Clicky

The Pulse

The Pulse The Pulse brings you stories about the people and places at the heart of health and science. The Pulse features in-depth reports on health and science issues.

You can download our podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pulse/id772127662?mt=2

You can tune into The Pulse at these stations:-WHYY 90.9 FM Philadelphia region, PAFriday at 9AM and Sunday at 10AM-WITF 89.5 FM Harrisburg, PAFriday at 7PM -KCUR 89.3 FM Kansas City, MOSunday at 7PM

Find all of our stories at whyy.org/thepulse

Our staff:
Maiken Scott, host
Lindsay Lazarski, pro

You can download our podcast here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pulse/id772127662?mt=2

You can tune into The Pulse at these stations:-WHYY 90.9 FM Philadelphia region, PAFriday at 9AM and Sunday at 10AM-WITF 89.5 FM Harrisburg, PAFriday at 7PM -KCUR 89.3 FM Kansas City, MOSunday at 7PM

Find all of our stories at whyy.org/thepulse

Our staff:
Maiken Scott, host
Lindsay Lazarski, pro

Operating as usual

For years Jared Cocken planned his life in New York City around sound—mostly because he lives with a rare hearing condit...
03/11/2022
How one man cherished the silence the pandemic lockdown brought

For years Jared Cocken planned his life in New York City around sound—mostly because he lives with a rare hearing condition called hyperacusis, making life in the noisy city challenging. But after the March 2020 pandemic lockdown began, life became a little easier on his ears.

Dan Latu reports 📝

Noise can be disturbingly loud for people with the rare hearing condition hyperacusis. When the March 2020 shutdown quieted the environment, less sound meant less suffering.

Sometimes we tune out the sounds in our environment. The dings and pings from the computer, or even the sound of engines...
03/11/2022
Humans and Sound - WHYY

Sometimes we tune out the sounds in our environment. The dings and pings from the computer, or even the sound of engines roaring on the road. Although they're easy to forget, each sound has a unique purpose.

In this episode, we explore how we interact with sound, and how it affects us.

The soundscape of our lives changes depending on where we are — the murmuring of voices, birdsong in trees, the beeps and dings of technology, and the cacophony of traffic.

We all know that gut feeling 🤔. The inside voice that's trying to guide our life. It's intuition, and scientists say the...
03/04/2022
When to Trust Your Intuition - WHYY

We all know that gut feeling 🤔. The inside voice that's trying to guide our life. It's intuition, and scientists say there's more to it than just gut instinct. In this episode, we explore intuition, how it works, and when to trust it.

It’s when a dark alleyway makes the hairs stand up on the back of our neck; when a mother just knows that something’s wrong with her kid; when you meet someone, and can tell they’ll either be your best friend — or your worst nightmare.

Kyle Jorgensen returned from Afghanistan in 2007 with a noticeable  problem—he couldn’t hear as well as before. And afte...
02/25/2022
Passed your hearing test, but still have issues comprehending what other say? Here's why

Kyle Jorgensen returned from Afghanistan in 2007 with a noticeable problem—he couldn’t hear as well as before. And after many hearing tests, he checked out fine. Turns out his ears were not the culprit. Liz Tung reports...

Can you hear just fine, but often ask people to repeat themselves? Researchers are brainstorming ways to improve auditory processing disorders beyond the ear.

Our brains comprehend text, sounds, and spoken language all day long—but how does this information enter our brains and ...
02/25/2022
How We Process Information - WHYY

Our brains comprehend text, sounds, and spoken language all day long—but how does this information enter our brains and create meaning?

In this episode replay, we explore how we process information and why it's not always easy.

The human brain has an incredible capacity for processing information, from sensory data, to casual conversations, to everything we hear and read — in fractions of seconds. Not only that, our brains make sense of it all, allowing us to learn, work, form relationships, and navigate the world. On th...

Think anger is helpful in a game, match, or fight? Here’s what happens when elite athletes look to harness the power of ...
02/18/2022
Feeling angry? When harnessing emotion helps us win

Think anger is helpful in a game, match, or fight? Here’s what happens when elite athletes look to harness the power of emotion when the chances of victory seem slim.

Jad Sleiman reports 📝🎧

When the margin of victory is slim, elite athletes look to harness the power of emotions

Thanks to science, athletes are becoming faster, stronger, and more focused. Carefully engineered equipment produces gam...
02/18/2022
How Science is Changing Sports - WHYY

Thanks to science, athletes are becoming faster, stronger, and more focused. Carefully engineered equipment produces game-changing results, helping athletes break records. Now critics wonder how much of the player’s original talents are left on the field.

In this episode, we explore the different ways in which science is shaping sports.

Science is constantly propelling athletes to run faster, jump higher, push harder, and break records. Scientific advances have become such a big part of competitions that some critics say innovation is beginning to overshadow athleticism. On this episode, we explore the different ways in which scien...

Imagine finding the love of your life on Tinder—then finding out this person lives on a different continent. That mixup ...
02/11/2022
How a glitch on a dating app created a long-distance relationship

Imagine finding the love of your life on Tinder—then finding out this person lives on a different continent. That mixup happened to Meriem Abella and Amine Tino: This is the story of how a glitch in the algorithm brought a couple together.

Clare Boyle has more 🎧

Tinder told this couple they were less than a mile away. That was far from the truth—but the reality of it all sparked an intercontinental romance.

A TikTok trend insists if your pupils dilate when you think of a crush or love interest, it’s a sign that you may actual...
02/11/2022
How TikTok’s pupil test works, and what it tells us about love and attraction

A TikTok trend insists if your pupils dilate when you think of a crush or love interest, it’s a sign that you may actually be in love with them.

Scientists say there’s some truth to it.

Caitrin Pilkington has more 🎧

A TikTok trend that claims to test if you’re really in love may—science says there's some truth to it.

Humans are obsessed with love. The rush of excitement after a first kiss. That fuzzy feeling after a great first date. W...
02/11/2022
The Mysteries of Love - WHYY

Humans are obsessed with love. The rush of excitement after a first kiss. That fuzzy feeling after a great first date. We become consumed with this emotion–even if it leads to crazed infatuation or terrible heartache.

In this episode, we explore what science can tell us about love and how technology keeps changing the way we meet our partners.

If there’s one thing humans can’t get enough of, it’s love. The spark of a first kiss, the warm glow of a happy couple — even if it leads to jealousy, heartache, and pain. We’re obsessed — there are millions of songs, movies, poems, paintings, even scriptures — dedicated to exploring r...

Creative writing workshops help writer develop their voice—but the feedback in workshops can be overwhelming, leaving th...
02/04/2022
Creative writing workshops—does the feedback make for better writing?

Creative writing workshops help writer develop their voice—but the feedback in workshops can be overwhelming, leaving the writer feeling vulnerable about their work.

So do these workshops really make a better writer? Sojourner Ahébée reports 🎧

The aim of a creative writing workshop is to help writers develop their style and voice. But can the heavy volume of feedback become overwhelming?

Feedback is a part of our daily lives. Whether you’re talking with friends, a co-worker, or a patient—they can sometimes...
02/04/2022
Thank You for Your Feedback - WHYY

Feedback is a part of our daily lives. Whether you’re talking with friends, a co-worker, or a patient—they can sometimes share an opinion about you.

On this episode, we explore feedback and whether it helps or hurts.

From Amazon to Angie’s List, Google, Facebook and Yelp, we live in a world driven by feedback. In the best of circumstances, honest critiques can make us better — they can give us new perspectives, improve our work, or just offer some encouragement to keep us going. But feedback is a double-edge...

Lose the pillow, and maybe the mattress too. Physical Therapist Michael Tetley's 20-year-old research instead argues for...
01/28/2022
A physiotherapist says your comfy pillow and bed aren't helping your sleep

Lose the pillow, and maybe the mattress too. Physical Therapist Michael Tetley's 20-year-old research instead argues for nature-informed sleep positions to eliminate pain.

Lose the pillow, maybe the mattress too. Michael Tetley's 20 year old paper argues for nature-informed sleep positions to eliminate pain.

A good night's sleep seemed out of the question during the early part of the pandemic for a Philadelphia physician. But ...
01/28/2022
How long COVID helped one doctor learn to slow down

A good night's sleep seemed out of the question during the early part of the pandemic for a Philadelphia physician. But she learned an important lesson about the need to slow down.

For a Philadelphia physician, rest seemed out of the question during the early part of the pandemic—but long COVID taught her how to listen to her body and finally slow down.

Ideally, we spend about a third of our lives asleep—but getting a good night's rest isn’t so simple. On this episode, we...
01/28/2022
Chasing Sleep - WHYY

Ideally, we spend about a third of our lives asleep—but getting a good night's rest isn’t so simple.

On this episode, we look at the function of sleep, how to get our best sleep, and what happens when we don’t get it.

Sleep — we all need it, but most people aren’t getting enough of it. Ideally, we spend about a third of our lives asleep. When we’re well rested, we feel like we can take on the world. But when we’re not, we find ourselves exhausted, cranky, moody, forgetful … and our overall health takes ...

In some cities like Philadelphia, it’s illegal to keep chickens. But not everyone is keeping the backyard animals as liv...
01/21/2022
How backyard chickens blur the lines between illegal farm animal and pet

In some cities like Philadelphia, it’s illegal to keep chickens. But not everyone is keeping the backyard animals as livestock. Some are keeping them as pets.

Alan Yu reports

It was normal to keep chickens in your backyard back in the old days—but today, some people run from the law to keep their farm animals as pets.

Dogs and cats are some of our classic pet choices. But humans are also naming unusual animals as their companions—like f...
01/21/2022
Unusual Pets - WHYY

Dogs and cats are some of our classic pet choices. But humans are also naming unusual animals as their companions—like ferrets, chickens, or rats.

On this episode, what makes a pet a pet? And does it matter, as long as both animals and humans are happy?

Americans love their pets — as many as seven out of 10 households are home to cats, dogs, birds… or more unusual animal choices. What defines a pet in the first place? Plenty of people are pushing the boundaries of the kinds of animals we usually think of as pets, blurring the lines between wild...

You know the spirit of generosity—giving a hot meal, money, or sometimes a vital organ to a stranger? What motivates the...
01/14/2022
The Generosity Spectrum - WHYY

You know the spirit of generosity—giving a hot meal, money, or sometimes a vital organ to a stranger? What motivates these acts of kindness?

On this episode, we explore generosity, altruism—where it begins and how it affects the giver and the recipient.

When it comes to generosity, there’s a wide spectrum in terms of how far we’ll go for others. There’s buy-your-friends-dinner generosity, donate-to-charities generosity — and then there’s give-your-organ-to-a-perfect-stranger generosity. There’s generosity that makes us feel good, genero...

Parental care often extends beyond people’s biological offspring—to offer love, protection, guidance, and a family to ch...
01/14/2022
How informal adoptions became a pillar in the Black community way of life

Parental care often extends beyond people’s biological offspring—to offer love, protection, guidance, and a family to children in need.

This kind of generosity or altruistic mindset is the foundation of many families in the Black community.

Sojourner Ahébée reports 🎧

It's not unusual for racial groups to extend care to relatives—but experts say informal adoption is unquestionably a mainstay in the African American community.

Current events, polarization, and political tensions are topics that can become a minefield in families or relationships...
01/07/2022
Should you know who your therapist voted for?

Current events, polarization, and political tensions are topics that can become a minefield in families or relationships—but also, the therapist's office.

Should politics come up in therapy? Is it time for therapists to finally share their beliefs?

Jad Sleiman reports

Traditionally, therapists are a blank slate—but that's not the case anymore. Some therapists are inviting their political views into the room.

As people deal with the mental consequences of a pandemic, therapy apps have only gotten more popular—but how well are t...
01/07/2022
How can therapy apps reach lower-income communities?

As people deal with the mental consequences of a pandemic, therapy apps have only gotten more popular—but how well are these efforts reaching lower-income communities?

Mycah Hazel reports

A Reno online therapy effort succeeded with people who’d done in-person therapy. What’s less clear is whether the endeavor reached those who traditionally couldn’t afford in-person therapy?

The New Year often feels like a good time to make a fresh start—to tackle some issue that’s giving you grief. Some peopl...
01/07/2022
Talking Therapy - WHYY

The New Year often feels like a good time to make a fresh start—to tackle some issue that’s giving you grief. Some people are choosing therapy to resolve their problems.

On this episode, we explore therapy and what it takes to feel better.

The new year often feels like a good time to make a fresh start, to tackle some issue that’s giving you grief — eating habits, work-life balance, having time for friends or exercise… but as the pandemic rages on, it’s hard to have the energy to keep trudging along, let alone become some bett...

Sue Scott was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was in her mid-30s. She underwent chemo and radiation—and within m...
12/31/2021
How a clinical trial cured cancer — in some cases

Sue Scott was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was in her mid-30s. She underwent chemo and radiation—and within months, her cancer returned.

Fortunately, she found a clinical trial in 2012, and her cancer was gone in two months: How?

A researcher’s experience as a patient motivated him to find cures. He focused on cancers caused by the human papillomavirus.

The war on cancer has been a slow and steady grind, with incremental progress that’s been built one study, one breakthro...
12/31/2021
New Developments in Cancer Treatment - WHYY

The war on cancer has been a slow and steady grind, with incremental progress that’s been built one study, one breakthrough at a time.

On this episode, we take a look at some of the latest breakthroughs in cancer treatment, and the personal stories behind them.

It seems like every week, we hear about new breakthroughs in cancer treatment — new discoveries, new medications, new hopes for a cure. The war on cancer has been a slow and steady grind, with incremental progress that’s been built one study, one breakthrough at a time.

Materials Scientist Anna Ploszajski was trained to analyze materials on many levels—But quickly realized there was a hol...
12/24/2021
Handmade Tales - WHYY

Materials Scientist Anna Ploszajski was trained to analyze materials on many levels—But quickly realized there was a hole in her practice.

She didn’t know what it felt like to work with materials hands-on.

On this episode, we follow Ploszajski and others on their journeys to understand everyday materials through the process of creating.

As a materials scientist, Anna Ploszajski was trained to analyze materials on a number of levels — their atomic structure, their chemical properties, their ability to conduct or resist electricity, their magnetism, hardness, ductility, and more.

Humans have long tried to reduce their own destructive impact on the planet through conservation efforts—because conserv...
12/17/2021
The Species We Save - WHYY

Humans have long tried to reduce their own destructive impact on the planet through conservation efforts—because conserving what we have now may pave a path to a brighter future.

On this episode, we take a closer look at conservation, and dig into the human motivations and emotions behind it.

Humans have long tried to mitigate their own destructive impact on the planet through conservation efforts. Often, those efforts are attached to one iconic species or another — the majestic bald eagle, cuddly cute baby seal, or awe-inspiring blue whale. But is this about them, or is it about us? O...

Is it challenging to remember anything around the age of three or four?That’s probably due to a phenomenon called childh...
12/10/2021
If we can’t remember our earliest memories, do they matter?

Is it challenging to remember anything around the age of three or four?

That’s probably due to a phenomenon called childhood amnesia, and most people experience it. So do those forgotten memories actually matter 🤔

Reporter Jad Sleiman explores that question.

As kids, we all experience an amnesia that baffled science for decades. Current research, though, says while these memories are forgotten, they aren’t really gone.

In 2018, Owen Rivers woke up in a hospital room with no idea why he was there.Owen had a fentanyl overdose—and could no ...
12/10/2021
Amnesia, Opioids and Why We Forget - WHYY

In 2018, Owen Rivers woke up in a hospital room with no idea why he was there.

Owen had a fentanyl overdose—and could no longer form new memories.

On this episode, we’ll hear Owen’s story and explore what scientists are finding out about the connection between overdoses and amnesia.

In 2018, Owen Rivers woke up in a hospital bed after a fentanyl overdose — and could no longer form new memories. It was a terrifying experience; he’d ask the same questions over and over — why he was there and what had happened to him — only to forget the answers. As it turns out, his case ...

How do we memorialize places with a complicated history? A coal mining mountain in West Virginia provided jobs and wealt...
12/03/2021
A West Virginia mountain represents a complicated history in the coal industry

How do we memorialize places with a complicated history? A coal mining mountain in West Virginia provided jobs and wealth for decades—but the area also has a history of conflict, battle, and bloodshed.

Which narrative do we remember 🤔 Reporter Irina Zhorov has more.

The history of Blair Mountain’s 1921 bloodshed battle between miners and their employers is mostly unknown to those who would honor its significance.


The ground beneath our feet is more than dirt or soil🚶‍♂️Humans have walked the earth for years, leaving behind structur...
12/03/2021
The Memory of Land - WHYY

The ground beneath our feet is more than dirt or soil🚶‍♂️

Humans have walked the earth for years, leaving behind structures and belongings.

On this episode, we explore how land and history connect, and how we choose to remember 🙇‍♀️

Living on a planet that’s been inhabited by humans for hundreds of thousands of years means pretty much every piece of ground that you walk on holds some history. Somebody was born right here, somebody died, somebody got married, gave a speech, or ran a store. Maybe a famous battle was fought on t...

Did you pass the standard ‘push the button at the beep’ hearing test, but still have issues understanding people? You’re...
11/26/2021
Passed your hearing test, but still have issues comprehending what other say? Here's why

Did you pass the standard ‘push the button at the beep’ hearing test, but still have issues understanding people? You’re not alone and the ear isn't to blame 🎉

Pulse Reporter Liz Tung explores how researchers are trying to improve hearing beyond the ear.

Can you hear just fine, but often ask people to repeat themselves? Researchers are brainstorming ways to improve auditory processing disorders beyond the ear.

Address

150 N 6th St
Philadelphia, PA
19106

Telephone

+12153512073

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Pulse posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to The Pulse:

Videos

Nearby media companies