19-06 Segment 1: Xenotransplantation—Organ From Other Species

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After attempts to use non-human primates as a source of scarce organs for transplant, doctors have turned to pigs for a variety of reasons. They’re now making great progress against the largest hurdle—rejection. One of the world’s foremost xenotransplantation experts discusses how the process might work and what the future might look like for millions of potential organ and tissue recipients.

Guest:

  • Dr. David Cooper, Professor of Surgery, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Co-Director, UAB Xenotransplantation Program

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19-06 Segment 2: What Determines Our Food Preferences

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Scientists are discovering that our food preferences are much more than a matter of taste, and that taste itself is more complicated than we thought. Psychology also plays a role. An expert discusses what determines preferences, such as why some people like jalapeno peppers & black coffee, and some don’t.

Guest:

  • Dr. Rachel Herz, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, and author, Why You Eat What You Eat: The Science Behind Our Relationship With Food

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Medical Notes 19-06


Medical Notes this week…

Trauma at such an early age that we don’t remember it can still have lifelong effects. A study in the journal Developmental Science screened nearly 200 pre-teens for stressful experiences in infancy and toddlerhood, asking if they’d gone through stressors such as parental divorce, a move to a new hometown, or the death of a loved one. Then they were given structural MRI’s… which showed a much greater likelihood of a smaller hippocampus in the brain of the traumatized youth. That can lead to memory deficits.

If you get one of your knees replaced, there’s a pretty good chance it will lead to having the other knee done within five years. A study in the Journal of Orthopedic Research shows that happens to nearly a quarter of people who have total knee replacement surgery… possibly a result of abnormal walking patterns after the first replacement. Researchers say physical therapy after knee replacement should aim to normalize walking movement to avoid the need for a second surgery.

And finally… if you’re in a stressful situation, think about your Valentine. A study in the journal Psychophysiology shows that visualizing your romantic partner is just as effective at lowering your blood pressure as actually having them there to comfort you. It could be one reason having a sweetie is good for your health.

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