Andrea Tilstra – Deaths of Despair – or not

Andrea TilstraCU-Boulder Sociologist Andrea Tilstra discusses how this decade’s reduction of lifespan in the US  ties closely with two factors 1) easier access to painkillers and opioids, and 2) the obesity epidemic and the related health problems that come with it.  Tilstra also explains the quesitons a social scientist/demographer asks when examining the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-19 Boulder County local tracking of the pandemic, and the human factors to consider as people face the stresses of social distancing and trying to stay connected.

Producer and Host:   Shelley Schlender
Engineer:   Maeve Conran
Executive Producer:   Jill Sjong
Additional Contributions:  Music from Lynn Patrick

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Clean – The New Science of Skin

31hxj3045QLHow clean is “clean”?  How do you get clean, and how important is it…could it actually be advantageous to your skin and general health to not try to get too clean?  We talk with medical doctor and author Dr. James Hamblin about his new book “Clean:  The New Science Of Skin“.

Hosts: Chip Grandits, Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Jill Sjong
Show Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker
Additional Contributions: Shelley Schlender

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The Shale Revolution: Weld County’s Golden Goose- Part Two

Left:   Image courtesy of EcoNation, NZ.    Right:   Map of active oil and natural gas wells in Colorado.

Left: Image courtesy of EcoNation, NZ. Right: Map of active oil and natural gas wells in Colorado.

In Part Two of the Shale Revolution, we look at the environmental concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing, particularly the air quality along the Front Range.    We interview Detlev Helmig, an atmospheric scientist, who monitors the air quality along the front range.    We also discuss why well setbacks are such a contentious issue in Colorado.

Producer and Host:   Jill Sjong
Engineer:   Maeve Conran
Executive Producer:   Jill Sjong

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The Shale Revolution: Weld County’s Golden Goose- Part One

Left: Image courtesy of EcoNation, NZ. Right: Map of active oil and natural gas wells in Colorado.

Left: Image courtesy of EcoNation, NZ. Right: Map of active oil and natural gas wells in Colorado.

This week on How on Earth, we look at the shale industry, which has transformed this country in ways we could not have imagined a decade ago.    How did this happen?   Where do experts think the fracking industry might be going?     In this two-part series, we consider why Wall Street and environmentalists are becoming strange new allies.

We interview Paula Noonan from Colorado Watch, the platform for tracking Colorado Legislature.   We also listen to excerpts from Bethany McLean, author of Saudi America:   the Truth about Fracking and how it’s Changing the World.

Host/Producer:     Jill Sjong
Engineer:   Maeve Conran
Executive Producer:   Susan Moran

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COVID-19 CU-BOULDER – OFF CAMPUS PARTIES – SUPERSPREADERS

In this final show in our four-part series on CU Boulder & COVID, we look at how CU Boulder Contact Tracing and CU data collection has revealed that the biggest spreader of COVID-19 on CU Boulder’s campus is students “socializing” in risky ways, particularly in off-campus parties at sororities, fraternities and large student apartment buildings on “The Hill” near CU Boulder.  In contrast, attending in-person classes on CU is not a spreader of COVID-19, and neither are the residential halls.  This show features news from the CU Chancellor’s office about a stronger call to reduce the spread, the leader of CU Contact Tracing Matthew McQueen, and Boulder County Spokesperson Chana Goussetis, explaining Boulder County Covid Data.

 

Producer:  Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Angele Sjong
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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Testing wastewater for COVID-19

Cresten Mansfeldt

Cresten Mansfeldt

PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES IN COVID-19 TESTS  (starts 1:00)  Beth Bennett reviews the years progress and challenges in COVID-19 Tests, including the latest tests at CU Boulder.

CU UPDATE ON COVID-19 (starts 4:15) CU Media Relations spokesperson Candace Smith gives an update on the CU COVID-READY DASHBOARD including progress on getting the Sawyer Lab ultrafast test back in action at CU-Boulder.

WASTEWATER TESTING AT CU DORMS (Starts 9:50)  CU Environmental Engineer Cresten Mansfeldt explains how and why CU Boulder is testing for evidence of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 with daily checks of wastewater coming from CU dorms.

Producer:  Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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Keeping Indoors COVID-Safe – CU Aerosol Experts Shelly Miller & Jose Luis Jimenez

Graduate student Teyha Stockman, right, shows off her homemade bell cover made from medical mask material that helps decrease aerosol spread on her clarinet to mechanical engineering professor Shelly Miller in MillerÕs mechanical engineering laboratory on the CU Boulder campus. The two researchers have been studying how aerosols spread with vocal and instrument performance. (Photo by Glenn Asakawa/University of Colorado)

Graduate student Teyha Stockman, right, shows off her homemade bell cover made from medical mask material that helps decrease aerosol spread on her clarinet to mechanical engineering professor Shelly Miller  Photo courtesy CU.

Ultrafast COVID Test Update (starts 1:00)  Sara Sawyer’s ultrafast COVID saliva test might be an option sometime soon for allowing visits inside senior care facilities.

CU COVID-READY DASHBOARD (starts3:35) CU Media Relations spokesperson Candace Smith gives an update, and How on Earth’s Beth Bennett shares comparisons with other university successes and failures at opening up.

KEEPING INDOORS COVID-SAFE (Starts 9:25)  CU Aerosol Experts Shelly Miller & Jose Luis Jimenez have become world-renowned for their expertise in how to reduce the risk of aerosol transmission of COVID-19, plus how CU Boulder is working with them to increase the safety of in-person CU Classrooms from COVID-19 for more, see.  CU Boulder Covid Research Strategies Webinar

Producer:  Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Angele Sjong, Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran

 

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CU Boulder – COVID Test Innovations

sawyersara-boulder_0CU Boulder has just opened up dorms and in-person classes.  The CU Boulder Covid Research Strategies Webinar presents innovative testing plans that include ultra-fast COVID tests from the Sara Sawyer Lab and an automated sewage sampling system from Creston Mansfeldt.  Both tests may speed early warning of Covid.  Both testing strategies are innovative and ambitious.  But funding and testing capacity mean only dormitory students receive these tests.  Dorm students represent around 20% of CU Boulder students.  Roughly 80% of CU students live off-campus (not in the dorms).  They are not slated to receive these special tests, or basically, any regular tests.

Currently, CU-Boulder COVID infection rates are low.  As questions on next week’s show, we will be watching for . . . how does all this influence the ability of CU-Boulder’s innovative tests to help CU keep Covid-19 cases down and to help the campus stay open?

 

Hosts:  Beth Bennett, Angele Sjong, Shelley Schlender
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Maeve Conran

 

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The Neuroscience of Pain

Woo2017NPStuningcurve-copyChronic pain is a debilitating condition for millions of people worldwide.   But what role does our brain play in processing pain?    Cognitive neuroscientists, using advanced imaging techniques, are gaining a better understanding of how our brain processes pain.   They can now measure and model brain systems linked to our pain and emotions.   This is shedding new light on interventions for people who suffer from chronic pain.
In this How on Earth episode, Jill Sjong speaks with Tor Wager, an expert in the neuroscience of pain, and formerly a professor of psychology and neuroscience at CU Boulder.   Jill also speaks with Charlie Merrill, a Boulder-based physiotherapist who works with local athletes, many of whom suffer from chronic pain.
Host:   Jill Sjong
Executive Producer:   Susan Moran
Engineer:   Maeve Conran
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COVID-19: The Evidence for Aerosol Transmission & Implications for Containment

This week How on Earth producer Beth Bennett spoke with Professor Jose Jimenez, a professor in the Chemistry Dept here at CU in Boulder. His research background for over two decades has focused on detecting and measuring aerosols. Recently he became involved in applying this expertise to the question of how the corona virus is transmitted. He and his team have developed a model that predicts the likelihood of transmission of the virus from an infected person to other people in an indoor space. Here are find links to the model, a webinar describing its development and use and his website. The interview starts at ~8 min.

Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Show Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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