015. Isaac Valero, the European Union's spokesman for Climate Action, explains where the E.U. stands and what's in store going forward.

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The Takeaway

Senate Passes Filibuster Reform | Scientists Bewildered by Strange Sun Activity | What is an Act of God? | How Facebook is Hurting & Helping Student Writing

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Senate Passes Filibuster Reform in Landmark Vote | Climate Change Talks Reignite Cold War-Era Conflicts | With the Earth Changing, What is an Act of God? | Scientists Bewildered by Strange Sun Activity | A European Perspective on the Recession & Recovery | How Facebook is Hurting and Helping Student ...

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The Takeaway

Senate Considers Extending Americans with Disabilities Act

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is considering extending the Americans with Disabilities Act to help bolster international support for disability rights. Judith E. Heumann, the Special Adviser for International Disability Rights at the U.S. State Department, joins The Takeaway to explains why some Republicans are opposed to a United Nations disabilities treaty being considered by the Senate.

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The Takeaway

Retro Report Looks Back on the National Cancer Act

Monday, November 04, 2013

The documentary series Retro Report takes us back to 1971 when the National Cancer Act was signed by President Nixon. The act heralded a War on Cancer, which has since raised awareness about the disease. Eradicating cancer, however, is a goal that still eludes us. Jill Rosenbaum is a Retro Report producer who discusses the history and future of the War on Cancer.

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The Takeaway

From the Institution to the Community, JFK's Mental Health Legacy

Friday, November 01, 2013

Americans suffering from mental illness have long faced barriers to treatment, including stigma from their friends, family and peers.
Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy sought to change all of that. On October 31, 1963, he signed his last piece of legislation, the Community Mental Health Act, a law that aimed to transform the way mental illness is treated in this country. According to Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a practicing psychiatrist and professor of law, medicine and psychiatry at Columbia University, fifty years later, the Act has a mixed legacy. 

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The Takeaway

Science Friday's Ira Flatow on Extreme Weather One Year After Sandy

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

While the science behind climate change may still be controversial in some circles, it's come increasingly difficult to deny that the planet is growing warmer. And though scientists are cautious when it comes to cause and effect, most experts agree there is a link between climate change and storms like Hurricane Sandy. Science Friday's Ira Flatow examines the lessons learned, and the link between climate change and extreme weather. 

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The Takeaway

Federal Health Care Policy: Past, Present and Future

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Since 1965, the federal government has redesigned its health policy several times with varying degrees of success. Helen Levy, research associate professor of economics at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and former senior economist to the President's Council of Economic Advisers, compares the ACA rollout to past, present and future federal overhauls.

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The Takeaway

A New Career for Jeopardy Supercomputer Watson

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What's Watson been up to since becoming a champion on “Jeopardy!” back in 2011? It turns out that IBM's supercomputer has been busy helping cancer patients, and medical students to become better doctors. And because of advances in machine learning, Watson is an assistant that just keeps getting smarter. The Takeaway considers the success of Watson’s flourishing career in the field of medicine with the help of the host of WGBH's “Innovation Hub,” Kara Miller.

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The Takeaway

Family, Allies Speak Out For Kenneth Bae's Release From North Korea | A New Career for Jeopardy Supercomputer Watson | Noise: A History of Sound and Listening

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Family, Allies Speak Out For Kenneth Bae's Release From North Korea | How the Federal Government Got into the Economic Data Business | A New Career for Jeopardy Supercomputer Watson | Noise: A History of Sound and Listening | Henry Louis Gates Jr. on 500 Years of African American History

The Takeaway

The State of the Affordable Care Act

Monday, October 21, 2013

The healthcare exchanges officially launched on October 1st,  and according to Sarah Kliff, health policy reporter for the Washington Post, at least 200,000 Americans have already applied for health insurance through their state exchange. But glitches in the Obamacare computer system severely delayed many applications. Kliff examines the state of the exchanges and the future of the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

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The Takeaway

Daydream Believer: Examining the Tangible Benefits of Idle Thought

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's good for the kids!

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The Takeaway

Are Criminal Charges the Best Way to Prevent Cyberbullying?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

This week, a Florida police department charged two girls ages 14 and 12 with aggravated stalking—a third-degree felony—for bullying a peer that eventually committed suicide. As more and more young people define their lives online, stories show that cyberbullying can have devastating consequences. But are felony charges the best way to punish bullies and prevent future incidents? What role should parents and teachers play? Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate and a fellow at Yale Law School, examines all of these questions. 

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The Takeaway

President Taft's Surprisingly Modern Diet Struggle

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Newly unearthed letters and diaries of President William Howard Taft show that the famously "corpulent" president pursued several modern dieting techniques, including keeping a food diary and seeking the council of a "physical culture man"—his year's version of a personal trainer. Dr. Deborah Levine, assistant professor of health policy and management at Providence College, discusses her findings about President Taft.

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