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Language Acquisition in Babies with Cochlear Implants, This Week on Sound Medicine


Cochlear implants in babies. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that every year, several thousand babies are born with hearing loss severe enough to make them candidates for cochlear implants. Sound Medicine reporter Sandy Roob will visit the infant language lab at the IU School of Medicine where researchers Tonya Bergeson-Dana, PhD, and Derek Houston, PhD, study how children with those implants enter the world of “baby talk.”

Temper tantrums. The toddler temper tantrum, what’s a parent to do? Brain researcher John Medina, Ph.D., recommends parents use the tantrum as a “teachable moment.” Dr. Medina directs the Brain Center for Applied Learning Research at Seattle Pacific University and is author of “Brain Rules for Babies.”

Neuroendocrine tumors. An emerging theme in cancer research is the need to identify the genetic makeup of a tumor. Johns Hopkins researcher Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., studies the genetics of pancreatic cancer. Dr. Papadopoulos joins Sound Medicine’s David Crabb, M.D., to discuss ‘neuro-endocrine’ tumors, a less aggressive and more easily treatable type. (This reportedly is the type of pancreatic cancer that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has.) Dr. Papadopoulos is associate professor at Johns Hopkins’ Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Bleaching makes teeth sensitive. Having “pearly white” teeth isn’t good enough anymore. People need blindingly glow-in-the-dark white teeth nowadays. But modern-day bleaching increases the sensitivity of teeth. Linda Niessen, D.D.S., professor at the Baylor College of Dentistry, discusses teeth whitening with Sound Medicine’s Barbara Lewis.

Synthetic biology. Recently, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues conducted a series of hearings on the emerging field of “synthetic biology.” Benefits of synthetic biology include the creation of vaccines and other drugs as well as the development of biofuels that reduce dependence on fossil fuels; technological risks, however, include inadvertent release of lab-created organisms. On this week’s show Eric Meslin, Ph.D., Indiana University bioethicist, and Valerie Bonham,J.D., executive director of the presidential committee, discuss the resulting recommendations, which advise on topics such as research methodology and the ethical release of data to the public.  

Sound Medicine is an award-winning radio program co-produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1FM). Sound Medicine is underwritten by Indiana University Health, Indiana University Health Physicians, and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Reports on Primary Health Care topics are sponsored by Wishard Health Services.


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