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Daily Rounds: Medicaid Strain; Oxytocin For Autism; Shrinking Brains; The Juicy Marriage

Ballooning Medicaid costs strain Bay State budget - The Boston Globe "Governor Deval Patrick approved a record $9.6 billion last July for the state’s health insurance program for the poor — sufficient, he assumed, to last a year. But the program’s costs quickly outpaced expectations, forcing the governor to approve an additional $329 million in October and then seek $258 million more, which lawmakers approved last week. And even that may not last, with six months remaining in the budget year." (Boston Globe)

Scientists Test 'Trust Hormone' For Autism Fight | WBUR & NPR 'One study...looked at people's ability to recognize emotions in others. [Jennifer Bartz, a researcher at Mount Sinai School of Medicine] says people with autistic traits usually aren't as good at this as other people. "But on oxytocin, their performance was indistinguishable," she says. "So we were really excited about this because it really suggests that it might be especially helpful for this population."' (WBUR | 90.9 FM)

Our Brains Are Shrinking. Are We Getting Dumber? : NPR "The experts aren't sure about the implications of this evolutionary trend.  Some think it might be a dumbing-down process. One cognitive scientist, David Geary, argues that as human society grows increasingly complex, individuals don't need to be as intelligent in order to survive and reproduce."(npr.org)

Sustainable Love - Tara Parker-Pope on Happy Marriages - NYTimes.com "For centuries, marriage was viewed as an economic and social institution, and the emotional and intellectual needs of the spouses were secondary to the survival of the marriage itself. But in modern relationships, people are looking for a partnership, and they want partners who make their lives more interesting." (nytimes.com)

This program aired on January 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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