Patients used to accept doctors’ orders without question. Today, more are asking questions and challenging their doctors’ opinions. However, even those who do it politely are likely to be labeled “difficult.” A doctor whose late wife nearly made a career of being a difficult patient discusses how patients can do it respectfully and fruitfully.
Dr. William Steinbach, Professor, Chief of Pediatrics & Infectious Diseases, Duke University
Many people have questions about their bodies that seem so silly, they never bring them up with their doctors. While the answers are sometimes humorous, often they are more complicated and important than we imagine. An expert physician/writer discusses.
Dr. James Hamblin, Senior Editor, Atlantic Magazine and author, If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body
In the mid-1960s, many Ivy League and Seven Sister colleges as well as prestigious prep schools allowed researchers to photograph incoming students naked as part of work on a now-discredited theory linking physical characteristics to leadership potential. A former student who went through it, now a physician and writer, discusses how research ethics have changed in the last 50 years.
Dr. David Sklar, Professor of Health Solutions, Arizona State University and author, Atlas of Men
Explorers and scientists have been looking for the fountain of youth for thousands of years. Now there’s speculation they may have found an aging inhibitor in a generic HIV drug called Lamivudine. A study in the journal Nature shows that mice who are equivalent to 75 years old in human terms experienced dramatically reduced inflammation and other signs of aging when they received the drug. Lamivudine was approved for treating HIV in 1995. Scientists say they’re anxious to start human anti-aging trials.
Speed limits on highways are usually set as a result of engineering studies. But some local governments override those recommendations, believing that the lower the limit is, the safer the road will be. A new study in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention shows that’s only partially true. Crashes are reduced when a speed limit is set five miles per hour lower than recommendations… but setting the speed limit 10, 15, or 25 miles per hour lower actually increases both total crashes and fatal crashes because so many drivers completely ignore the limit.
And finally… educators have long sought ways to get girls more interested in science. Now a study in the journal Psychological Science has some tips. The study shows that suggesting “let’s do science” is much more effective at getting girls engaged than suggesting “let’s be scientists.” Researchers say pervasive stereotypes, even among the young, torpedo the idea that very many girls ever do become scientists.
Advancements in genetic science are often clouded in ethical controversy. Often, scientists are accused of “playing God.” Experts discuss a new platform where scientists and public can debate it, and from which education can be disseminated.
Dr. Ting Wu, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School
Scientists have discovered that the way parents talk to their infants has a huge effect on their intellectual development and later success. Experts discuss why and how parents should hold “conversations” with their babies.
Dr. Anne Fernald, Associate Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Dr. Kimberly Noble, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Columbia University
Drug and alcohol addiction and abuse is rising. Researchers have found that “fear mongering” educational efforts to combat it in adolescents doesn’t work. New science has discovered that certain personality types are predictably predisposed to addiction risk, and that educational efforts can be targeted to them effectively. Experts discuss.
Dr. Natalie Castellanos-Ryan, Assistant Professor of Psychoeducation, University of Montreal
Maia Szalavitz, author, Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction