Corona Virus: Therapies and Transmission

nCoV-1This week on How on Earth, we are still producing off site. Beth and Angele give an update on treatment and transmission of the corona virus and Shelley interviews CU Boulder scientists Anushree Chatterjee and Prashant Nagpal who explain the pros and cons of using old medicines to fight Covid-19, and they describe some new “medicines” in the future, and how to speed up their development.

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

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CoVid19 Update // Beer Chemistry Redux

This week How on Earth adjusts to the restrictions imposed by the corona virus by replaying a previous feature on the chemistry of beer brewing. First Beth gives an overview of some proposed treatments for corona virus. Then, the featured interview with author Pete Brown. When the New York Times reviewed Miracle Brew, the reviewer said: A magisterial tour of fearsome science and vast brewery history leavened with cheery anecdotes, humor, vivid you-are-there prose and a clever eye for personality . . . His rhapsodies about the meaning of life and the meaning of beer are stirring. . . .His expertise and insight will leave you with a glimmer of infinity every time you hold a bottle of it in your hand.

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

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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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CoVid19 Update // Sleep and Your Immune System

man-in-bed-struggling-to-sleep-wd-noexp-620x400This week on How On Earth, we produced the entire show out of the studio, explaining one brief glitch. Beth gives a short update on the way the corona virus infects cells and how this entry point can affect people taking blood pressure medications. In our feature interview, Beth talks with Professor Mark Opp, who studies sleep in his lab at the University of Colorado here in Boulder (interview starts at about 10 minutes). He’s especially interested in the interaction between sleep and our immune systems. Not that long ago, people didn’t think there was any relationship between the two, but our understanding of both systems has evolved.

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

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Peer Pressure can Influence Your Carbon Footprint // CoVid19 Update

9780691193083This week on How on Earth we start with an update on the corona virus, focusing on treatments and vaccines. At 12 minutes, we begin our interview with Bob Frank, author of Under the Influence, Putting Peer Pressure to Work. This book explains how we could redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. Dr Frank has developed some novel strategies relying on peer pressure to get people to change their actions so as to reduce carbon emissions and climate change. He also details many prior and successful examples of this type of peer pressure. You can see more at the publisher’s website.

Hosts: Beth Bennett & Angele Sjong
Producer: Beth Bennett
Engineer: Beth Bennett
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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