People hate parasites. They’re slimy and repulsive - worms emerging from blisters on the body, mites breeding in skin folds. They hold wild parties in our guts. They bring pestilence, misery…even death. But wait: parasites can also be good - really, really good! Author Rosemary Drisdelle explores these much maligned creatures and their importance in nature, and she unveils exciting new medical research into the good they can do for us.
Tagged with “health” (31)
IDEAS THAT ACCELERATE: SCIENCE MULTIPLIERS
The Dark Matter of Biology
Jonathan Eisen, Professor, University of California Davis
Compass Summit, a forum for true interaction and exchange, examines some of today’s most pressing problems through the lens of global citizenship, recognizing that human ingenuity is an unlimited resource. Guided by NPR’s Ira Flatow, an intimate group of some of the world’s best thinkers and doers convened along the rugged Palos Verdes coastline on Oct 23-26, 2011 at Terranea Resort to engage in meaningful conversation, ask questions, and challenge ideas — we invite you to join in the conversation.
Jonathan Eisen is a Professor at the University of California, Davis. His research focuses on the evolution of new functions and the genomic diversity of microbes and microbial communities. Eisen is also a vocal advocate for “open science”, the Academic Editor-in-Chief of PLoS Biology, an active and award-winning blogger (e.g., http://phylogenomics.blogspot.com), and a scientific prankster.
New York Times columnist Mark Bittman talks about taxing unhealthy foods. His article in the Times’ Sunday Review on July 24, “Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables,” looks at why it’s so difficult to market healthy foods successfully.
"…a variety of experts discuss the path past 7 billion people. One voice is that of Mara Hvistendahl, the Asia correspondent for the journal’s news staff and author of “Unnatural Selection,” a potent and revealing book about selective abortion and related issues. In this case, she discusses her piece on the potential benefits and perils of “youth bulges” like those underlying the turmoil in many Arab countries this year.?
Time magazine’s Bryan Walsh discusses farmed fish. Fish are the last wild food, but our oceans are being picked clean. His article “The End of the Line” investigates whether farming fish can take the place of catching them.
The article mentioned: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2081796,00.html
Richard Francis discusses the new scientific field of epigenetics, the study of how stress in the environment can impact an individual’s physiology so deeply that those biological scars actually can be inherited by the next generations. In Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance he explains why researchers believe that epigenetics holds the key to understanding obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, and diabetes.
In case you don’t read The Journal of Neural Engineering, here’s the news: scientists have created a brain implant that restores lost memory function and strengthens recall.
A brain implant. Now, it was in a rat. But it’s proven what can be done.
And offered a glimpse of what’s coming for humans. There is lots of talk about the “bionic brain.” To repair injuries, like Gabby Giffords’.
To supplement brains like yours and mine. Check out this headline: “Intel Wants Brain Implants in Customers Heads by 2020.”
It’s exciting, and it’s scary.
In this segment, we take an emotional left turn to a story of a very different kind of lost and found. We begin with a college student, Alan Lundgard, who fell in love with a fellow art student, Emilie Gossiaux. Emilie’s mom, Susan Gossiaux, describes her daughter, and the terrible phone call she recieved from Alan nine months after he became Emilie’s boyfriend. Together, Susan and Alan tell Jad and Robert about the devastating fork in the road that left Emilie lost in a netherworld, and how Alan found her again.
UCSF professor Robert Lustig became an Internet video sensation when he spoke out about the evils of sugar in a post that went viral on YouTube. He was also recently featured in a New York Times Magazine cover story, "Is Sugar Toxic?" Lustig joins us in the studio to discuss sugar’s role in diabetes, obesity and related diseases.
Drawing on strange and thought-provoking case studies, eminent neurologist V. S. Ramachandran offers unprecedented insight into the evolution of the uniquely human brain in his new book, The Tell-Tale Brain.
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