Popular Science Radio

Virus and Disease Watch | FULL SHOW | #303

February 15, 201642 min
The Zika Virus has made its way into the United States, but still has no original cases in the country. Find out what we can do to avoid it, and where it's coming from. Then, we discuss the future of cancer therapy, proton beams! Also, a Tuberculosis outbreak in Alabama? Find out here. Segment 1: Zika Attacks! Mosquitoes have been carriers of various diseases for a long time, at least until we got them under control for a while. Now they're back with a new threat! Dr. Cort Stoskopf explains how this Zika virus crisis came to the United States, and how we might fight it. Segment 2: International Emergency Zika has actually been around for decades, but was never thought to be consequential to humans. STATNews Infectious Disease and Public Health Reporter, Helen Branswell, describes how the disease is transmitted, what it does to unborn infants and their mothers, and what countries or states are at risk. Segment 3: Vaccination Scare Is there any validity to the vaccination scare our current generation is facing? Dr. Cort Stoskopf says everything is risk assessment; are you more afraid of your kid dying from polio, or being autistic? One of these outcomes has a much higher chance! Segment 4: Proton Therapy In the battle against cancer, Radiation Therapy is a rocket launcher, and Proton Therapy is a sniper rifle. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology, Dr. Sameer Keole, explains how their giant apparatus accelerates protons to 2/3 the speed of light and fires them with extreme precision at cancer cells to destroy them, reducing collateral tissue damage by 60%. Segment 5: Take That Cancer! Ten questions is all that stands between you and proton therapy. Find out how the age of the patient and the location of the cancer are key factors in determining if proton therapy is best treatment plan, as we chat with Dr. Sameer Keole. Segment 6: TB Outbreak Tuberculosis is a very slow moving, robust bacterial infection, and as such, can adapt to our ways of treating it easily. Dr. Cort Stoskopf and STATnews Reporter, Leah Samuel, fill us in on how TB was able to make a comeback, and report on the situation and outbreak in rural Marion, Alabama.

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