America’s forced marriage problem | Fraidy Reiss

Forced and child marriage seem like problems that don’t exist in America, but in reality marriage under the age of 18 is legal in all 50 states. After escaping her own forced marriage, activist Fraidy Reiss is working to help women and girls close the legal loopholes around these marriages for good. Fraidy Reiss is an activist who is recognized internationally as an expert on forced and child marriage in America, drawing inspiration from her own abusive forced marriage.

Soffiyah Elijah on criminal justice and police reform – The Counter

Soffiyah Elijah describes prisons as weapons of mass destruction. After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Elijah led a walkout of her 8th grade class, and that’s when her streak of activism and fight for justice began. She talks with Dr. Greer about the influence of money on prisons, changing the narrative to focus on people, and how to untangle this knot.

Nadine Burke Harris on How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Throughout a Lifetime

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.

The Invisible Universe of the Human Microbiome

Produced by NPR

The microbiome is the collection of microorganism that live in our gut, mouth, and skin. Microbiomes are key for immune health and other functions like digestion. The gut appears to the most complex and diverse—where pesticides can hurt the most. “So if it’s not functioning properly for some reason, because of what we eat, antibiotics we take, that may actually lead to all kinds of diseases. Diseases like colon cancer, colitis, maybe even diabetes and obesity.”

Read More

Little Things Matter: The Impact of Toxins on the Developing Brain

Produced by Dr. Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, Professor at Simon Fraser University

Dr. Lanphear discusses his research on environment exposures to heavy metals and chemicals like lead, mercury, PCBs, and endocrine disruptors and effects that these toxins have on our developing children.

Autism’s Causes:  How Close Are We to Solving the Puzzle?

Dr. David Amaral, Director of research at Mind Institute and Dr. Martha Herbert, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, discuss the environmental, genetic, and immune system components that contribute to autism.

“There is a small subset of children who may be particularly vulnerable to vaccines –if the child was ill, if the child had a precondition like mitochondrial defect. Vaccinations for those children actually may be the environmental factor that tip them over the edge of autism. It is incredibly important to try to figure out, what if any vulnerabilities in a small subset of children might make them at risk for having certain vaccinations.” – Dr. David Amaral, Director of research at Mind Institute.