Most people think of military science in terms of defeating the other side. But it also involves keeping our troops sheltered, clothed, fed, and protected from adversaries like exhaustion, infection, heat and noise. A noted investigative journalist explains the less well known side of military research.
Summer Eye Protection
Summer is when people want to spend as much time outdoors as possible. Skin protection and sunscreen are something most of us consider, but overexposure to UV rays is extremely dangerous to the eyes as well. An expert discusses.
Just a few decades ago, a large majority of adolescents experienced certain rites of passage before going off to college, such as getting a driver’s license, having a paid job, going out on dates, having sex, or drinking alcohol. But in the late 1990s, that began to change. A new generation is arising that is growing up slower than previous generations. Three experts discuss these new trends and what could be causing them.
While earlier generations jumped quickly into independence by their senior year of high school, research is now showing a decline in risk-taking for teens, says Dr. Jean Tweenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of I-Gen: Why Today’s Superconnected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. With parents who are becoming more overprotective, many adolescents are now overly concerned about safety and end up postponing adult actions, such as starting a career or getting married, which in turn can lead to them being unprepared when they do reach those important milestones.
Rachel Simmons, Leadership Development Specialist at Smith College and author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Happy, Healthy and Fulfilling Lives, also weighs in on this issue, saying that a delay in pursuing independence leads to a decline in resilience in difficult situations. Along with this, both Simmons and Tweenge comment on the role of smartphones and social media in these changing trends. While Tweenge says that smartphones make it easier for teens to stay at home for their social needs, Simmons says that social media itself isn’t bad Rather, the effect social media has on kids depends on how they choose to use it.
Parents’ natural desire to protect their children may be partially responsible for keeping kids from becoming “streetwise,” says Dr. Dan Siegel, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, Executive Director at the Mindsight Institute, and author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain. Not learning to handle independent experiences while in the safety of the home, can result in teens going overboard when they are given that freedom. Overall, he says, if our culture doesn’t expect teens to rise to adult responsibilities, then, as the trends are showing, they likely won’t.
For more information about adolescent trends or about our guests, visit the links below.
Dr. Jean Tweenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University and author of I-Gen: Why Today’s Superconnected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood
Rachel Simmons, Leadership Development Specialist at Smith College and author of Enough As She Is: How to Help Girls Move Beyond Impossible Standards of Success to Live Happy, Healthy and Fulfilling Lives
Dr. Dan Siegel, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, Executive Director at the Mindsight Institute and author of Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
Children in the US are now more likely to develop asthma, allergies, and other diseases. One explanation for this trend could be the lack of good gut bacteria. Dr. Tanya Altmann, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Editor In Chief of the American Academy of Pediatrics parenting book series, explains more about the studies that have suggested this theory.
Research of baby excrement has found significant differences over the last 100 years, and it has also shown that nine of out ten babies don’t get the transfer of good bacteria from their mothers that they need to be healthy. This is largely a result of modern medical practices, such as birth by C-section or antibiotics during pregnancy. An imbalance or overgrowth of bad gut bacteria has been linked to several diseases later on in life.
Breast milk is often pointed to as the solution to these problems, but while it is considered the best nutrition for babies, it may not be able to solve this problem by itself. If the mother’s own gut bacteria are disrupted or imbalanced, the baby will not receive enough good gut bacteria from the mother. Furthermore, research shows that many babies have become incapable of processing good gut bacteria from breast milk and might need to take a probiotic supplement in order to extract all the nutrients.
Altmann also points out that while it is crucial for a baby to develop good gut bacteria in the first year of its life, the need for these bacteria is also important later on. Having a nutritious, whole food, high-fiber diet, supplemented with probiotics, will help people of all ages develop a balance of good microbiome in their guts.
To learn more about healthy gut bacteria in babies, visit the links below.
Dr. Tanya Altmann, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Editor In Chief of American Academy of Pediatrics parenting book series
Experts have proposed new guidelines for hypertension and if they go into effect, it’s much more likely your doctor would tell you you’ve got high blood pressure. The guidelines define high blood pressure as anything higher than 130-over-80 and a study in the journal JAMA Cardiology finds that nearly half of all adults are higher than that. More than 83 million americans would be recommended for high blood pressure treatment under the new system.
In youth league and high school baseball, most pitchers also play another position when they’re not on the mound. But a study in the Journal of Athletic Training argues that it shouldn’t be catcher. The study finds that pitchers who also play catcher are nearly three times more likely to get hurt than pitchers who play any other position on the field. Among position players catchers throw the ball more than anyone else and the throwing adds up to far more arm injuries.
And finally, if you want to have a good business meeting serve coffee. A study in the Journal of Psycho-Pharmacology shows that small groups who have coffee together before a meeting rate their own performance and the results of the discussion more highly than those who did not have coffee. Apparently, caffeine gets the credit. Re-running the experiment with decaf didn’t provide the same results.
Teenagers used to experience rites of passage including getting a driver’s license, going out on dates, drinking, having sex, & getting a job. They’re engaging in these activities much less often today. It means less risk, but may leave adolescents less ready for adulthood and independence. Experts discuss.
Babies and Their Gut Bacteria
Children have up to five times as much asthma and allergies as their grandparents, and a new study shows that an imbalance of gut bacteria in the first year of life may be why. An expert pediatrician discusses why this occurs and ways to address the problem.
America’s opioid epidemic has taken 64,000 lives in 2016. While many people support prosecution and strict punishment for drug users, Vancouver in British Columbia has taken a different approach with their drug use policy of harm reduction. Travis Lupick, author of Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction, explains more about how harm reduction works and where it came from.
Harm reduction seeks to solve the problems of drug addiction by alleviating the harms caused by the prohibition of drugs, rather than the drugs themselves. In Vancouver, a supervised injection facility, established based on the recommendation of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), provides a safe and clean place for drug use, without providing drugs. This has resulted in the reduction of diseases caused by unclean needles, for example, and has even provided many with a lifeline to abstinence and detox from drugs.
Although counterintuitive, harm reduction has been met with resistance within Vancouver and in several cities in the US, as well. But, the effects of this program have been undeniably positive and have been supported by medical research. By providing a space where drug users feel safe, the city is providing drug users with the chance to use drugs safely and also to eventually transition into a drug-free life. Lupick calls for more American cities to consider the benefits of this program, as well as encouraging more doctors to enter the field of addiction medicine, where they are sorely needed.
For more information about Harm Reduction or to purchase a copy of Lupick’s book, visit the links below.
Travis Lupick, author of Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle With Addiction
On October 1, 2003, Dr. Christina Crosby’s life was changed by a bicycle accident. She was paralyzed and had to learn to re-navigate her life as a quadriplegic. As a Professor of English and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University and author of A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain, her life now may be considered a heroic triumph by some. But, Crosby says many don’t understand what it’s like to live with continuous pain. She explains more about her experiences and thoughts on living in agony.
Crosby describes the sensation she feels in her body as a continuous buzz of neurological pain. While she can feel physical touch, her body is still paralyzed, which is frustrating, to say the least. Crosby’s experiences are paralleled by those of millions of Americans in chronic pain, whether from an accident like Crosby’s or something as common as arthritis. Crosby points to one particular frustration in her life, found in the doctor’s office: the 1-10 pain scale. Feeling and pain can’t be quantified, she says, and require more comprehensive language to accurately address the subjectivity.
A life in pain not only involves constant frustration and suffering but also can alienate the individual from their loved ones and society. Because of pain’s invisibility and resistance to easy description, it gets in the way of many experiences and relationships. Furthermore, Crosby explains the struggle with loss, as the individual frequently grieves what they used to be. The desire to not forget has to be balanced with the need to move forward, Crosby says. There is still life while in pain, but it requires patience and understanding from the one suffering and those around them.
For more information about living in pain or about Crosby’s book, visit the links below.
Dr. Christina Crosby, Professor of English and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan University and author of A Body, Undone: Living On After Great Pain