The Most Perfect Thing: A Bird’s Egg

The Most Perfect Thing Book Cover((Starts 00:00)) We speak via Skype with Renowned English Ornithologist Tim Birkhead, about “The Most Perfect Thing.”  That’s the title of his new book.  It’s all about taking a scientific look inside, and outside, a bird’s egg.

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

Play
Share

A History of Water in Colorado’s Front Range

land made of waterHost Beth Bennett interviews Bob Crifasi, author of A Land Made of Water (starts at 4’55”). Bob works in water management and planning and is an environmental scientist with over 25yr experience. He was the Water Resources Administrator for the city of Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks Dept. He has served on board of directors of 11 ditch companies and as the president of several, supervising all aspects of ditch operation.

Hosts: Beth Bennett, Alejandro Soto
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Additional contributions: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

Listen to the show:

Play
Share

Across the Universe – You Can’t Get There From Here

grinspoon-perkowitz-galaxy
This special edition of How on Earth is produced in conjunction with the Conference on World Affairs.  Our guests are two of the participants of the Conference: astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon and physicist Dr. Sidney Perkowitz.  In keeping with the traditional format of the conference panels, our guests will start by talking about their interpretation of the topic “Across the Universe – You Can’t Get There From Here”, and we’ll go from there and see where in the universe we end up.

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

Click below to listen to the show:

Play
Share

Prairie Wildfire // Predicting Heat Waves // Mapping Nitrogen Pollution

credit Karen McKinnon - Pacific ocean and atmosphere can predict a heat wave in the Eastern US.

credit Karen McKinnon – Pacific ocean and atmosphere can predict a heat wave in the Eastern US.

Prairie Fire (start time: 0:57) Journalist and Megafire expert Michael Kodas discusses the raging Kansas prairie fire and how it compares to wildfires in Colorado.

Pacific Temperatures Predict New York Heat Waves (start time: 6:58) Climatologist Karen McKinnon says it’s possible to use precise monitoring of Pacific Ocean surface temperatures to predict heat waves on the East Coast 50 days in advance.

Mapping Nitrogen Pollution (start time: 15:45)  CU scientist Sam Simkin explains how human-caused nitrogen pollution  may be killing off plant diversity throughout the US . . . and his maps show where.

Hosts: Shelley Schlender, Susan Moran
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions: Tom Yulsman
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Click below to listen to the show:

Play
Share

The Science of Mind Over Body

Cure-US-coverMind+Body Science (start time: 4:52): If you’ve ever struggled  to decide whether to see a Western conventional doctor or an  “alternative” medical practitioner for ailments ranging from a compromised immune system to irritable bowel syndrome, you are aware of a deep divide between the two camps. Dr. Jo Marchant, a British geneticist and science writer, has delved into the science and politics of mind-body connections in her new book. It’s called Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body. She discusses this journey with host Susan Moran. (We played snippets from the interview during the recent  pledge-drive show. Thanks to you, listener-members, for your support! And thanks, Crown Publishers, for allowing KGNU to give copies of Cure to those who pledged during the show.

Headlines (0:56 – 4:30) 1) Analyzing the molecular signature from our body’s microbial communities might be used in the future to link suspects to crimes definitively. 2) New research explores whether molecules behave like predatory animals when it comes to foraging for food.

Hosts: Beth Bennett, Susan Moran
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Beth Bennett
Headline Contributor: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen here to the show:

Play
Share

Pledge Drive: Mind-Body Science

Image credit: Target Health Global

Image credit: Target Health Global

In today’s spring pledge-drive show we play clips from an interview with  Jo Marchant, author of the new book Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind Over Body. (Stay tuned for the extended interview on next Tuesday’s show.) And we highlight another book, Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connection with Sex-Changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep, by Marah Hardt. Call KGNU (303-449-4885) or pledge online (www.kgnu.org) and you will have the chance to make either of these books yours.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Additional contributions: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the show here:

Play
Share

Flying into Methane//Climate Change on Steroids

mooney-and-sweeney.600

credit: NOAA

Flying into Methane (5:10 – 13:40) Susan Moran talks with the director of Boulder’s Scientific Aviation, Steve Conley, about how his company’s painstaking and nauseating flights documented the Los Angeles methane blowout and the huge amount of pollution it created  . . . equivalent of 600,000 cars driving for an entire year!  Conley also explains why we need more flights like these to find other major gas leaks.  

conservation-lizards-habitat-1-Kika-Tuff1

credit: Kika Tuff

Climate Change on Steroids (14:04 – 23:59) Shelley Schlender talks with CU-Boulder PhD candidate Kika Tuff.  Tuff’s research on thermal biology is showing how cutting down trees at the edge of a forest puts climate change on steroids and may spell disaster for heat-sensitive animals. 

Headlines (00:57 – 4:55) – CU scientists document that Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) emissions are higher than industry is reporting, Colorado student scientist wins 3rd place at national event, Denver Science Museum hosts special day for girls & science.

Hosts: Shelley Schlender, Susan Moran
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Additional contributors: Alejandro Soto
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Share

STEM Research // Sex in the Sea

REMGROUP2-this

High school researchers in CU Boulder program observing photo-origami model. Photo credit: Stacey Forsyth

Today’s show offers two features:
High School STEM Stars (start time: 5:00): Developing polymers to reduce waste from biodiesel production. Using 3D printing to design ocean textures, such as fish gills and waves, that blind students can use in textbooks to better understand nature. These are the kind of vexing challenges of seasoned scientists. Well, a select group of high school students here on the Front Range are also diving into this research, through the University of Colorado’s Photo-Origami Research Project. It’s part of the Research Experience and Mentoring (REM) program. Our guests–Lindsey Welch, a sophomore at Centaurus High; and Tyco Mera Evans, a senior at Northglenn High– will give poster presentations at the Emerging Researchers National Conference in STEM, in Washington, D.C.  this week. Joining them in the studio is Kathryn Penzkover, who directs high school programs through CU Science Discovery.

book cover-Sex (this)Sex & Evolution Beneath the Waves (start time: 14:45) Ever wonder about the sex lives of gender-bending fish, desperately virgin elephant seals, and other creatures of the sea? Marine ecologist Marah Hardt has made a career out of it. She speaks with host Susan Moran about her newly published book, Sex in the Sea: Our Intimate Connections with Sex-changing Fish, Romantic Lobsters, Kinky Squid, and Other Salty Erotica of the Deep. Dr. Hardt, who works with the nonprofit Future of Fish, illuminates how sex in the sea is at the heart of healthy and sustainable oceans. The oceans, along with their inhabitants, are under many threats, including overfishing and climate change. She will speak tonight about her book at the Boulder Book Store. For more information on ocean conservation issues, and to get involved here in land-locked Colorado, check out the nonprofit Colorado Ocean Coalition. And listen to previous related interviews, in our series “The Ocean Is Us.”

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Additional contributors: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the audio here:

Play
Share

First Detection of Gravitational Waves

ligoInterview with LIGO Scientist Dr. Matt Evans (6:22): The recent big news in physics was the announcement of the first direct detection of gravitational waves.  The detection was made by the LIGO project, which stands for “Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory”.  Reports have said that this is a confirmation of general relativity and a new way to view the universe.  To help us understand that, and why this is such a significant achievement, we have on the phone Dr. Matthew Evans, an Assistant Professor of Physics at MIT.  Dr. Evans is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the chair of the Advanced Interferometer Configurations working group.  His research focus is on gravitational wave detector instrumentation, and the fundamental sensitivity of gravitational wave detectors.

And here you can see the signal and hear the “chirp” of a graviational wave!

Hosts: Kendra Krueger, Joel Parker
Producer: Kendra Krueger
Engineer: Kendra Krueger
Additional Contributions: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the show:

Play
Share

How the Glucocorticoid Receptor can Treat Asthma, Cancer, and More

What the mysterious acronym means

What the mysterious acronym means

The Glucocorticoid Receptor (starts at 5:30): We interview Dr. Miles Pufall who studies the glucocorticoid receptor, a protein in cell membranes that is the target of drugs used to treat a variety of conditions from asthma to cancer. Binding cortisol causes the receptor to be moved to the nucleus where it turns on (or off) numerous genes. One of the big questions is how does each cell type ‘know’ which genes should be targeted?

Hosts: Beth Bennett, Joel Parker
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributions: Joel Parker, Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

Listen to the show:

Play
Share
Page 1 of 281234567»1020...Last »

Support KGNU


How On Earth is produced by a small group of volunteers at the studios of KGNU, an independent community radio station in the Boulder-Denver metro area. KGNU is supported by the generosity and efforts of community members like you. Visit kgnu.org to learn more.

Podcast

Subscribe via iTunes
 
How On Earth episodes can be downloaded as podcasts via iTunes, or streamed to a mobile device via Stitcher or Science360 Radio.
 
Listen on Stitcher
 
Listen on Science360 Radio
 
For more info about podcasting, and more subscription options, visit our Podcast page.