Insulin Price Plan, Monkeypox Facts, Milky Way Memoir. August 12, 2022, Part 1

Aug 12, 05:15 PM

A Plan to Cap Insulin Prices May Not Be Helpful

30 million people in the U.S. live with diabetes, and access to insulin can be expensive. More than 1 in 5 people with private insurance pay more than $35 a month for this necessary medication. The U.S. Senate has a plan to cap insulin prices for certain diabetics, but critics say this plan would not help make insulin affordable for a majority of people.

Plus, many people have been following the discoveries of the James Webb Space Telescope, or JWST, with baited breath. Astronomers may have found the youngest exoplanet we know of. And a deep space hoax of a chorizo slice fooled the astronomy community.

Joining Ira to talk about these stories and other science news of the week is Katherine Wu, staff writer for The Atlantic based in New Haven, Connecticut.

 

What You Need To Know About Monkeypox

Last week, the White House declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.

Currently there are a little over 9,000 confirmed cases in the United States, and just under 30,000 worldwide. Since the end of May, monkeypox has been spreading in countries where it has not been previously reported.

The virus is mainly spreading within gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. And because of that there is stigma associated with the outbreak.

Ira talks with Rachel Roper, virologist at the Brody Medical School at East Carolina University, and Perry Halkitis, dean of the Rutgers University School of Public Health, to explain the basics of transmission, answer listener questions, and debunk misinformation about the monkeypox outbreak.

 

Frenemies, Lovers, And The Fate Of The Cosmos: Our Galaxy Tells All

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 13.6 billion years old, all-knowing, and a little sassy. It has a rich social life of friends, frenemies, and even love interests—all other galaxies in the local group, including the stunning Andromeda. And the Milky Way is a little disappointed that we’ve stopped telling as many stories about it.

Or at least, that’s how folklorist and astronomer Dr. Moiya McTier imagines the galaxy’s personality when writing her new book, “The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy.” The book stretches from the beginning of the universe to the birth of our planet, and then on to the eventual theoretical end of the cosmos. Along the way, we learn both the science of how stars form and galaxies collide, and the many stories and myths humans have told about these bodies throughout our relatively brief lives.

McTier joins Ira to tell all (on behalf of the Milky Way), and explain the importance of story in scientific knowledge and discovery.

Read an excerpt of the book on sciencefriday.com.

 

Transcripts for each segment will be available the week after the show airs on sciencefriday.com.