17-14 Segment 1: Putting the Brakes on Environmental Regulation

RHJ 17-14A

 

The President’s proposed 31 percent budget cut for the Environmental Protection Agency and the appointment of a prominent EPA critic as the agency’s head have raised fears that the nation’s air and water quality will be ignored. EPA critics say the agency needs cutting, as it’s been activist in pursuing “worthless” strategies to reduce unproven global warming. Experts on each side discus pro’s and con’s of EPA cuts.

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17-14 Segment 2: Plagues and Dreaded Diseases

RHJ 17-14B

 

Plagues can wipe out entire populations and create fear and great mystery in how they spread. An author who has explored plagues and dangerous diseases explains.

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Medical Notes 17-14

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Medical Notes this week…

Some people will do almost anything to relieve their allergy symptoms but here’s an idea that works according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  It’s a probiotic combination of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria sold in stores under the name kidophilus.  Allergy suffers taking the supplement reported few or no symptoms and a higher quality of life compared to those who took a placebo.  Researchers think the probiotics work by increasing the immune symptoms T cells.

Millions of people rely on inhalers for medication for their lungs, but a new study finds that between 70% and 90% of the time patients make mistakes using them. The result is that those patients receive as little as 7% of the medicine they need.  The study in the journal Chest shows that the biggest mistake is in coordination of breathing with the activation of the inhaler.  Many patients inhale too late.

And finally, there’s a reason you feel better when you sit out in a grove of green trees.  A study in the journal Pain shows that green light helps mitigate chronic pain. A group of rats with neuropathic pain were bathed in green light and for the next four days they tolerated more thermal and touch stimulus than a control group. Another group of rats fitted with green contact lenses showed the same benefit compared to a group getting opaque lenses.  Scientists have no idea how green light works or whether the same effect holds for humans.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.