- 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)
- Climate Change – Research shows that timely political action has a bigger impact than waiting.
- 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.
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.)