On 'Sound Medicine': Predicting cold and flu season, nanotechnology, and healthy eating for children

  • March 20, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS -- "Sound Medicine" announces its program for March 23, including segments about advances in nanotechnology, the safety concerns about nanoparticles, and establishing healthy eating patterns for children.

How does Walgreens predict the cold and flu season? Headquartered in Chicago at the Walgreens offices is a secret team of researchers that uses sophisticated algorithms to predict when cold and flu season will strike and prepare for it. According to, Ambi Reuben, a Walgreens executive, the researchers can predict cold and flu season accurately up to 80 percent of the time. Marielle Segarra, field reporter for "Sound Medicine," takes listeners behind the scenes of Walgreens headquarters to explore the science behind cold and flu season forecasting.

Are vitamins useless? A recent headline published in the Annals of Internal Medicine said, "It’s time to stop wasting money on vitamin and mineral supplements." According to the article, over half of all adults in the United States take a multivitamin, even though there isn’t any evidence they prevent cancer or disease. Theresa Rohr-Kirchgraber, M.D., discusses the article and shares her advice for patients taking multivitamins. Dr. Rohr-Kirchgraber is the director of the Center for Excellence in Women’s Health at Eskenazi Hospital.

What is nanomedicine? Nanomedicine is the application of nanotechnology to modern medicine, such as using microscopic nanoparticles to deliver drugs to specific cells to help cut down the dosage and side effects. Thomas Webster, Ph.D., discusses nanotechnology, how it’s being used in modern medicine, and how nanotechnology could shape the future of medicine. Dr. Webster is the chair and a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Northeastern University.

How can parents establish healthy eating habits for children? Dina Rose, Ph.D., a sociologist and author of "It's Not About the Broccoli," joins "Sound Medicine" to discuss establishing healthy eating habits for children. According to Dr. Rose, parents should focus less on nutrition and instead help children develop healthy eating patterns and behaviors.

Are nanoparticles safe? In 2010, the National Organic Standards Board recommended that engineered nanoparticles be banned from food products labeled organic. Since their recommendation, nanoparticles have been used in foods, sunscreen, drugs and other manufactured products. Christie Sayes, Ph.D., a program manager for nanotoxicology and nanopharmacology at RTI International, discusses the use of nanoparticles in products and the safety concerns of using nanoparticles in manufacturing.

"Sound Medicine" covers controversial ethics topics, breakthrough research studies and the day-to-day application of recent advancements in medicine. It's also available via podcast and Stitcher Radio for mobile phones and iPads and posts updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Co-produced by the IU School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio (90.1 FM) and underwritten in part by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, "Sound Medicine" airs on the following Indiana public radio stations: WBSB (Anderson, 89.5 FM), WFIU (Bloomington, 103.7 FM; Columbus, 100.7 FM; Kokomo, 106.1 FM; Terre Haute, 95.1 FM), WNDY (Crawfordsville, 91.3 FM), WVPE (Elkhart/South Bend, 88.1 FM), WNIN (Evansville, 88.3 FM), WBOI (Fort Wayne, 89.1 FM), WFCI (Franklin, 89.5 FM), WBSH (Hagerstown/New Castle, 91.1 FM), WFYI (Indianapolis), WBSW (Marion, 90.9 FM), WBST (Muncie, 92.1 FM), WBSJ (Portland, 91.7 FM), WLPR (Lake County, 89.1 FM) and WBAA (West Lafayette, 101.3 FM).

"Sound Medicine" is also broadcast on these public radio stations across the country: KSKA (Anchorage, Alaska), KTNA (Talkeetna, Alaska), KUHB (Pribilof Islands, Alaska), KUAF (Fayetteville and Fort Smith, Ark.), KIDE (Hoopa Valley, Calif.), KRCC (Colorado Springs, Colo.), KEDM (Monroe, La.), WCMU (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), WCNY and WRVO-1 (Syracuse, N.Y.), KMHA (Four Bears, N.D.), WYSU (Youngstown, Ohio), KPOV (Bend, Ore.) and KEOS (College Station, Texas).

Please check local listings for broadcast dates and times.