COVID-19: ACE, Targeted Therapies, Old & New Medicines

Antimicrobial Regeneration Consortium LogoThis episode talks about research about COVID-19, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), and targeted therapies, and our feature is an interview with CU-Boulder scientists Anushree Chatterjee and Prashant Nagpal. This husband and wife science team explains why there may be a downside to adapting old medications to fight Covid-19.  They’ll also explain their anguish about why creating new “drugs” to fight Covid-19 cannot happen as fast as they or anyone would like.  They have founded the Antimicrobial REgeneration Consortium, with the goal of speeding up the creation and availability of antimicrobial medicines.  They are also developing a way to give people a tiny dose of nanoparticles–basically incredibly tiny microchips, preprogrammed to specifically target a disease such as Covid-19  (see our earlier discussions with them).

Host: Beth Bennett, Angele Sjong, Shelley Schlender, Joel Parker
Producer: Joel Parker, Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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Miracle Brew (encore feature) // COVID-19 // Drying Towels

This week on How On Earth, we present an Encore Feature from January 2018 about the science and art of brewing beer with guest Pete Brown, author of Miracle Brew.  This episode also includes new headlines about current research about COVID-19 and about the science of drying towels outside.

Host: Beth Bennett
Producer: Joel Parker, Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Additional contributions: Angele Sjong
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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Ice Age Bone Fire // Backcountry Skiing & Wildlife

HOE Ice Age Bone FireBackcountry Skiing & Wildlife (Starts 1:00) Margaret Hedderman reports on how off-trail use of wilderness areas is causing increasing harm to wildlife . . . and what to do instead.

Ice Age Bone Fire  (starts 6:15)  We join Archeologist John Hoffecker and a team of volunteers to recreate a Paleolithic campfire. This “campfire” was used over 20,000 years ago in bitter cold areas of the North, where trees were scarce, and the fuel for making campfires depended on the ability to burn bones.  Special thanks to the volunteers who helped with this project — Josh Steinsiek, Dustin Goodew of Arapahoe Meat Company, Outdoorspeople Lin and Henry Ballard, Amber O’Hearn and Siobhan Huggins.

Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Additional Contributions:  Margaret Hedderman; Edie Hill, Composer
Engineer: Maeve Conran

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Space Mining

image credit: DSI/Bryan Versteeg

image credit: DSI/Bryan Versteeg

Space Mining [starts at 9:20] Stars have been called “diamonds in the sky,” but there are other valuable and more accessible resources up there.  Asteroids might be the next gold rush, though for resources other than gold, if there are ways to actually get there and mine them.  Can we do that? And, even if we can, does it make economic and environmental sense to do it?  Joining us for this episode of How on Earth is Dr. Matt Beasley, a Senior Program Manager at Southwest Research Institute, and he is a planetary scientist who has been involved in the development of space mining concepts.

Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Producer: Joel Parker
Headlines: Angele Sjong, Joel Parker
Engineer: Joel Parker

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Stem Cell Science // Decoding Science

Stem-Cell

Stem cell science v. hype (start time: 00:57) Clinics offering stem cell therapies and other forms of so-called regenerative medicine are cropping up in many states, including Colorado. Practitioners of stem cells, are touting them as repairing damaged cartilage, tendons and joints, and even treating diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. While the science looks promising, it seriously lags the marketing of stem cell therapies. Last year the FDA, which has yet to regulate the clinics, issued a warning about stem cell therapies.
Laura Beil, a science journalist and producer of the podcast Bad Batch, recently wrote a cover article in Science News about the hype and the latest science of stem cells. She talks with host Susan Moran about her reporting. (For more info, check out this new BBC program on stem cell “hope and hype.”)

cover image Craft of Science WritingScience for the Rest of Us (start time: 16:38)  At a time our own government leaders vilify science and reinvent facts, it seems as important as ever that journalists and the public at large grasp and  translate scientific research. A new book, The Craft of Science Writing, offers tips on how to find credible experts (whether on the corona virus or vaccines or climate change), separate truth from spurious assertions, and make sense of scientific studies. The book is aimed at science writers, but it can be a guidepost for anyone who wants to make science more accessible.   Alex Witze, a science writer who co-authored the book Island On Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano, is a contributor to the new book. She discusses the art of decoding and appreciating science with hosts Susan Moran and Joel Parker.

 

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Beth Bennet

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The Science of Hearing and Hearing Aids

Volume Control

Volume Control

This week Beth and Angele talk with David Owen about his book, Volume Control, in which he explores the surprising science of hearing and the remarkable technologies that can help us hear better. In the book, he argues that failing to take care of our hearing comes with a huge social cost. He demystifies the science of hearing while encouraging readers to get the treatment they need for hearing loss and protect the hearing they still have.

Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett & Angele Sjong
Headlines: Beth Bennett & Angele Sjong
Engineer: Beth Bennett

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Who Pays for Climate Change?

merlin_166536642_24b1e96c-327a-4b9c-9979-f87ed8a0b502-articleLargeThis week, Beth and Angele speak with with Brenda Ekwurzel in the studio. Brenda is the director of climate science for the Union of Concerned Scientists. She was in Boulder for a panel on Air Quality and Climate Change. She spoke about some Colorado issues e.g. wildfire and drought, and assigning responsibility for specific events to fossil fuel producers. She is a widely quoted expert on climate change, and co-authored the UCS guide Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living. For more information you can visit her website.

Hosts: Angele Sjong and Beth Bennett
Producers: Angele Sjong and Beth Bennett
Engineer: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett

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Ketogenic Diet and Muscle and Memory

Fat MouseThis week on How on Earth, we speak with Dr John Newman, geriatrician and geoscientist at the Buck Institute. He describes his recent research in mice, showing that both memory and muscle improve in animals eating a high fat diet. To see more details on these experiments, you can visit the lab website.
To register for the Air Quality and Climate Conference, send an email to sstrife@bouldercounty.org

Hosts: Angele Sjong & Beth Bennett
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer : Beth Bennett

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Climate Watch // Extreme Conservation

Today’s show features the following interviews, by How On Earth’s Susan Moran and guest host Ted Wood.

Photo credit: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

Photo credit: Mike Fernandez/Audubon

Audubon’s Climate Watch (start time: 4:03) Starting on Jan. 14, the Audubon Society will launch a month-long citizen science program to better understand how birds are responding to climate change. This comes at a time when, according to a 2019 Audubon report, up to two-thirds of North American birds are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change. But the Climate Watch program is one of many opportunities to protect birds.  Alison Holloran, executive director of Audubon Rockies, discusses the program and how you can get involved.

cover image U ChicConservation on the Edges (start time: 13:26) Charismatic predators like polar bears, grizzlies, and tigers, get lots of attention, and for good reason. But many lesser known species, particularly those living in extreme environments–including muskoxen, wild yaks, takins and saigas–are also important species. They have been the research focus of Joel Berger, a professor of wildlife conservation at Colorado State University. He’s also senior scientist at Wildlife Conservation Society.  Berger’s latest book is Extreme Conservation: Life at the Edges of the World. 

Hosts: Susan Moran, Ted Wood
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Additional Contributor: Beth Bennett

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Top Stories of the Decade

Black Hole Image from New Scientist

Black Hole Image from New Scientist

This week on How on Earth, Angele and Beth distill some of the top science news of the past year and decade, ranging from the first image of a black hole, as seen here, to DNA sequencing of ancient genomes, some new hominid ancestors, advances in AI, and more!

Hosts: Beth Bennett & Angele Sjong
Producer: Beth Bennett & Angele Sjong
Engineer: Beth Bennett
Executive Producer: Joel Parker

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