18-39 Segment 1: Solving the Recycling Crisis

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For decades, the US has exported much of its recycled waste to China, an option no longer available to us by Chinese government policy. Now, much of this waste may go to other Asian third world countries that are poorly equipped to take it. Experts say US consumers need to improve their recycling habits, but some advocates say we should aim for more—a “zero waste” lifestyle where a family of four can literally fit its annual trash in a pint jar. Experts discuss recycling options and how to reduce waste.


  • Amy Brooks, University of Georgia New Materials Institute
  • Bea Johnson, author, Zero Waste Home and founder, zero waste lifestyle movement

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18-39 Segment 2: “Flat Head Syndrome”

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Since the beginning of the “baby on back” movement to reduce sudden infant death syndrome, many more infants are developing misshapen heads with a flat spot in one place. An expert discusses whether this is serious, how it can be treated with a helmet-like device, and how it might be prevented.


  • Dr. Peter Taub, Professor of Pediatrics and Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York

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Medical Notes 18-39

Medical Notes this week…

More than 80 percent of teenagers and millions more adults have acne… and not all of them respond to treatments that are available. But an acne vaccine could end all of that within a few years. A study in the “Journal of Investigative Dermatology” finds that, at least in mice and human cell samples… a newly developed vaccine can markedly reduce inflammatory response to skin bacteria, the process that causes acne. However, researchers say not all acne is caused by the same thing.

Doctors have believed for many years that high levels of so-called “good cholesterol” help protect against heart attacks. But a study presented to the European Society of Cardiology shows you can have too much good cholesterol. In fact, people with very, very high levels have a risk of heart attack that’s just as bad as for people with very, very low levels. Extremely high levels of good cholesterol affect only about one percent of people… while about half of us have low levels. Researchers aren’t sure why high levels are so bad for the heart.

If you’ve got persistent pain in your neck and upper shoulders, you might be suffering from “iPad neck.” A study in the “Journal of Physical Therapy Science” shows iPad neck results from sitting without back support while using devices such as an iPad or tablet. Researchers say the condition is more prevalent among young adults and women. Not ready to say goodbye to your device? Experts suggest sitting in a chair with back support, using a posture reminder device and exercise to strengthen neck and shoulder muscles.

And finally… it’s a good thing to designate a driver for a night out drinking. But a new study suggests it might be a good idea the morning after, too. The study in the journal “Addiction” shows that when you’re hungover, your memory, attention, coordination, and driving skills are all still below normal. Researchers admit more work is needed to show just how much erosion drivers suffer the morning after.

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