The Healthland Podcast: We Debate Avastin, Marriage and Spanking

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Join us for a lively discussion of the biggest health and science news this week. First, the bitter fight over whether breast-cancer patients should have access to the controversial drug Avastin. Also: should you live together before marrying? And I report on a new biofeedback device that allows you to control a computer only with your mind. Click below to listen.

Joining me today are Sora Song, the editor of Healthland, and Belinda Luscombe, editor-at-large of TIME magazine and a regular Healthland contributor.

On the podcast, Belinda and Sora try to talk me down from utter rage over the FDA decision to reject Avastin as a breast-cancer treatment. And we discuss Belinda’s story about cohabitation, marriage, and the economics of coupledom in general.

In our Field Notes section, we talk about new research on spanking and diet sodas, and I discuss my phobia about crossing bridges. We had some trouble during the podcast identifying the name of that phobia. According to, it is gephyrophobia, gephydrophobia or gephysrophobia. Whatever it is, I have it.

Some links for today’s discussion:

Here is Melinda Henneberger’s excellent Healthland story on the Avastin hearings.

And here is a link to the new biofeedback device that I discussed.

You can follow us on Twitter @JohnAshleyCloud, @sora_song, and @youseless (once again, please invite Belinda to change her Twitter handle — all suggestions are welcome to

The podcast is a work in progress. Please e-mail any suggestions, comments, complaints or rants to