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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Personalized Medicine from Genome Sequencing

DNA Sequence

DNA Sequence

This week, an interview with Howard Jacob, PhD, principal investigator and executive vice president for genomic medicine at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology (starts at 5’30”)describing the potential for personalized genomic sequencing and analysis in the identification of rare undiagnosed and misdiagnosed disease. A headline featuring research on how dogs process words mentioned a video of dogs in MRI machines; see the dogs at http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/08/video-your-dog-understands-more-you-think.
Host:Beth Bennett
Producer:Beth Bennett
Engineer:Maeve Conran
Additional Contributions:Joel Parker
Executive Producer:Susan Moran
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Gregory Benford – Science Fiction/Fact and Starshot

What are the qualities that make a good scientist?
What are the qualities that make a good science fiction writer?
515tlGA1GTL._UX250_Those skills do not necessarily overlap, but when they do, they not only can produce wonderful works of speculative fiction based on hard science, but they also can generate exciting new ideas for science research.

Our guest on today’s show inhabits both worlds; he is a professional scientist and a well-known science fiction writer. Dr. Gregory Benford is a professor of physics at the University of California, Irvin, where he has been a faculty member since 1971. Benford conducts research in plasma turbulence theory and experiment, and in astrophysics. He has published papers in fields of physics including condensed matter, particle physics, plasmas, mathematical physics, and even in biological conservation and geoengineering.

image3Dr. Benford also is a Nebula Award winning author of over twenty novels, including “Timescape”, “Jupiter Project”, “Artifact”, and “Against Infinity”, and the 6-book “Galactic Center Saga” series.  He also is an advisor on the Breakthrough Starshot project that has the goal to fly a spaceship to the nearest star.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Alejandro Soto
Producer and Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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Methane Emissions From Natural Gas

Oil and gas wells in Four Corners region. Credit: NASA

Methane Madness (start time: 2:20)  More than a decade ago, scientists noted that the area where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meet, known as Four Corners, appeared to be emitting a curiously large amount of methane. In a new study, a team of scientists have traced the source: more than 250 gas wells, storage tanks, pipelines and processing plants associated with oil and gas development in the San Juan Basin. The basin is one of many places where new drilling technologies, including horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, have propelled a boom in natural gas extraction. The boom has transformed the U.S. energy mix. Our two guests discuss with hosts Daniel Glick and Susan Moran the science and public health aspects of this study as well as the human side of living near natural gas wells in Colorado. Dr. Colm Sweeney co-authored the recent Four Corners study. He is the lead scientist for NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab Aircraft Program, and he is a research scientist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES, at the University of Colorado Boulder. Our other guest, Dr. Christopher Clack, is a physicist and mathematician with CIRES whose research focuses on renewable electricity. He shares his personal experience with and documentation of natural gas extraction.

Hosts: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran
Producer: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Maeve Conran
Contributor: Joel Parker

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Lessons From Flint’s Lead-In-Water Crisis

flint water

Corroded lead pipes in Flint, Mich. Photo credit: flintwaterstudy.org

Tackling Lead Contamination: Flint and Beyond (start time: 6:27) When you pour yourself a glass of water from the tap, do wonder whether it’s truly clean and safe? How would you know for sure? Flint, Mich., is a haunting example of how a breakdown in water-supply infrastructure, and political integrity, can result in lead contamination of a city’s tap water. Last year, thanks to the dogged investigation of an environmental engineer from Virginia, all of us nationwide were rattled by the disclosure that Flint residents were drinking poisoned tap water and that their city and federal officials were doing little to disclose the problem, much less tackle it. Since then, lead-poisoning outbreaks have emerged in Portland, Ore., Cleveland, Ohio, and elsewhere. Dr. Marc Edwards is the Virginia Tech professor who led the investigation in Flint, and previous water-contamination probes, most notably in Washington, D.C. He talks with How On Earth host Susan Moran about the public health, political and racial-justice facets of the Flint water crisis, and how many more similar crises around the country can be prevented in the future.
For more info, check out NRDC’s recent report on Flint, Marc Edwards’ and his team’s research, and ACLU Michigan‘s investigations.

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

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