The Goodness Paradox (Teaser): Today’s spring pledge-drive show features brief clips from a recent interview with Richard Wrangham, a primatologist at Harvard University, about his new book, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution. Wrangham discusses with How On Earth hosts Susan Moran and Chip Grandits how, and why, homo sapiens evolved to be both peaceful and violent (less reactively aggressive and more proactively aggressive, like our bonobo ancestors), and what it bodes for the future of human civilization. We will air the full interview on the March 19 science show. Thanks to Pantheon Books for offering KGNU several copies of Wrangham’s book. And thank you to listeners who pledged and received a copy of the book, and to those who have helped power this community radio station for years. If there are any copies of The Goodness Paradox remaining next Tuesday you can call in then and become a member for $60 or more. Or go to kgnu.org and pledge, or increase, your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
Hosts: Chip Grandits, Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
In this week’s show, Beth interviews Dr. Ivan Liachko, CEO and Co-Founder of Phase Genomics, a startup biotech company recently funded, in part, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The company is using a new technology that allows researchers to pair plasmids, which are small non-chromosomal pieces of DNA, with the bacterial species carrying them. This is key to identiying the species in the microbiome that carry antibiotic resistacne genes. In the following interview, which starts at about 6:00 Dr Liachko describes the method and its implications. You can see more about the technology at their website.
Hosts: Beth Bennett & Joel Parker Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Joel Parker Additional Contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
In this week’s show, Beth speaks with William Hollander, and Kevin Miller, of QalibreMD, a Boulder startup focused on transforming MRI technology. Traditional MRI scans can result in a large differences between readings on different equipment. The results can be costly and misleading, as conditions like cancer can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.The interview starts ~5’30”, for more information you can see their website. Host: Beth Bennett Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Maeve Conran Additional Contributions: Susan Moran Executive producer: Beth Bennett
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Spend some time at the intersection of art, engineering and science; we’ll hear about the world premier of HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes February 20, 7:00 PM at Fiske Planetarium in Boulder. Get a glimpse of how cutting edge visual artists team up with world class scientists using the latest technology to complement a rational understanding of climate change with visceral images to inspire empathy with the hope to engender action and change. In this episode hear Chip Grandits speak with Marda Kirn, director of EcoArts Connections, Shilpi Gupta software engineer at CIRESfor NOAA Science On a Sphere and Dr. Elizabeth Wetherhead a climate scientist and expert in climate forecasting and modeling, recently retired from CU Boulder and CIRES and now working at climate forecasting for Jupiter Intelligence.
Athlete’s Guide to Recovery (starts at 5:39): Colorado is riddled with athletes, many of them incessantly chasing the latest recovery products and services that will enhance their performance — from Gatorade and other ubiquitous sports-recovery drinks, to supplements, to compression boots, to cryochambers, to good old-fashioned massages. How solid is the solid the science behind the multi-million marketing campaigns? Christie Ashwanden, a former pro cyclist, runner and skier, is also the lead science writer at FiveThirtyEight, and her new book explores the scientific research, the snake oil, and common sense practices, in the world of exercise recovery. Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery (Norton), was just published today. Christie will also speak about her book tonight at the Boulder Book Store, and tomorrow in Fort Collins at Old Firehouse Books.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Gretchen Wettstein Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Maeve Conran Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Microbial communities are all around us: in our homes, gardens, oceans, even deep underground but their roles in the function of the biosphere are poorly understood. Today Beth spoke with Professor Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, who uses DNA to identify microbes in communities ranging from insect microbiomes to Antarctic soils. He has discovered lots of previously unknown bacteria, viruses, and other microscopic critters which are everywhere, eat everything, and perform surprising roles in ecosystems ranging from our guts to Antarctic soils. You can see more at the Fierer Lab website. And check out the New Yorker article on shower heads. With this episode we resume our series on Our Microbes, Ourselves.
Hosts: Beth Bennett & Chip Grandits Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Chip Grandits
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett Listen to the show:
Why Compost? (start time: 7:01) Many of us may feel a little less guilty letting fruits and vegetables go bad, because we figure that this waste, thanks to curbside compost pickup, will be turned into nutritious food for crops, lawns or grasslands down the road. And landfills will spew less methane, a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. The story of food waste and reuse is a complicated one. Our two guests are working on getting composting right — and ultimately on how to make our food-production and consumption systems more sustainable, starting here on the Front Range. Dan Matsch directs the compost department for Eco-Cycle, the nonprofit recycler that works with cities along the Front Range. He also directs Eco-Cycle’s Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM). Mark Easter is an ecologist at Colorado State University’s Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory. Matsch and Easter discuss with host Susan Moran the journey of a rotten zucchini, how composting is tied to the emerging practice of carbon farming, and how we all do our part.
Calendar advisory: Join KGNU and Eco-Cycle on Thursday, January 31, at the Longmont Museum (6:30 to 8:00 P.M) for a special community conversation on plastic waste–challenges and solutions. The event will include representatives from Eco-Cycle, the Inland Ocean Coalition, and local business and sustainability leaders. For more info, go to this website.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Chip Grandits Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Chip Grandits Executive Producer: Beth Bennett Additional contributions: Beth Bennett
Animal scientists have long considered domestic livestock to be too dumb to know how to eat right, but the lifetime research of animal behaviorist Fred Provenza and his colleagues has debunked this myth. Their work shows that when given a choice of natural foods, livestock have an astoundingly refined palate. Like these animals, humans too, have an innate ability to determine what nutrients they need, but we are losing the information from our foods that allow us to make this determination. To view the book, go to: https://chelseagreen.biz/product/nourishment/ Host: Producer: Beth Bennett Engineer: Beth Bennett Additional contributions: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
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OSIRIS-REx (starts at 1:00) In today’s first feature, we hear about OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s first mission to do a sample return from an asteroid. Our guest is Dr. Vicky Hamilton, a Staff Scientist at the Southwest Reserarch Institute’sBoulder office, and a member of that mission. She talks about the scientific goals of OSIRIS-REx, and how it plans to obtain and return a sample of the asteroid Bennu.
New Horizons (starts at 14:05) Our second spacey feature is about a mission that you might describe as exploring “beyond the beyond”. The piano-sized, nuclear-powered New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto over 3 years ago, and now has its sights set on an even more distant target named Ultima Thule. To talk about that, we have another local scientist from Southwest Research Institute, Dr. Cathy Olkin, Institute Scientist and also a New Horizons mission Deputy Project Scientist. We hear about the flyby events that will take place on New Year’s Eve.
Host, Producer, and Engineer: Joel Parker Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Soft Robotic Muscles (WHOLE SHOW) Robotic Materials are going beyond gears and levers toward powerful components that are softer and more muscular. These materials may someday soon help build more human like prosthetic limbs for amputees. . . . or help a harvesting machine pluck ripe strawberries without squishing them. PhD students Nick Kellaris and Shane Mitchell are with CU Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science — Keplinger Lab. They call their soft robotic muscles HASEL actuators. HASEL stands for Hydraulically Amplified Self-healing Electrostatic actuators.
Hosts, Producer and Engineer: Shelley Schlender Executive Producer: Susan Moran