FROM Kathryn Higley
Medical Radiation: Are Americans Getting Too Much of a Good Thing? Since long before the Fukushima nuclear-plant disaster, doctors and others have been alarmed by Americans' increased exposure to radiation. But Japan's nuclear disaster has reawakened fear of the invisible enemy that's also used to discover diseases and save human lives. Even radiologists say Americans are getting too much of a good thing, but not from fallout, airport scanners or cell phones. Doctors are ordering seven times more radiation scans than they were 30 years ago, while diagnoses of life-threatening conditions have hardly risen at all. Are so many scans really needed for medicine or to avoid lawsuits, pay back investments in expensive machines and satisfy the demands of patients?
Run on Potassium Iodide: Do Californians Need It? Since word of the Japanese nuclear crisis broke Friday night, pharmacies have been besieged by customers worried about exposure to radiation that can cause thyroid cancer. While manufacturers are sending as many potassium-iodide pills as possible to Japan, US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin dismissed the need here, at least for right now. Kathryn Higley, who spent 14 years at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, is Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Rhetoric and brinksmanship on the Korean Peninsula For 25 years, the US has viewed North Korea's nuclear program with increasing alarm. Now President Trump says this country has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what he's actually doing… and what might come next.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.