Living Lab on The Point

Mondays at 9am and 7pm

Living Lab on The Point is a forum for the stories behind science headlines — the people who do the research, the unexpected ways that science gets done, and how the results make their way into our everyday lives.

Do you have a story or photo to share? Send it to livinglabradio@capeandislands.org. Or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Host and producer Dr. Heather Goldstone.
Credit Maura Longueil

Living Lab on The Point is Produced by Heather Goldstone and Elsa Partan. The Executive Producer is Mindy Todd.

Major support for the Living Lab is provided by The Kendeda Fund: furthering the values that contrubute to a healthy planet. Additional support is provided by Lee McGraw and the Elizabeth B. McGraw Foundation.

There Is No Tsunami of Autism Cases

18 hours ago
Avery Books

The number of autism diagnoses has risen steadily in recent years and currently stands at one in 45 American children diagnosed each year. There’s been concern that the increase is being fueled by environmental causes, but a new history of autism research says the condition has always been common and is widely misunderstood.

National Park Service

The National Park Service turns one hundred on August 25. George Price, the superintendent of Cape Cod National Seashore, joins us for a conversation about our own national park.

Wikicommons

Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportions, and Cape Cod and the Islands represent a major epicenter of the disease. Between 2010 and 2014, Chilmark and Nantucket had the highest number of cases of Lyme disease per capita of anywhere in the state. 

Roughly 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick. 

Daniel Colon-Ramos is associate professor of cell biology and neuroscience at Yale University.
Courtesy of Daniel Colon-Ramos

Daniel Colón-Ramos got the email just a few hours before he was due to lecture before a class of minority students in neuroscience at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), in Woods Hole. A teaching assistant had been expelled after threatening to burn a cross in front of an African-American student’s home. It’s an incident that might seem shocking to many, but to Colón-Ramos, it was the response that stood out.

http://bluewave-capital.com

Lighting has changed a lot since 1850. New Bedford has been in the thick of things, every step of the way. It began with the moniker “the city that lit the world,” earned with its leading role in the whaling industry. Later, the Whaling City became a hub of electrical manufacturing. Today, New Bedford boasts more solar power per capita than any other city in the continental United States. Still, the city is struggling to move beyond the legacy of pollution and economic challenges left bygone industries.

Courtesy of Steve Curwood

Steve Curwood has spent twenty five years reporting on environmental issues. Before that, he was an investigative journalist with a focus on human rights and social justice. Turns out, those issues aren’t as disparate as they may seem.

As a young, African-American man, the son of a single mother, and a Quaker, the issues on Curwood’s mind were civil rights, poverty, women’s rights, and the war in Vietnam.

woodley wonderworks / CC BY 2.0

Growing up, Sarah Zielinski wanted to be a marine biologist. Six weeks at sea – and miserably sea-sick – as an undergraduate in Sea Education Association's  SEA Semester program made her think otherwise. After college, she got a job at the National Science Foundation and learned another important lesson: there are a lot of things you can do with a science degree. She found her niche in science writing.

Science historian Naomi Oreskes
Adrian Grycuk / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Poland

Last week, at the Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton declared “I believe in science!” In contrast, Donald Trump has called climate science a "hoax." He's far from alone; a deep distrust of science seems to be spreading, particularly within the Republican party. While we expect politicians to disagree on how best to address the issues we face, it now seems that science, itself, has become a wedge issue.

reelblue LLC

There aren’t too many good-news stories about the state of rivers in the Pacific Northwest, but a new film tells just such a story. The Memory of Fish, produced by Jennifer Galvin of reelblue LLC, chronicles the life of Dick Goin, who worked for decades to bring down two dams that were slowly squeezing the life out of Elwha River. We watch as he finally succeeds in his lifelong work.

Goin was born in Iowa in 1931 and his family fled the Depression-era Dust Bowl for the lush banks of the Elwha when he was a boy.

Wikicommons

Madagascar is the hottest of biodiversity hot spots. The island is home to approximately five percent of all the species on earth. Four out of five of them are found nowhere else, including dozens of species of tenrecs and lemurs that have evolved over tens of millions of years.

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