Science

Science news

Cancer was first mentioned in an ancient Egyptian scroll and through the modern era, its history is marked by the epic battles we've waged against it. Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician, and in trying to understand what his patients must endure, he turned a historical and literary eye on cancer. His Pulitzer-prize winning book is now a PBS documentary premiering Monday. So, we’re rebroadcasting our conversation with Mukherjee about the disease he calls “The Emperor of All Maladies.” (Rebroadcast)

Animal Madness

Mar 24, 2015
Photo by Emily Orpin, CC via Flickr

 

Laurel Braitman was very worried about her dog’s mental health. Oliver was an anxious animal, especially when left home alone. And he was alone when he moved an air conditioner, chewed through a screen, and jumped out of a 3rd story window. Braitman is a science historian, and her new book explores seemingly human mental disorders in the animal kingdom. Tuesday, she joins Doug to explain why every animal with a mind has the capacity to lose it from time to time. [Rebroadcast]

A Climate for Change

Mar 23, 2015

  Why is it that conservative Christians are more likely to be climate change skeptics than any other religious group in America?  Katharine Hayhoe doesn’t see any reason why science and religion should be mutually exclusive. She’s a leading climate scientist, but she’s also an evangelical who’s married to a minister. She says part of the problem is that we’ve confused politics with faith. Hayhoe is in Utah, and Monday, she joins us to talk about religion, the environment, and bridging the divide between them.

The average person has about 4,000 thoughts a day. Most are fleeting snippets, some are banal, and sometimes, they can be disruptive. But when most people question whether they left the coffee maker on or imagine something bizarre like jumping out into traffic, they shake it off. A person with OCD though can’t let it go, and may spend as many as 6 hours a day obsessing over that one idea. Tuesday, Doug’s guest is the science writer David Adam. He’s written a book about OCD and his own life lost in thought.

The conservative author and researcher Robert Bryce says the debate over climate change is a hyper-partisan slugfest. So when he talks about our energy future, he starts with this question: if we agree that too much carbon dioxide is bad for the Earth and for us, what do we do about it? In his latest book, Bryce says it’s not less consumption or alternative fuels that will save us. Bryce is in Utah and joins us to explain why he says entrepreneurship and innovation are the way to save ourselves and our world.

Vitamania

Mar 3, 2015
Rob via CC/Flickr, http://bit.ly/18Grio7

  To many people, the term “vitamin” is shorthand for “health,” and so the more vitamins we consume, the healthier we’ll be. But what exactly do the 13 dietary chemicals we call vitamins actually do for our bodies? And how much of each vitamin do we need? The journalist Catherine Price went looking for answers to these basic questions. What she learned undermines much of what we thought we knew about nutrition. She joins us Tuesday to talk about our quest for better health through nutrition perfection.

Sexual Fluidity

Feb 20, 2015
Photo by <a href="http://bit.ly/1oTj37H">Lil Wiz</a>, CC via Flickr

In a world that tends to separate people into defined groups, it’s not easy to be bisexual. Psychologist Lisa Diamond says the stereotype is that people who claim to be attracted to both sexes just haven’t come out yet. Of course, it’s much more complicated. In 2008, Diamond wrote a book about how flexible sexuality is for women. These days, she’s learning men are, as she puts it, “pretty darn sexually fluid, too.” Lisa Diamond joins Doug to talk about the spectrum of human sexuality. (Rebroadcast)

Missing Microbes

Feb 16, 2015

Your body is host to about 100 trillion bacterial cells that form your microbiome, the complex ecosystem of microorganisms on which your life depends. Today, our microbiomes are threatened by a loss of species diversity that could be our undoing. In a new book, Dr. Martin Blaser argues that our obsession with hygiene and overuse of antibiotics has bleached our microbiomes, making them weak and making us more susceptible to dangerous new diseases. He joins us to explore the dangers of our missing microbes. [Rebroadcast]

Image by <a href="http://bit.ly/1mVVtbI"> Leigh Anthony DEHANEY</a>/<a href'=" http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Chances are good you’re sitting down as you read these words. After hearing what Dr. James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, has to say about sitting, you might find yourself standing a lot more. That’s because Dr. Levine’s research suggests that spending most of your day sitting and physically inactive – at work, at home and everywhere else – won’t just give you a sore back: there’s a good chance it could lead you to an early grave. Dr. Levine joins us to explain the dangers of inactivity. (Rebroadcast)

Between Earth and Sky

Dec 30, 2014

Whether you are sitting at your desk, in the kitchen, or walking down the street, you’re likely near something that came from a tree. But biologist and world-renowned tree expert Nalini Nakarni says that our relationship with trees goes much deeper than the resources they provide. From spirituality and recreation to medicine and the arts, trees play many roles in our lives. Tuesday, Nakarni joins Doug to discuss what trees can teach us about our place in the world. (Rebroadcast)

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