Despite all the advances in modern medical science, a diagnosis of Cancer often casts a pallor of hopelessness, for both the patient and the practitioner. For many types the prognosis is often poor; the cure is often worse than the disease; victory is usually called simply remission, temporary, perhaps fleeting. One might think the inability to find a cure indicates bafflement by our scientists and stagnation in our efforts. According to Professor Michael Kinch, there is in fact a frenzy of activity by scientists and doctors. And a recent spate of breakthroughs, developing treatments based on the inherent powers of our immune systems, represent not a refutation of all we have known before, but a continuation of efforts made by medical pioneers stretching back over a century. His latest book is titled The End of The Beginning: Cancer, Immunity and the Future of a Cure. Kinch was a professor at Purdue University, where he researched breast and prostate cancer. He then went on to found an oncology program at the biotechnology company MedImmune. He is now professor and vice-chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis. Here he shares with Chip Grandits stories from the front lines in the battle with cancer, both past and present. He speaks with what can best be described as a disciplined optimism.
Host: Chip Grandits Producer: Chip Grandits Engineer: Chip Grandits Additional Contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Joel Parker
A Consumer’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce (starts 7:55) You may be wondering if you washed the strawberries, blueberries or kale that you had for breakfast this morning enough to rid them of residue of potentially harmful pesticides. That is, if they were conventionally, not organically, grown. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 200 different pesticides remain in some form on popular fruits and vegetables that Americans eat every day. And before testing all the produce, the USDA thoroughly washes and peels them. Such tests show that simply washing produce does not remove all pesticides. In a recently released report, as part of its “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce,”The Environmental Working Group ranked the pesticide contamination of 47 popular fruits and vegetables. Its analysis, which was based on results of nearly 50,000 samples of produce that the USDA tested, found that 70 percent of produce contains pesticide residues. But don’t despair: There is also good news in the report. Sydney Evans, a science analyst at EWG, and Liza Gross, an independent investigative reporter, speak with host Susan Moran about the EWG report and the broader societal and environmental implications of pesticides. See Liza Gross’ articles on pesticides and other issues.
Hosts: Maeve Conran, Susan Moran Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Maeve Conran Additional Contributors: Chip Grandits, Beth Bennett, Gretchen Wettstein Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Today’s show offers two features: Oil & Gas Impacts (start time: 1:05) Proposition 112, which would require oil and gas wells to be at least 2,500 feet from homes, schools, parks and other buildings, has highlighted mounting public concerns about the health, social and other impacts of extensive drilling along Colorado’s Front Range. Weld County is center stage for the latest oil and gas boom; nearly half of Colorado’s 55,000 active wells are located there. Jason Plautz, a Denver-based journalist, discussed with host Susan Moran the science and politics surrounding drilling activities, and whether explosions such as the one in Windsor last December could happen in many other locations. Plautz and Daniel Glick wrote a feature article that has just been published in High Country News.
Healthy Planet+Healthy Humans? (start time: 14:46) Matthew Burgess has been immersed in thinking about and studying how we humans, and the planet we inhabit, can both remain intact—in fact, can both thrive–well into the future. What’s he smok’in, you might ask? In fact, he is a serious environmental scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Burgess and nearly two dozen colleagues authored a recently published scientific paper that applies models to show how we can meet demands of increased populations and economic growth in 2050, while simultaneously achieving bold and effective conservation and climate goals set forth by the United Nations. Dr. Burgess is an assistant professor in Environmental Studies, with an additional appointment in Economics. And he works at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES), the collaboration between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Colorado. He discusses the paper and its implications with hosts Susan Moran and Joel Parker.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Susan Moran
This week on How on Earth, Beth interviews Dr Lee Know, author of Mitochondria and theFuture of Medicine. These amazing organelles, which allow complex life on Earth to exist, do more than “just” make ATP. Ask that isn’t enough! They are intimately involved in many aspects of health and disease. The good news is that we can optimize their function to attain longer, healthier lives.You can see the book at https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/mitochondria-and-the-future-of-medicine/
Today’s show offers two feature interviews: New Theory of How Cancer Evolves Inside Us (start time: 0:58): It is commonly known that cancer afflicts old people more than youth. Conventional wisdom has held we get cancer with age largely because we accumulate lots of genetic mutations over many years, and it’s the mutations that cause cancer. Our guest, Dr. James DeGregori, deputy director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, discusses with host Susan Moran his new theory–one that challenges conventional wisdom–about why and how we get cancer. In his new book, called Adaptive Oncogenesis: A New Understanding of How Cancer Evolves Inside Us, DeGregori argues that cancer is as much a disease of evolution as it is of mutation. Mutated cells outcompete healthy ones in the ecosystem of the body’s tissues. Dr. DeGregori is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
Studying Health Impacts of Oil&Gas Wells (start time: 12:54) Many people living all along the Front Range are familiar with the sights and smells of oil rigs operating in fields near their homes and schools. State regulators argue that this convergence of people and oil rigs is safe. But many nearby residents and scientists are concerned about the potential health impacts of these drilling operations so close to residential neighborhoods and schools. Our guest, Dr. Lisa McKenzie, is the lead author on a new study that adds some critical evidence to back concerns of residents. It found that for people living within 500 feet of a well, the risk of their getting cancer over the course of their lifetime is eight times higher than the upper acceptable levels established by the federal EPA. Dr. McKenzie is an assistant research professor at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anshutz Campus. She discusses the study and its implications with hosts Daniel Glick and Susan Moran. (Here is our interview with Dr. McKenzie a year ago about a related study.)
Hosts: Daniel Glick, Susan Moran Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Maeve Conran Executive Producer: Joel Parker
This week on How on Earth, Beth finishes the interview with Miriam Kalamian, author of Keto for Cancer. This encyclopedic volume lays out the groundwork for using a ketogenic diet to treat cancer. But, as the author points out, the diet, which starves cancer cells, should be used in conjunction with other therapies. To see the book, go to https://www.chelseagreen.com/keto-for-cancer; to see Miriam’s website go to https://www.dietarytherapies.com/
This week on How on Earth, we started speaking with Miriam Kalamian, author of the newly released Keto for Cancer. The interview starts at 11′ 30″, but unfortunately we lost the connection after only 5 minutes. You can link to her book at http://www.chelseagreen.com/keto-for-cancer and we will have her back to hear the full story! For the remainder of the show we linked to the BBC Science in Action segment on building proteins from novel DNA sequences.
In their upcoming book, A Metabolic Approach to Cancer, authors Dr Nasha Winters and Jess Kelley, describe new developments in individualized therapies for cancer, based on nutrition and personalized genetic analysis. Almost 100 years ago it was found that cancer cells rely almost exclusively on burning glucose for their growth. In the last 10 years, it was found that limiting glucose (and other carbs) in the diet can curb the growth of cancer and mitigate some of the problems associated with conventional therapies like chemo. The authors expand on this theme and also apply an encyclopedic wealth of nutritional data and research to various physiological systems that can prevent or reduce cancer’s impact.
Hosts: Beth Bennett and Susan Moran Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Maeve Conran Additional Contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Susan Moran
This week on How on Earth Beth interviews Travis Christofferson, author of Tripping over the Truth, in which he explores the history, and the human story that has led to the resurgence of Otto Warburg’s original metabolic theory first proposed in 1924. Despite incredible biomedical advances, the death rate today is the same as it was in 1950. The metabolic theory offers an answer and alternative therapies. Find out more about Christofferson’s book at http://www.chelseagreen.com/tripping-over-the-truth
Hosts: Beth Bennett and Joel Parker Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Joel Parker Additional Contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Drilling’s Health Impacts (start time: 7:50): A pressing question on the minds of many Colorado residents, health experts, and others amidst a surge of oil and gas activity is this: Does living near an oil and gas well harm your health? A scientist at the forefront of exploring such questions is Dr. Lisa McKenzie, a professor of environmental epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz. She is the lead author on a recently published study that examines the potential impact of nearby oil and gas drilling on childhood cancer rates. The study’s important findings were challenged by the state Health Department, whose recent assessment concludes that nearby oil and gas operations poses minimal risk to residents. Dr. McKenzie talks with How On Earth’s Susan Moran about her study, and the complex science of risk, correlation and causation.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Joel Parker