The Pulse Go on a sonic adventure into unexpected corners of the health and science world each week with host Maiken Scott. Created by WHYY in Philadelphia, the NPR member station that brought you Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
The Pulse

The Pulse

From WHYY

Go on a sonic adventure into unexpected corners of the health and science world each week with host Maiken Scott. Created by WHYY in Philadelphia, the NPR member station that brought you Fresh Air with Terry Gross.More from The Pulse »

Most Recent Episodes

Standing Guard

On this week's episode, we visit people standing watch over the world around them. There's a certain kind of person who decides to be the one to hold the line — take a risk — and guard what's important. We meet some of those protectors, watchdogs, and custodians: a suicide-hotline counselor who cares for others in crisis, a nurse who stands up to insurance companies, and First Nations stewards of Canada's waterways and forests. Plus, a woman who's a real-life guardian of the galaxy — or our part of it, at least.

Language

On this episode, we explore one of our most important and amazing human tools. What does neuroscience tell us about how language works, and how we acquire it? Can intensive rehab help those who have lost their ability to express themselves after stroke? We'll also hear about plant 'language,' voice donation, and the failed effort to create a universal language from scratch.

Science and Religion

What happens when a Buddhist environmentalist, a Muslim astronomer ... a rabbi and a priest walk into our studio? On this episode, we explore the ways faith and religion intersect with science. Sometimes the collision is fraught with misunderstanding and tension. Other times, science and religion influence and inspire each other.

From the Front Lines

On this episode, The Pulse celebrates the service and innovative spirit of U.S. veterans. There are about 20 million American vets. We've got a few of their stories.

Abandoned

What happens when we step away from people and places? We explore that question, beginning in Pennsylvania coal country where companies left abandoned mines and scarred land. In big cities, the eyesore on the landscape is often vacant houses, which become a home to violence and drug use. Plus, meet a woman who gave up her newborn son and found him nearly 50 years later.

Facing Our Fears

Cue the scary lullaby. On this episode we're taking on the things that freak us out. There's biology behind the spooky feeling you get when a horror movie soundtrack plays. Psychologists say fear is a useful emotion — a warning system — and sometimes a prompt pushing us past our limits. In healthcare, there's a controversial treatment that asks patients to do the exact things that cause them fear and pain — and to do those things over and over. Nerve-racking. Sickening. Facing your fear can be all of that — and sometimes a little thrilling, too.

Politics on Your Plate

What we eat and how we feed ourselves is inherently cultural and political in nature. On this episode, we explore how culture and politics end up on our dinner plate. Institutionalized racism in farming, "coming out" vegan to a family that thinks eating meat is a hallmark of masculinity, illegal shark fin soup and our ever changing views on breast milk.

Super Nerds

We used to think of nerds as unattractive, pimply or tragically unfashionable — but somehow over the years — the meaning changed. The post Super Nerds appeared first on WHYY.

Cleaning Up

Everywhere we go, in just about everything we do, we make trash. On this episode, we explore the hard work of cleaning up. The post Cleaning Up appeared first on WHYY.

Traveling down the modern Mississippi

The Mississippi's history is as winding as the river itself. But it's also part of our modern landscape.

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