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Daily Rounds: Emergency Rooms For The Elderly; 11,000 DNA Tests For Rape; Cancer At The Dentist; Celebrating Science

This article is more than 7 years old.

For The Elderly, Emergency Rooms Of Their Own (The New York Times) — "There were no beeping machines or blinking lights or scurrying medical residents. A volunteer circulated among the patients like a flight attendant, making soothing conversation and offering reading glasses, Sudoku puzzles and hearing aids. Above them, an artificial sun shined through a skylight imprinted with a photographic rendering of a robin’s-egg-blue sky, puffy clouds and leafy trees. Ms. Spielberger, who is in her 80s, was even getting into the spirit of the place, despite her unnerving condition. “It’s beautiful,” she said. “Everything here is wonderful.” Yet this was an emergency room, one specifically designed for the elderly, part of a growing trend of hospitals’ trying to cater to the medical needs and sensibilities of aging baby boomers and their parents. Mount Sinai opened its geriatric emergency department, or geri-ed, two months ago, modeling it in part after one at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, N.J., which opened in 2009."

Kym Worth's Mission: Solve 11,000 Rapes (Newsweek Magazine) — "Now she is on a singular mission: seeking justice for people who do report their rapes. She’s leading a charge to get more than 11,000 police rape kits—which contain swabs of semen, saliva, and other evidence—tested for DNA in her city, and to establish a road map for other U.S. cities to do the same. In Detroit the kits had piled up, ignored for years, in a police storage facility, until one of Worthy’s colleagues discovered them in 2009. “I was flabbergasted,” says Worthy, recalling the day she found out about the scandal. “When victims go through a three-hour-plus rape-kit exam, they expect police to use the evidence to catch the rapist.”

Study Links Dental X-Rays To Brain Tumor Risk (The Washington Post) — "A study published Tuesday in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer reported a link between certain kinds of dental X-rays and the most common brain tumor, one that is almost always benign but can still be debilitating. The study found at a general level that people with meningioma were more than twice as likely as people without the brain tumor to have had a bitewing X-ray sometime in their life. For a bitewing X-ray, the patient holds the film in place by biting down on a tab. The exposures to dental X-rays in the study took place in the 1960s, when dental X-rays delivered higher doses of radiation than today’s do. The study compared the self-reported dental X-ray histories of 1,433 adults who had been diagnosed with the tumor with 1,350 who had not."

A Celebration Of Science With A Popular Touch (The New York Times) — "He is 61, an evangelical minister’s son from England who strikes a ramrod posture, favors pressed Oxford shirts and speaks with a BBC accent that gives little hint of his boyhood in a subsidized housing project in Norwich. Like his father, he devotes much of his life to spreading the gospel — in his case the gospel of science festivals. Thanks in good part to Dr. Durant’s advocacy, more than 20 science festivals were held across the United States last year, in science hubs like the Bay Area and in communities not known for their science, like Dayton, Ohio, and Colorado Springs. He bristles when asked if a science festival is the same as a science fair. His answer is definitely no — although, he hastens to add, there’s nothing wrong with science fairs, which typically challenge students to design and conduct their own experiments. A science festival has more in common with a film, art or food festival. Festivals aim to bring in tourism dollars, introduce people to scientists and demystify science in an era when researchers and large sectors of the public diverge on major policy issues like climate change, vaccines and embryonic stem cell research."

This program aired on April 10, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

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