Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets

Titan, a moon of Saturn, rises above the rings of Saturn. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL

Titan, a moon of Saturn, rises above the rings of Saturn. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL

Beyond Earth (start time 5:10) Many have dreamt of colonizing other planets. It’s been a staple of science fiction for decades. Most often, people imagine creating a colony of humans on Mars, where people would live on a cold, dry planet with a thin, unbreathable atmosphere. Mars, however, may not be the best destination for future human colonization. In fact, Titan, a moon of Saturn, may hold greater hope for extending humanity’s presence in the solar system. Either way, humans face tough but surmountable challenges as we move beyond Earth. As a planetary scientist, Dr. Amanda Hendrix is actively involved in the scientific research and future mission planning that will enable humans to settle on other planets. She’s the co-author, with Charles Wohlforth, of the new book Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home in the Planets. Listen to How On Earth’s Alejandro Soto’s interview with Amanda Hendrix, where they discuss the opportunities and challenges for human space exploration.

Hosts: Alejandro Soto, Shelley Schlender
Producer: Alejandro Soto
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker, Beth Bennett

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Regenerative Economics//Logicomix

quote-sustainability-it-s-the-right-thing-to-do-it-s-the-smart-thing-to-do-it-s-the-profitable-hunter-lovins-67-14-39Regenerative Economics (starts 3:20) Natural Capitalism Solutions leader, Hunter Lovins, will share an economic argument for why now’s the time for cleaner energy.  Lovins, who lives near Niwot, Colorado, has presented this speech to government leaders and organizations throughout the world.  This is an excerpt from that speech.  Go here for extended version)

LogicomixLogicomix (starts 8:52) Can a comic book teach kids about science?  Two grade school children talk with a leading computational logic scientist about his graphic novel comic book, Logicomix.

Host/Producer/Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions:  Alejandro de Soto, Joel Parker

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Max Boykoff – Global Climate Talks – Moving Ahead

Max Boykoff

Max Boykoff

Max Boykoff – Global Climate Talks – Moving Ahead With or Without US –  (entire show) While the world has held climate talks for 22 years (This is COP – Conference of the Parties — 22) and the Kyoto Protocol talks about climate change have been held for 12 years, this year’s October’s climate talks in Paris mark the first time that  “entry into force” has been achieved.  You might think of “entry into force” as the time when a critical number of nations are ready to develop global treaties regarding climate and pollution and its effects around the world.  The 1st world meeting ever to talk about “Entry into Force” on climate issues is taking place right now, in Marrakech, Morocco.  200 nations have gathered to discuss these issues.  The meetings began just before the US elections.  Now Donald Trump is President Elect, and he has signaled that he will pull back from many of the nation’s current plans to reduce pollution and combat climate change.

To find out how this affects the world climate talks, up next we talk with Max Boykoff, speaking via Skype from the world climate talks in Marrakech Morocco.  Max Boykoff is a scientist at CU Boulder and director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Studies at CU-Boulder.  He’s the author of a book on climate science and social response, titled, “Who Speaks for the Climate?”  

Host/Producer/Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

 

 

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Suggestible You: How Our Brain Tricks Us

sug_you_subtleo_yellow1-647x580The Science of Suggestibility (start time: 5:00) Scientists are learning more and more about how our expectations and beliefs influence how our bodies, including our neurochemistry, respond to pain and disease. The researchers are discovering that we are very suggestible creatures. But we are not all equally suggestible. Some of us can cure serious ailments even when we’ve knowingly taken a placebo remedy, but others can not. Herein lies a major puzzle that vexes drug manufacturers and medical practitioners. It’s a puzzle that has intrigued Erik Vance, a science journalist, since he nearly died from a severe illness when he was a toddler. His journey is detailed in a book that was just published today. It’s called Suggestible You: Placebos, False Memories, Hypnosis and the Power of Your Astonishing Brain (National Geographic).  Listen to How On Earth’s Susan Moran’s interview with Erik Vance.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Alejandro Soto
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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I Contain Multitudes–Our Microbes, Ourselves

Multitudes of Microbes (start time: 3:38): You may find it unsettling to learn that our human cells make up only half of our bodies. The other half is a bunch of microbes (in the neighborhood of 40 trillion), all living and reproducing in, and on, our bodies. What’s more, these invisible machines could have a powerful influence on your brain, and on your overall health. Ed Yong, a staff writer for The Atlantic, found it disconcerting at first to learn this when he researched his book called “I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life.” The book, published earlier this year, explores the mysterious partnerships between humans, and many other species, and the mighty microbes with which we have co-evolved. Today we air the full phone interview that How On Earth host Susan Moran recently had with Yong. We played short clips of the conversation during our fall pledge-drive show last Tuesday. Thanks to you listeners who pledged! And thanks to Yong’s publisher, Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins, for donating to KGNU several copies, which some generous members are now reading. This interview continues our series called “Our Microbes, Ourselves.”

Hosts: Kendra Krueger, Susan Moran
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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Pledge Drive//Interview with Ed Yong

I Contain MultitudesThis week’s pledge- drive show features a teaser introduction to Ed Yong’s new book I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life. We play segments from the interview that host Susan Moran recently had with Yong, a science writer for The Atlantic. There still may be a copy left, so call now to have your own, with a pledge of at least $60 to KGNU. Call 303.449.4885.
The book explores the role that invisible yet mighty microbes play in our lives, as well as the lives of so many species with whom they have co-evolved. Yong highlights the research of many scientists in this emerging field who are studying how our gut microbiome influences our brain chemistry, and our overall mental and physical health. The book deepens our understanding of the ecosystems within our bodies as well as the ecosystems in the natural world.
Next Tuesday, Nov. 4, we will broadcast the complete interview with Ed Yong.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Beth Bennett, Kendra Kruger
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
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Denver Permaculture Guild//Ron Rosedale Explains Autophagy

denver-permaculture-guildDenver Permaculture Guild (starts 3:30) staff and board members explain the goal of permaculture and guild’s annual workshops program taking place this weekend.

 

 

 

Autophagy - Courtesy Wiki Commons

Autophagy – Courtesy Wiki Commons

Ron Rosedale, MD, Explains Autophagy (starts 17:50)   The Nobel Peace Prize in Medicine has just been awarded to Japanese Scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi  for his discoveries about a process inside our cells known as autophagy.  Autophagy explains how a cell “cleans house” by recycling unessential components, either for food or for building blocks.   Mutations in autophagy genes can cause cells to keep fixing themselves up and living too long.  Think cancer cells.  Conversely, problems that get in the way of autophagy can lead cells to die too soon, such as in the neurologic diseases of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  The winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in Medicine was not available to discuss autophagy with us.  However, Shelley Schlender did speak with Ron Rosedale, a medical doctor who has been giving presentations about autophagy at science and health conferences for well over a decade.

Hosts: Shelley Schlender, Kendra Krueger
Producer and Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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The Rosetta Mission

rosetta_descent_smallRosetta [feature starts at 5:27]
The Rosetta Space Mission has been in flight for ever 12 years and will be ending with a dramatic crash this Friday morning around 10:40 UT (4:40 am Mountain time) – it’s an event that will be watched and talked about by people around the world.

Rosetta is run by the European Space Agency, with contributions from NASA. The mission’s goals have been to study a comet to learn not only about how comets work, but what comets can tell us about the origins of the solar system, and perhaps connections to water and life. Rosetta was the first spacecraft to orbit and escort a comet as the comet approached and flew past the Sun, and Rosetta also carried a smaller spacecraft, named Philae, that performed the first landing on a comet.

The Rosetta mission has a very strong Colorado connection, since one of the instruments – an ultraviolet spectrograph called “Alice” – was operated from the offices of Southwest Research Institute right here in Boulder.We have three members of the Rosetta team here in the studio to talk about Rosetta, comets, and the rather exciting ending planned for the spacecraft in just a few days. Our guests are Andrew Steffl from Southwest Research Institute, John Pineau from Stellar Solutions, and John Noonan who is a recent astronomy graduate from the University of Colorado and is working at Southwest Research Institute.

There’s more information on the Rosetta Blog about how to follow the final events of the Rosetta mission.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Alejandro Soto
Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender

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Alzheimer’s Reversal – Extended Interview with Dale Bredesen

Buck Institute Scientist Dale Bredesen (photo by Shelley)

Buck Institute Scientist Dale Bredesen (photo by Shelley)

This is an extended interview with Dale Bredesen, leader of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging.  Bredesen has documented reversal of early Alzheimer’s in a small case study, largely through lifestyle interventions.  We spoke while he was at CU-Boulder for the 2016 Ancestral Health Symposium.  

For the broadcast version and links to websites, go to our website.

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Alzheimer’s Reversal: ApoE4.info and Dr. Dale Bredesen

"Julieegee" ApoE4.info (photo by Shelley)

“Julieegee” ApoE4.info (photo by Shelley)

Alzheimer’s Reversal (starts 2:20) The Alzheimer’s Association calls Alzheimer’s “the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.”  This gloomy outlook means many people avoid screening tests for dementia.  Now Dale Bredesen, a leading scientist from California’s Buck Institute for Research on Aging has documented reversal of early Alzheimer’s in a small case study, largely through lifestyle interventions and a protocol Bredesen describes at MPI cognition.  Activists with ApoE4.info, who have a high genetic risk for Alzheimer’s say the study and Bredesen’s protocol, bolster their efforts to speak openly about ways to foster healthy brains.  For an extended version of the interview with Dr. Bredesen, go to our website.

Host/Producer/Engineer:  Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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