Haitian Seismologists//Changing Antarctic Climate

Roby Douilly and Steeve Symithe

Feature #1: (start time: 06:03) On January 12, 2010, just over three years ago, a magnitude 7 earthquake shook Haiti, taking more than 200,000 lives and displacing an estimated 2 million. Still today, the International Organization for Migration estimates hundreds of thousands of people are without permanent homes, and in many ways Haiti seems no closer to rebuilding than it did three years ago.  Co-host Beth Bartel speaks to Haiti’s first seismologists — Roby Douilly and Steeve Symithe, both graduate students at Purdue University — about the future of Haiti and a career in seismology there

Feature #2: (start time: 15:42) You’ve probably heard by now that 2012 was the warmest ever in the U.S.  We’re not the only ones overheating. At the bottom of the world, over the last 50 years, West Antarctica has warmed more than scientists had thought. The implications are huge; an enormous ice sheet there  may be at risk of long-term collapse, which could cause sea levels to rise alarmingly.  Co-host Susan Moran speaks with Andrew Monaghan, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR, here in Boulder. Dr. Monaghan co-authored the study, which was recently published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Hosts: Susan Moran and Beth Bartel
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Shelley Schlender

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Medical Marijuana and Traffic Accidents//Ron Rosedale Critiques Body Mass Index Study

Apple Versus Pear Shape

HEADLINES:

  1. Diabetes Drug Metformin – University of Pennsylvania Researcher Morris Birnbaum reports in Nature that Metformin blocks a hormone that tells the liver to melt muscle to make more blood sugar. (Go here for an extended interview with Morris Birnbaum)
  2. Climate Change – Research shows that timely political action has a bigger impact than waiting.
  3. Boulder Cafe Scientifique – Tonight’s Cafe Sci features CU Boulder researcher Monique LeBourgeois (who we interviewed in detail in previous broadcast) on the topic of kids and sleep.

Medical Marijuana States

MAIN FEATURES:

We talk with scientists who are part of two new University of Colorado – Denver studies about alcohol and marijuana – 1) Ben Crost presents a study of marijuana use versus alcohol use which concludes that the minimum drinking age of 21 increases marijuana use among teens (until age 21, alcohol use is lower and marijuana use is higher.  After age 21, alcohol use goes up and marijuana use goes down).  Daniel Rees and Mark Anderson are among the authors on a study of Medical Marijuana and Traffic Fatalities that view the question of who uses what from the other side.  Their study looks at an exception to the rule – the 16 states and District of Columbia with some years now, have had medical marijuana laws.  In these Medical Marijuana states, teen use of marijuana appears to rise at age 18 (that’s the age at which teens no longer need to have their parent’s permission to get a Medical Marijuana card. )  But even more interestingly, in these Medical Marijuana states, traffic fatalities go down.  These authors look at why. (Go here for extended interviews with Crost and Anderson)

We also discuss the new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that analyzed the link between Body Mass Index (BMI) and death.  BMI is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared study.  The study concluded that while very obese people were likely to die sooner than others, people who were moderately overweight, or even slightly obese, were less likely to die than were people of normal weight, or people who are thin.  Medical doctor and researcher on aging, Ron Rosedale, puts this study in historical perspective, pointing out that the British Medical Journal the Lancet published a similar study in 2006 that concluded that BMI is not a very useful measure of health, and other measures, such as waist to hip ratio and certain hormone levels, might be better at predicting health and longevity. (Go here for an extended interview with Ron Rosedale)

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

Additional Contributions:  Susan Moran

 (Click below to play audio.)

 

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Metformin Lowers Blood Sugars by Blocking the Hormone Glucagon – Extended Interview with Morris Birnbaum

This is an extended version of the January 8th, 2013 interview with Morris Birnbaum, about how Metformin lowers blood sugars in diabetics by blocking the hormone glucagon.

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New Study on BMI (Body Mass Index) and Longevity – Critique by Dr. Ron Rosedale – Extended Interview

This is an extended version of the interview we broadcast on January 8th, 2013, featuring Ron Rosedale discussing the new study about BMI and Longevity.

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Medical Marijuana and Reduced Traffic Fatalities – Extended Interview with Mark Anderson

This is an extended interview with University of Montana Economist Mark Anderson, from the January 8th How On Earth broadcast.

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Marijuana and Pot as Substitutions – Extended Interview with Ben Crost

This is an extended interview from the January 8th, 2013 HowonEarth.

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Top Science Stories – 2012 – A look from BBC Science in Action

We bring you a look back on the world of science, from our colleagues with a pulse on the world-wide science news of the year, the producers at BBC Science in Action.

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State Climatologist // Water Contamination

Nolan Doesken

Feature #1: (start time 5:09)  Did you know that Colorado, and for that matter most states, have their own “state climatologist” – an expert who keeps tabs on the changing climate and its impacts in the state. In Colorado’s case it’s Nolan Doesken. He’s based out of the Colorado Climate Center at Colorado State University. Mr. Doesken also heads a nationwide citizen-science project called the  Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network. How On Earth co-host Susan Moran interviews Mr. Doesken about the network, as well as a recently released Colorado River Basin Water Supply & Demand Study, which suggests we’ll be thirstier and thirstier in the future.

Mark Williams sampling a groundwater well near Buena Vista.

Feature #2: (start time 16:00) Water is such an essential — perhaps the essential — resource for life that it is considered as a key ingredient for life anywhere in the universe. No surprise, then, that it has become a battleground, especially in the Western states like Colorado that are dealing with drought conditions and higher demand for clean water to support a ever-increasing population. Dr. Mark Williams, professor of geography at CU Boulder talks with co-host Joel Parker about his research into the environmental and human health impacts of energy development and mining on the quality of water in our aquifers.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran|
Engineer: Jim Pullen
Executive Producer: Jim Pullen

 (Click below to play audio.)

This show was featured January 7th 2013 by Science 360 Radio

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Robert Arentz – Asteroid Impact Hazards & Ball Aerospace

Main Feature (starts at 5:25). We talk with Dr. Robert Arentz from Ball Aerospace in Boulder about what’s new and interesting at Ball and in space missions in general including asteroid impact hazards on Earth and what can be done about it.

Hosts: Joel Parker and Jim Pullen
Producer: Joel Parker
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Jim Pullen

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The Fat Switch – Richard Johnson MD

Headlines:  

  1. Chemicals that make drinking water cleaner, might increase allergies to food
  2. Rumors run amok about “historic” Mars Mission press conference
  3. West Nile Virus, Lyme’s disease, and Dengue fever on the rise

Main feature (6 minutes in):  We’re in that time of year when animals hibernate.  Before they started their long winter’s nap, they fattened up, so they can make it through the winter.  According to CU Health Sciences researcher, Richard Johnson, we humans also evolved to put on weight to make it through leaner times.  But for us, it’s not a change of seasons that gets the weight gain started.  It’s a specific trigger, called, “Sugar.”  Specifically a kind of sugar called fructose, found in honey, fruit juice, corn syrup, and even regular table sugar.  In his new book, The Fat Switch, Johnson traces the increasing availability of this fructose sugar among humans and how it has now made people fat, and sick for thousands of years.  For instance, you think the pharoahs were all buff, and skinny?  Many mummies have lots of skin folds, which means that, as living humans, many were fat.  Johnson also talks about kings who loved sugar so much, sometimes they made sugar statues . . . and ate them . . . leading many to be very fat and prone to modern diseases such as diabetes and heart attack and stroke. Now let’s listen in, as How on Earth’s Shelley Schlender talks with Dr. Richard Johnson, about how sugar affects children.  They begin with how too much sugar can make a person’s body get stuck, storing the sugar as fat.

Hosts: Joel Parker and Susan Moran
Producer: Shelley Schlender
Engineer: Shelley Schlender
Executive Producer: Jim Pullen

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