The spice turmeric may be the spice of life. Aarthi Narayanan (George Mason University) is studying the power of curcumin, a molecule found in turmeric, in stopping the spread of potentially deadly viruses. Narayanan grew up in India, where turmeric has long been used to treat illness and inflammation. Also: A new method of fighting melanoma using electric pulses is proving effective on cancer patients in a trial at the University of South Florida. Richard Heller (Old Dominion University) pioneered the cancer killing treatment. And: Sleep apnea can interfere with the rehabilitation of heart patients, but often the patients don’t realize they have sleep apnea. Adrian Aron (Radford University) has helped devise a simple diagnostic test.
Later in the show: In the 1970s, only 3% of patients with pancreatic cancer survived for five years. Today the fatality rates are still high. Todd Bauer and Kimberly Kelley (University of Virginia) hope to begin clinical trials that would allow earlier detection of the cancer, and increase survival rates. Also featured: Latinos share an increased incidence of diabetes. Some, like Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, have learned to live well with the disease. Exercise physiologist Sheri Colberg-Ochs (Old Dominion University) focuses on this unique segment of the population in her latest book on diabetes Diabetes? No Problema! A Latino’s Guide to Living Well with Diabetes.