On Science – The US’s Failing Health Care System

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,634
    1-21-14: On this episode of On Science, the US emergency care system gets a D grade, melting glaciers in Tibet are causing problems for land owners, and some foods help insulin resistance and can prevent diabetes.

    Is the US health care system failing?


    Tibetans are about to have a global meltdown…


    What should you eat to prevent diabetes?


    And an starry cosmic discovery...Coming up today, On Science.


    Hello and welcome to On Science.  I’m Emerald Robinson.


    United States health care isn’t getting high marks in any area lately and the latest report from the American College of Emergency Physicians continues the trend.  The annual report graded states on how well they support emergency care.  Let’s start with the overall picture.  As a country, the United States came up with a “D” when it comes to emergency medical services.  That’s definitely not making the honor roll.  The organization looked at five categories: Access to Emergency Care, the Quality and Patient Safety Environment, the Medical Liability Environment, Public Health and Injury Prevention, and Disaster Preparedness.  Researchers said it doesn’t matter they we may have the best medicine in the world if people can’t access it.  Here’s a scary thought they also left us with—“what if you’re in a car accident and you’re taken to an emergency room that isn’t ready for you, then your chances at survival are far less.”  When you put it that way…


    And Tibetan monks may be running for even higher ground!  We’ve heard the many warnings of global warming and its effect over the years and here’s another one to add to the con list.  Melting glaciers in the Tibetan Plateau, the largest plateau in the world, is causing lake water to rise and is flooding farmlands.  It’s thousands of glaciers cover over 15,000 square miles and researchers say 80% of the glaciers lost 16 gigatons of mass per year.  And this water isn’t just running into the Asian rivers, it’s causing lakes to burst their banks.  They likened it to the rise in sea level and it is posing a problem for local farmers in their pastures.  There’s an icy realization.


    And when it comes to climate change, NASA’s on the case!  The U.S. space agency has deployed a pilot-less global Hawk research aircraft to monitor climate change in the upper atmosphere and discover how changes there are impacting the planet’s climate.  The mission is part of NASA’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment.  Over the next few years, the mission will measure the moisture levels and chemical composition of the upper regions of Earth’s lowest atmospheric layer, because it has a major impact on our weather.  This is the region which is critical for establishing the humidity of the air entering the stratosphere.  Global Hawk left Dryden Research Center in Edwards, California and landed in Andersen Air Force Base in Guan last week.  It is set to now begin its science flights for further research.  God speed Global Hawk.


    Wondering what more you can do to protect yourself from Type 2 Diabetes?  Pop a berry or two.  According to research from the University of East Anglia and King’s College London,  eating high amounts of particular flavonoids found in berries, tea, and chocolate could offer protection from type 2 diabetes.  How is that?  These food groups lower inflammation that is often associated with diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  The study found that those participants who consumed a lot of  anthocyanins, flavonoids found in these foods, and flavones had lower insulin resistance.  High insulin resistance is associated with type 2 diabetes.  So go ahead and binge on those berries!


    Here’s some exciting space news to end today’s show on.  A team of Japanese astronomers from Osaka University has located evidence of a giant planetary system forming around a young star named HD142527.  This discovery could totally change what we think we know about how planets form.  The find was made using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array, or ALMA, telescope and the system is found in the constellation Lupus.  The astronomers say that the star is encircled by an asymmetric ring of cosmic dust—the component material of planets. They say their measurements of the density of the dust in the ring suggests that planets are now being formed in the region.  They went on to say that “this is the first firm evidence of planet formation found so far from the central star in a protoplanetary disk.” 


     And that’s what’s happening today on Science. See you right back here tomorrow, On Scientists!