86 episodes

Go on an adventure into unexpected corners of the health and science world each week with award-winning host Maiken Scott. The Pulse takes you behind the doors of operating rooms, into the lab with some of the world's foremost scientists, and back in time to explore life-changing innovations. The Pulse delivers stories in ways that matter to you, and answers questions you never knew you had.

The Pulse NPR

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 276 Ratings

Go on an adventure into unexpected corners of the health and science world each week with award-winning host Maiken Scott. The Pulse takes you behind the doors of operating rooms, into the lab with some of the world's foremost scientists, and back in time to explore life-changing innovations. The Pulse delivers stories in ways that matter to you, and answers questions you never knew you had.

    Unearthing the Secrets of Volcanoes and Rocks

    Unearthing the Secrets of Volcanoes and Rocks

    It's easy to forget that the earth below us is always changing and shifting — but sometimes, we get a dramatic demonstration of exactly that, like with the recent eruptions of a volcano in Iceland.

    Volcanoes can devastate and destroy, but they're also an integral part of our planet's history and even evolution. And the same goes for the rocks beneath our feet — they're ancient artifacts, historical records, time capsules filled with clues about Earth's past and its future.

    On this episode, we read into the geologic record — written in stone — to decipher the secrets it holds. We talk with an adventurous researcher, who explains how volcanoes helped shape our planet's evolution; we find out what we can learn from studying rocks; and hear about how rock collecting helped save one woman's life.

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    • 48 min
    Degrees of Freedom

    Degrees of Freedom

    On this rebroadcast of The Pulse: Freedom sounds great as an idea. Who doesn't want to be free to do what they want? But when you take a closer look, freedom becomes more complicated. What does it really mean to be free — and how free can we be? On this encore episode, we'll look at freedom from different perspectives. We'll talk with a neuroscientist who says we evolved to have free will — even though it can sometimes feel like our brains are just following a bunch of preset options. And we'll hear from a social psychologist who says that being human means we need other people and living in groups always comes with limitations. We'll also meet a man who relied on a single word to unlock more freedom in his life.

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    • 49 min
    How Amazon Revolutionized Shopping and Changed the World

    How Amazon Revolutionized Shopping and Changed the World

    Amazon caught the wave of the early internet at a time when very few people even understood what the internet was. Launched in a garage 30 years ago, the company has grown from its humble beginnings to a global powerhouse that has expanded into all kinds of sectors, everything from cloud computing to health care. Founder Jeff Bezos wanted Amazon to become a daily habit for consumers — and for many people, it's become just that. And even if you're not ordering anything today, chances are, you are still using an Amazon service, whether you know it or not. On this episode, we'll explore the different innovations that have fueled Amazon's growth. We'll dig into its power-hungry data centers and peek inside the intricate clockwork that makes speedy deliveries possible.

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    • 51 min
    Making Faces

    Making Faces

    Imagine looking at a crowd of people, and they either all look vaguely familiar, or like complete strangers. It doesn't matter if this is a group of classmates or colleagues, or people you have never met before. That's a daily experience for people who have a condition called face blindness — who can't recognize people based on their faces. Face recognition takes up a lot of real estate in our brains, and for good reason; recognizing people allows us to form relationships, tell friend from foe, and create networks. On this episode, we explore how we recognize faces — and what happens when we can't. We'll also hear about people who are so-called "super recognizers," and find out how artificial intelligence could turn face recognition into a tool for surveillance.

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    • 48 min
    The DIY Medicine Movement

    The DIY Medicine Movement

    DIY culture is all about empowerment — teaching yourself new skills to do things on your own, like retiling your bathroom or fixing a leaky faucet. But what happens when the DIY approach extends to something as complicated and potentially dangerous as medicine?

    On this episode, we take a look at the growing number of patients who are taking health care into their own hands — experimenting with DIY treatments ranging from brain stimulation to homemade wound ointments. We hear about a man who developed a cure for his persistent infection in his garage, find out why so many people are flocking to DIY medicine, and learn how one researcher carefully evaluates his patients' DIY approaches.

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    • 48 min
    The Search for Modern Masculinity

    The Search for Modern Masculinity

    Competent. Capable. Strong. Stoic. Provider. Protector. Leader. Patriarch. These are the kinds of words that we've long associated with masculinity and manhood — but in recent decades, ideas of what it means to be a man have undergone drastic changes.

    As women have gained ground in education and careers, politics and culture, the role of men has shifted. They're no longer automatically assumed to be the main breadwinners, the decision-makers or leaders. And a lot of the "masculine" attributes that were once considered virtues — decisiveness, stoicism, paternalism — are now sometimes seen as problematic. In other words, the old script for what it means to be a man has been torn up. But some experts say that script has not really been replaced, leading many men and boys to feel destabilized and lost.

    On this episode, we explore how our ideas of masculinity are changing — why there seems to be a void of positive messages, the lure of the manosphere, and how men are reinventing and re-envisioning their roles. Also — a look at how being more deeply involved in caring for babies and children is affecting men's brains.

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    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
276 Ratings

276 Ratings

Zelda1954 ,

Gem

Of all the podcasts I subscribe to (mostly public radio shows, but not exclusively), “The Pulse” is the one I find consistently interesting and worth hearing to the episode’s end. The subject matter is fresh, even unexpected at times, and well produced. The host, Maiken Scott, is easy to listen to. Other podcast producers, who seem to think just throwing a couple talkers before a microphone to improvise, would do well to study this one to see how it’s done.

Ted Post ,

Illegally fired its talent and lost

The Pluse and WHYY illegally fired one of their staff for having his own stand up show. Then they wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of listener’s donated funds on lawyers to fight this. Well, WHYY and The Pulse lost! Amazingly disappointing that an NPR member station would spend its funds fighting its own employees union.

Kmo76 ,

HSCT works for MS

Thank you for sharing Jessie’s story. This could have been my story…except my husband has stayed by my side throughout my MS journey.
I went to Mexico in April 2017 for HSCT. I had been living with MS for over 16 years and didn't fit the trial criteria in the US. There are thousands of us who have gone and are doing great! Dr Ruiz is using a non-myelo protocol because it is less risky and still highly effective. I have been off all meds for 4 and a half years, I can run or bike for miles, lift weights and have no MS progression, my MRIs are stable. Freedman is uninformed and can’t accept that his theories are wrong!

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