Pollinators Matter // Denver BioLabs

Butterfly girl

Photo credit: Butterfly Pavilion

Pollinators Matter (starts at 4:43): Now that backyard gardens are in full bloom it’s a good time to think about pollinators. Honeybees, butterflies, beetles and other pollinators depend on many flowering plants for nectar. And we depend on these pollinators for many foods we love in our diet, from almonds to apples to blueberries. Some of these pollinators, especially honeybees and monarch butterflies, are facing severe threats, here in Colorado as well as globally. Among the culprits are habitat destruction and insecticides called neonicotinoids.  The Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster is not only a popular destination for kids and adults who want to walk among butterflies, and tough tarantulas. It is also conducting research on pollinators and their habitat. Mary Ann Colley, vice president of science and conservation at the Pavilion, discusses with host Susan Moran some pollinator-focused research and educational campaigns. Info on Butterfly Pavilion’s citizen science efforts–Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network and Urban Prairies Project–are on the Pavilion’s website. Related citizen science projects: The Bees’ Needs and Xerces Society. For more info on pollinators go to the National Wildlife Federation and USDA Agriculture Research Service.

IMG_6213

Denver Biolabs Co-founder RJ Duran shows how synthetic biology is used to make bacteria glow. Photo credit: Denver Biolabs

The New Biology (starts at 16:48): Denver Biolabs is the first community do-it-yourself bio-lab in Colorado. It focuses on making synthetic biology–where biology meets engineering–accessible to everyone. Biolabs is a community resource, giving students, researchers, entrepreneurs and others access to a community lab space. It also offers training in building bio-tools, learning lab fundamentals and experimenting with molecular gastronomy. Biolabs also develops technologies related to bioinformatics, biomimicry, bio-hacking and bio-printing. Dr. Heather Underwood is the co-founder and executive director of Denver Biolabs, which she discusses with host Leslie Dodson. For info on similar labs that have inspired Denver Biolabs, go to: Berkeley Biolabs, BioCurious, and Counter Culture Labs.

Hosts: Leslie Dodson, Susan Moran
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Soccermatics//Pledge Drive Show

soccermaticsDavid Sumpter’s new book is Soccermatics–Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game.  It’s about how the mathematical patterns of how to win at soccer — and much much more — like how a math algorithm of how a slime mold seeks out food can help engineers design an efficient subway system.  The math that helps a soccer team win can also help a business team succeed.  . . . and in this special summer pledge drive show, it’s also a chance to hear about KGNU Community Radio and how you can make a difference by making it happen.

Hosts: Shelley Schlender & Maeve Conran
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Carbon Farming//Light Pollution

carbon farming solution terraced_land-e1458146923356-680x490

Front Cover of The Carbon Farming Solution

The Carbon Farming Solution – (Starts 2:13) Carbon Sequestration is the act of removing carbon from the air and putting it . . . somewhere else.  Kendra Krueger talks with author Eric Tunesmeier about his book, The Carbon Farming Solution, with surprising information such as how driving to a remote organic farm stand can cause more carbon pollution than getting groceries at a close-to-home supermarket.  However, done correctly, including thinking through how to get food to people who need it, Tunesmeier says carbon farming could sequester hundreds of billions of metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere . . .  with plants.

Artificial Light at Night

Artificial Light at Night

Light Pollution –  (Starts 17:36) Over one third of all the people on earth live with such extensive light pollution, they can’t even see the Milky Way at night.  That’s according to an updated world “light pollution” atlas.  Shelley Schlender talks with NOAA scientist Chris Elveidge about NOAA’s “Earth at Night” maps and “The new world atlas of artificial night sky brightness and the artificial Sky.”

Hosts: Kendra Krueger & Shelley Schlender
Producer: Kendra Krueger
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Diatoms: Ecology and Aesthetics

An example of the 'glass house'

An example of the ‘glass house’

Beth interviews Dr Sarah Spaulding, of the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research here in Boulder. Sarah studies microscopic single celled algae, creatures that photosynthesize but aren’t plants. She discusses their ecological roles in numerous ecosystems as well as challenges in identifying them and her long term goals in studying these elusive but ubiquitous creatures. See more at https://westerndiatoms.colorado.edu/
Host: Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender
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Cell Phones & Cancer//Narcotics Prolong Chronic Pain

Mybroadband Radiation Brain Cellphone - courtesy WikiCell Phones & Cancer  (Starts 1:00) A $25 million study reports cell phone radiation boosted brain cancer in rats . . . and rats exposed to radiation lived longer.  Frank Barnes, CU-Boulder Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, explains these paradoxical findings and implications for people.  (Related stories — 2011 Cell Phone Radiation and 2014 An Electric Silent Spring)

chronic pain - courtesy wiki

chronic pain – courtesy wiki

Narcotics Prolong Chronic Pain (Starts 11:35)   CU-Boulder neuroscientist Peter Grace explains his team’s new findings about how and why morphine can prolong chronic pain.   Rats with induced nerve pain received morphine for 5 days; their pain lasted nearly three months — twice as long as the nerve pain for rats that got no morphine.  This is one of the first studies to test long-term effects of treating chronic pain with opioid painkillers.  (Related story: KGNU call-in show on the opioid addiction epidemic)

Host/Producer/Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Our Microbes, Ourselves: Soil Bacteria Treat Stress Disorders

Photo credit: Susan Moran

Photo credit: Susan Moran

Microbes and Stress Resilience (starts 5:13) If you’re worried that some dirt still clings to your skin under your fingernails after planting or weeding in the garden, fear not. In fact, the more you feel and even breathe its fumes, the better, research suggests. As part of our series called “Our Microbes, Ourselves,” we explore today a newly published study that adds to a growing body of research into the benefits of certain soil and gut microbes on our mental and physical health. Dr. Christopher Lowry, an associate professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, discusses with host Susan Moran the study, which he led. It shows that a common soil bacterium called M. vaccae can boost the immune system to help fight stress and inflammation. The research, published last week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted on mice, but the health implications for humans are far-reaching.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Susan Moran
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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GoldLab Symposium: Standing Together—Health Care for Our Common Good

GoldLab Symposium Graphic

2016 Illustration for Gold Lab Symposium

((Starts 00:00)) Today we speak with Larry Gold, founder of the GoldLab Symposium that brings scientists and thinkers from around the world to share their perspectives about health and healthcare.  The theme of this year’s symposium is: Standing Together—Health Care for Our Common Good

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

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2016 Graduation Special – Part 2

diploma-and-graduation-hatIn this follow-up episode of our “Graduation Special” we talk with three more guests graduating with science Ph.D.’s from the University of Colorado in Boulder.  They join us to talk about their thesis research, their grad school experiences, and what they have planned next:

CarleighSamson_headshotCarleigh SamsonEnvironmental Engineering Program
Topic: Modeling Relationships between Climate, Source Water Quality and Disinfection Byproduct Formation and Speciation in Treated Drinking Water

 

View More: http://americanchemicalsociety.pass.us/headshotsPatrick BarbourDepartment of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Topic: Property-Guided Synthesis of Tricyclic Indolines to Confront Antibiotic Resistance in Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus

94938Greg ThompsonDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Topic: Advances in a Microphysics Parameterization to Predict Supercooled Liquid Water and Application to Aircraft Icing

Host / Engineer : Shelley Schlender
Producer : Joel Parker
Executive Producer : Shelley Schlender

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2016 Graduation Special – Part 1

diploma-and-graduation-hatThe graduation season is upon us and our guests in today’s show will be graduating with science Ph.D.’s from the University of Colorado in Boulder.  They join us to talk about their thesis research, their grad school experiences, and what they have planned next:

greg_banditGreg SalvesenDepartment of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
Topic: Rethinking Accretion Disks Around Black Holes

 

small_headshotJesse NusbaumerDepartment of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Topic: An Examination of Atmospheric River Moisture Transport and Hydrology Using an Isotope-enabled Climate Model

Odessa ReunionOdessa GomezEnvironmental Engineering Program
Topic: Characterizing Responses of Primary Biological Aerosols to Oxidative Atmospheric Conditions

 

Host / Producer / Engineer : Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Foundations for Leaders Organizing for Water and Sustainability // Quantified Self

CU Environmental Center Helps Bring Energy and Water Conservation to Affordable Housing Residents(Starting at 6:30) FLOWS bridges social justice and environmental issues. FLOWS provides leadership training opportunities, green job skills, and free energy and water upgrades while building partnerships between CU students and staff and community members.  They partner with and work primarily for low-income communities for water and energy conservation (the communities most in need of lower energy and water bills).  They joined us to talk about their new training program coming up this May.  Find out more about their program here .

(Starting at 20:14)Michael Skirpan is a PhD candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder in the Computer Science Department. He worked with a collaborative team to create a project called quantified self, an immersive data experience that debuted the last weekend in April.  Listen in to hear more about this half performance-half data experience and find out when it will be happening again here.

Hosts:Kendra Krueger
Producer: Kendra Krueger
Engineer: Kendra KRueger
Additional contributions: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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