What Caused Henrietta Lacks’ Aggressive Cancer? Researchers Now Know The New York Times bestseller “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” tells the story of a young woman who died from aggressive cervical cancer and her amazing immortal cells which have been reproduced since 1951. A new study by the University of Washington has pieced together what caused her cancer, called “a perfect storm of what can go wrong in a cell.” We talk with study author Jay Shendure.
Art Of Our City: Cartoonist Ellen Forney Ellen Forney is an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. Her work has been published by Fantagraphics and appears regularly in the pages of The Stranger. Forney has just published a graphic memoir. “Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo and Me” chronicles Forney’s diagnosis with bipolar disorder, and her long journey to finding mental balance.
Sleep Less, Eat More? Scientists have known for a long time that lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. A new study sheds light on why. The study in Nature Communications finds that lack of sleep causes people to crave unhealthy, high-calorie foods like potato chips and makes it harder for people to control their impulses. We talk with study co-author Matthew Walker of the University of California.
How Wagner Came To America This month, opera lovers from around the world will flock to McCaw Hall to take in Seattle Opera’s internationally acclaimed production of Richard Wagner’s “Ring of the Nibelungen.” But where did a music lover go in the 1890s to take in some world-class Wagner? Would you believe Coney Island? Cultural historian and Wagner expert Joseph Horowitz tells KUOW’s Dave Beck the story of Laura Langford, the Brooklyn newspaper editor, suffragist, clairvoyant and Wagner disciple who founded a series of outdoor Wagner concerts at the famed Coney Island amusement park.
Millions of Americans take medications to control their blood pressure, and there are many kinds that will do the job. But one kind is found to increase the likelihood of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center found that women who’ve been taking calcium-channel blockers for more than a decade have an increased risk for breast cancer.
About 30 times a year, a hospital in Washington state leaves a sponge or surgical instrument inside one of its patients. The accident known as a “retained foreign object” is one of the state’s most commonly reported medical mistakes.
Tacoma candy maker Brown and Haley got a visit from the CDC and local health coaches (from left: Brent Grider, Jason Lang, Sheila Pudists and Joe Maguno). The company is participating in CDC's year-long program to help improve workers' health. The health team's visit included a tour of the candy factory.
It’s hard enough to stay healthy at work. But imagine working at a candy factory, surrounded by sweet temptations. At Brown and Haley in Tacoma, workers are getting help to change their health habits. The candy maker and other employers in Pierce County are part of a national pilot program.
Providing Equal Health Care The Human Rights Campaign released its 2013 Healthcare Equality Index. The HEI is a survey of how health care facilities treat patients from the LGBT community. Both UW Medicine and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance were recognized for being a “leader in LGBT health care equality." What does it mean to provide LGBT patient-centered care? Nicki McCraw, the assistant vice president of human resources for UW Medicine explains.
Art Of Our City This year could be the last time audiences see Seattle Opera’s current production of the Ring Cycle. The four-part opera marathon is the story of Norse gods and goddesses, love and greed. The final opera, “Twilight of the Gods," ends with the destruction of the world as the gods and goddesses know it. What does it take to end the world? Seattle Opera technical director Robert Schaub knows. He’s the man who helped turn the artistic vision into stage reality. Schaub took Marcie Sillman behind the scenes and then sat down to talk about theater magic.
The Interfaith Amigos On The Role Of Ritual All of us have rituals we engage in. Maybe you eat lunch at the same restaurant every day. Maybe you celebrate the holidays each year in a similar manner. How important is ritual to the human experience? The Interfaith Amigos muse on this subject.
Washington state is cutting back funding for the smoking cessation hotline. That means some people will only be able to call once. Are stop-smoking hotlines effective? Will this cutback lead to more smoking and higher public health care costs down the line? Ross Reynolds gets the answers from Dr. Abigail Halperin of the UW Tobacco Scholars Program in the UW School of Public Health.
A study conducted since the beginning of time reveals that 100 percent of people are worried about something.
Today, Srikar Penumaka and Madeline Ewbank conquer fear and anxiety. First, we hear from fellow RadioActivian Isaac Noren in his poem "Growing Up Fast." Next, ex-blogger Maddie LeClair shares the story of her time as a teen Tumblr therapist. Then you’ll hear about the irrational fears of our hosts as well as the good people of Pike Place Market, including the secret horrors of saunas and bubble tea.
On a more serious note, some recent studies show that one in five teens struggles with clinical depression. If you grapple with depression, or anything else really, and aren’t prepared to tell the people in your life about it, there are others out there ready to listen.
Call it a case of “lost in translation.” Washington and Oregon’s new health insurance exchanges are getting poor marks for their efforts to communicate with foreign language audiences.
On the Washington Health Benefit Exchange website you can find fact sheets in eight foreign languages – from Cambodian to Somali. These one and two page documents are supposed to help uninsured families navigate the new world of the Affordable Care Act.
Tuition-Free Washington? Oregon’s Legislature has voted to commission a study that would explore the idea of “tuition-free” college. The “Pay It Forward” idea would allow students to attend college for free and then pay for their degree based on their salary post-graduation. It has been catching on with lawmakers around the country who are looking for solutions to the high interest rates on college loans. State Representative Larry Seaquist is considering a proposal for the next legislative session. He explains what it could mean for access to higher education in our state.
Scientific Review On Menthol Cigarettes Menthol cigarettes are easier to start and harder to quit. That’s the takeaway from a new scientific review from the Food and Drug Administration. Although the FDA didn’t find evidence that menthol cigarettes are more toxic than regular cigarettes, the evidence shows that smokers of menthols develop stronger addictions and have a tougher time quitting. We hear more about the public health risk of menthol cigarettes from Sarah Ross-Viles of Public Health Seattle-King County.
Singer-Songwriter Shelby Earl Singer-songwriter Shelby Earl has just released her second album “Swift Arrows.” She’s no stranger to the music industry, having spent 10 years working in it before she left her corporate job to write and record her own album. She stopped by Weekday to talk and play some tunes.
Weekend Weather Forecast State climatologist Nick Bond brings us a weather forecast for the weekend.
For soldiers who are injured or wounded, the process for determining whether they’re eligible for medical retirement is long.
Many, including the Government Accountability Office, say too long.
In a 2012 report to the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, the GAO found that soldiers at Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord and other military installations were waiting nearly 400 days to get through the system.
The emergency contraceptive, Plan B, is now available on many drug store shelves. Last month, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the pill for over- the-counter purchase, with no age restrictions. The pill’s availability doesn’t end the debate over controversial prescriptions in Washington state.
Understanding The Vitamin Myth There is often contradictory information about the health benefits of vitamins and supplements: take them, don’t take them, low vitamin D is tied to aging, Omega-3 might cause cancer. So how do doctors and nutritionists cipher through the different information to provide the best advice to patients? Dr. Calvin Kwan, clinical resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, and Mary Purdy, a registered dietitian with Seattle Healing Arts Center, explain when vitamins are and are not effective.
Composer Lawrence Dillion The Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer Festival wraps up its 32nd season of performances in Benaroya Hall this week. Since 2007 the Society has premiered new pieces of chamber music through the efforts of its commissioning club. Club members pool together money to support the creation of work by leading American composers. This year’s piece, by composer Lawrence Dillon, premiered at the summer festival in Seattle on July 8. The composition “Sanctuary” is a musical musing for piano, horn and strings on the many meanings of the word. Dillon earned a doctorate in composition from Juilliard in 1985. He was the youngest composer in the school’s history ever to do so. Dillon speaks with KUOW's Dave Beck and we'll hear recorded excerpts from the premiere of “Sanctuary.”
Greendays Gardening Our gardening panel includes a flower expert, native plant expert, and vegetable gardening expert. They answer your gardening questions every Tuesday.
The M’s Mid-Season Report Halfway through the major league baseball season, the Seattle Mariners have taken their fans on quite the wild ride. Long losing streaks, winning streaks and a whole bunch of injuries. But recently, there have been some glimmers of hope. Young players like Nick Franklin and Brad Miller have ignited the M’s offense. And Raul Ibanez is on the verge of breaking the record of hitting the most home runs by a 41-year-old. So what’s in store for the M’s the rest of this season? Larry Stone, who covers major league baseball for the Seattle Times, is here to discuss the rest of the season.
Living Well With Parkinson's Medicine is making great advancements in the fight against Parkinson’s disease, even though there is still no cure. Advancements in gene therapy and a unique brain surgery are extending lives. But, it’s not just technology that’s helping patients, holistic medicine is also playing a role. A leading neurological researcher and one of her patients join us to share their story.
The Weather And Hike Of The Week Michael Fagin suggests a hike that matches the week’s weather forecast.
Memory loss is one of the symptoms of dementia. So is wandering. Over the last five years, at least 10 people in Washington state have died after wandering away from where they live. It’s a problem that communities will have to confront as the population ages. But not all police departments are prepared for these kinds of incidents.
There are different challenges when searching for people with dementia than for other missing person cases. Certain kinds of information play a key role, too. For example, when an elderly person is reported missing medical information is critical; it can mean the difference between life and death.