Living Lab Radio

Mondays at 9am and 7pm

Each week, Living Lab Radio brings you conversations at the intersection of science and culture. Connect with scientists for fresh perspectives on the week's news (science and otherwise), and a deeper - and deeply human - understanding of the world around us.  

Host and producer Dr. Heather Goldstone.
Credit Maura Longueil

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

Living Lab Radio is produced by Heather Goldstone and Elsa Partan.

Major support for Living Lab Radio is provided by The Kendeda Fund.

The report says the Northeast will be strongly impacted by climate change.
Elsa Partan

A climate science report leaked to the New York Times this past week presents some unsettling warnings, both about our changing weather and our current political climate. That report is part of the fourth National Climate Assessment. These assessments are intended to provide guidance to lawmakers and officials – from federal to local.

Nevena Zubcevik is at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Texas Lutheran University http://bit.ly/2w3MQKH

Dr. Nevena Zubcevik is a brain injury researcher and co-director of the new Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, which focuses on treating the long-term effects of Lyme disease. She is also an instructor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, an attending physician at Spalding and Massachusetts General Hospital. We spoke to her in August 2016 about her work and we are replaying a shorter version of that program below.

Wouldn’t it be fascinating to go back 30,000 to 50,000 years and meet the humans and Neanderthals who walked the earth? So many mysteries would be answered about how they lived and what their societies were like. We can’t talk to them, but maybe we can hear some of their music.

Archeologists have been studying ancient bone flutes of humans from that era and making reconstructions that can played, at least in the right hands.

David/Flickr / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

More than 60,000 patients in the U.S. receive general anesthesia every day. But despite the fact that anaesthesia drugs, like ether, have been around for more than 150 years, it's really only been in the past decade or so that we've gained a better understanding of how they work.

Some of the bills under consideration in Mass. would encourage electric vehicle use.
Wikicommons/http://bit.ly/2vxO7cC

When the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in June, it marked a pause in federal action on clean energy. But individual states have already been taking the lead in this area for some time.

The Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) has just put together a wrap-up of legislation that has come out of the 2017 sessions in the six New England States.

In Massachusetts, about 100 energy-related bills were filed in the last legislative session.  

One line in a budget proposal would move NOAA to a new department.
NOAA/http://bit.ly/2hCXi5u

Budgetary negotiations in Congress are tedious affairs, but can also be enlightening.

We’ve been following the Congressional reporters at E&E News and caught this line in a recent report about the House budget proposal:

“The budget also calls for unspecified savings from a Commerce Department reorganization, which would include moving NOAA into the Interior Department.”

Exomoons have become a hot topic for research using the Hubble telescope.
NASA/JSC

Living Lab Radio talks regularly with reporters at the journal Nature to get an update on the stories they've been following. Here's our latest roundup of news with London-based reporter Davide Castelvecchi.

·      CRISPR gene editing scores a major success in human embryos 

·      How a satellite snafu masked the true extent of sea-level rise

The Brookings Institution is studying the geography of happiness.
Elsa Partan

It’s no secret that there are deep social and political divides in the U.S. What’s less clear, is what is driving the polarization.

Carol Graham has spent the past decade studying quality of life and happiness around the globe. She’s the Leo Pasvolsky Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and College Park Professor at University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy.

Anne Brunet is identifying the mechanisms of aging.
Stanford University / http://bit.ly/2hhlHxh

Death may be inevitable. But what about aging? If we could figure out what biological switches get flipped to start the process of decline, could we reverse it? Even prevent it?

Repeated head trauma during football is linked to increased risk of neurodenerative disease, CTE.
Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons / U. S. Air Force

There’s more evidence that playing football can lead to permanent brain damage. But the problem likely isn’t as prevalent as many media accounts have suggested.

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with repeated head trauma. Symptoms include dementia and mood or behavioral disorders. It was first described in boxers several decades ago, but has been found in NFL players in the past five years.

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