For the August 20 How On Earth show we offer two features:
Kepler Spacecraft’s Uncertain Future: (start time 5:48) Are we alone in the cosmos? Are there other planets out there, and could some of them support life? Or, is Earth somehow unique in its ability to support life? The Kepler mission was designed to start addressing that question by searching for planets around other stars. Since its launch in March 2009, the Kepler spacecraft has discovered many diverse candidate planets around other stars, but recently the spacecraft has run into some technical problems. Dr. Steve Howell from NASA’s Ames Research Center talks with co-host Joel Parker about Kepler’s past, present and future.
Cancer’s Impact on Fertility: (start time 14:52) It’s tough enough to receive a cancer diagnosis. For many patients, an added insult is that chemotherapy treatments can render them infertile. However, there are many options for cancer patients who want to have children, or more children – both men and women. A key problem has been that many of them aren’t educated by oncologists about their fertility options and they jump right into drug treatments. Dr. Laxmi Kondapalli, an assistant professor of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Colorado Denver and head of the CU Cancer Center’s Oncofertility Program, talks with co-host Susan Moran about the medical science of take cancer therapies and the latest in fertility-preservation options.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Additional Contributions: Shelley Schlender Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Feature #1 (start time 5:36): Cancer drugs are much more targeted than they were many years ago. But researchers are still trying to find a way to deliver drugs much more precisely to cancer cells, partly to avoid damaging, sometimes lethal, side effects. A huge obstacle has been getting nucleic acids to cross the membrane of cancer cells. A new study has brought researchers closer to crossing this big hurdle. Dr. Tom Anchordoquy, a lead author of the study, speaks with co-host Susan Moran about the study and what it means for cancer patients and researchers. Dr. Anchordoquy is an investigator at the University of Colorado Cancer Center in Denver and a professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Feature #2 (start time 15:02): Being an astronaut is a risky job, but perhaps one of the less-known risks is the high levels of radiation beyond the relatively protective cocoon of Earth’s magnetic field. This will be a particularly important problem to address for long-duration deep-space flight such as going to Mars. Until recently there have not been a lot of measurements available of the interplanetary radiation field for the types of radiation that could affect humans. But on the Curiosity rover of the Mars Science Laboratory, there is a radiation detector designed to make those important measurements. The instrument team recently published their initial results. Dr. Don Hassler, Science Program Director at Southwest Research Institute’s Boulder office and the Principal Investigator for the Radiation Assessment Detector on the Mars Curiosity rover, talks with co-host Joel Parker about the results.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Joel Parker