The Pulse

The Pulse


Stories at the heart of health, science and innovation.More from The Pulse »

Most Recent Episodes

'Worm At The Core'

In the wake of the attacks in Paris, we examine the worm that some people think is eating away at our core — our fear of death. Then we turn to life after loss, and what all of this means for the climate change talks that are slated to take place in Paris. This tragedy reminds us to be grateful for what we have, especially so close to Thanksgiving.

Listen to the Episode

The Pulse Goes To School

Attention students, principal Maiken Scott here. This week, we're hopping on the bus and heading to school. We start off early, maybe too early, and take you through a typical school day — we'll go to science class to learn about climate change, stop in the hallways to hear the latest gossip, get some help for that nasty lice problem, and then bring a bit of school home with us. You better hurry up and download this, or else you might be tardy!

Listen to the Episode

Work with what you've got

A paramedic making house calls, a surgeon making faces more feminine, and women in Nashville writing songs of their assaults — on this week's show, stories about working with what you've got, no matter what the situation. Plus, some fun with helium, and the kind of morbid science behind why leaves look beautiful in the fall.

Listen to the Episode

Fear, Death and Pumpkins

We are bringing you the science of all things spooky, ghoulish, and...dead? We'll give you a sneak peek into the death positive movement, venture into the world of "smart death" and tell you a story of coming face to face with fear.

Plus, insider tips on how to grow a pumpkin big enough to take you to a ball. 

What's The Plan?

We all know that it's extremely rare for things to go according to plan. On this week's show, we visit an island that is fighting to maintain its history, even as its future is threatened by rising seas. Then we meet a mother who felt robbed of her daughter's birth because of her emergency C-section, and a woman whose doctor says she has cancer, but her mammogram says she doesn't. 

Plus, making plans to prevent the next Hurricane Sandy, and a brand new 'smart' bandage. 


A New Prescription

Doctors have a lot to keep up with as we learn more about the human body and develop brand new technologies that help advance medical care. On this week's show, we look at how medicine is writing a new prescription — doctors are trying out long distance relationships with their patients, learning health habits from Facebook stalking, and trying to master how to get patients to follow their orders. 

Plus, a staggering story about how fewer black men applied to medical school last year than in 1978. 

Changing The Narrative

This week on The Pulse, we look at stories that change the narrative. 


Making It Work

This week on The Pulse, we look at stories about people trying to make it work. 

Everyone has had the infuriating experience of talking to an automated machine on the phone and getting the response "I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Did you mean..." Even Siri has her glitches. But in comparison to what the technology used to be centuries ago, today's talking machines are incredibly sophisticated. 

Reporter Todd Bookman takes us through the history of inventors trying to make replicating the human voice work. Wait until you hear the first talking machine — it might give you nightmares. 

Then, in partnership with KBIA and Harvest Public Media, we bring you the story of how farmers are trying to meet the demand for 100 percent grass-fed beef. 

"And then the customers started catching on to what we were doing," farmer Steve Landers said. "Now, we got more customers than we (have) beef. We bought more land. We got more cattle. We got more customers and it just stair-stepped its way up since then."

And during a wildfire in California, one man had to decide to leave his herd of camels, or to stay and face the flames


Music from this week's show


Beating The System

For $25, you could buy a service dog vest online that could get your pet on a plane with you for free, or even in to your favorite restaurant.

This week on The Pulse, we look at people who are trying beat the system. 

Then, how undocumented immigrants navigate the health care system, and trying to figure out the price of procedures, before they happen.

'Bringing Sexy Back'

An invention in 1959 made the art of seduction easier with the twist of a knob — it was the dimmer switch, and it changed the dining room from a kid-friendly homework zone to a sexy spot to sip a cocktail and smoke a late-night cigarette. 

But could something as simple as dimming the lights really amp up a housewife's libido? Reporter Todd Bookman looks into this bright idea

Then we shift gears, literally, to a group that brings indoor cycling behind bars.

Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from