Living Lab Radio

Mondays at 9am and 7pm

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 understanding of the world around us.

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

Host and producer Dr. Heather Goldstone.
Credit Maura Longueil

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

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

We know we have an opioid epidemic. Opioid overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental deaths for Americans under the age of 50. But the problem is far worse in some places than in others. A new county-by-county analysis of deaths due to drug and alcohol abuse highlights just how enormous the disparities can be.

Millions of people use social media, many overuse it, and some are actually clinically addicted. Isaac Vaghefi, assistant professor at the Binghamton University School of Management, says that about fifteen to twenty percent of the college students he works with fall into the problematic category. But who is most likely to develop a social media problem?

Northeastern Illinois University

Cindy Voisine grew up in Fort Kent, Maine – a small town with a strong French Canadian influence. Her family is bilingual, and she was the first in her family to go to college. She grew up thinking she would become a medical doctor, the only career she knew of that would satisfy her interest in biology. But her ideas changed when she got to Bates College.

L. Lerner

There’s been a steady decline in mental health among teens and young adults in recent decades. Since 1960, anxiety, depression, and addiction have increased, as as has the number of young people who say they aren’t the ones in control of their lives. That lack (or perceived lack) of control may be at the heart of the problem.

Viet Vang / unsplash

Mid-March is when many in southern New England would usually get their gardens started. With the weather we’ve been having, that may seem a distant dream right now. That just leaves us extra time for planning.

L. Lerner

Southern New England has been battered by three major winter storms in as many weeks. Severe coastal flooding and widespread power outages have prompted many to ask if it's a new normal brought on by climate change. A growing body of research suggests it may be, and extreme warming in the Arctic may be responsible.

Ione Fine

Scientific journals don’t track the gender of their authors. That made it that much trickier for University of Washington psychology professor Ione Fine and her colleagues to uncover a surprising fact: that women scientists are significantly under-represented among authors of studies published in top-tier journals. 

wikimedia commons

For almost a decade, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper slashed science funding and restricted government researchers’ ability to speak to the public. The Trudeau administration has worked to reverse their predecessors’ anti-science policies, but many Canadian scientists still say they don’t feel free to speak to the public. Science librarian and blogger John Dupuis of York University, told Living Lab Radio he isn’t surprised. Rebuilding is slow. 

Arif Wahid / unsplash

Medicine has changed radically in the past century, but one thing that flies under the radar is how much our concept of illness, itself, has changed. 

Johannes Plenio / unsplash

When it comes to artificial intelligence, a lot of attention has been focused on issues of privacy and economics – what happens if AI makes human workers obsolete. Now, a new report from the non-profit Environmental Law Institute highlights the potential environmental impacts of AI-driven technologies, from autonomous cars to smart thermostats.

A New Guide to Walden Pond

Mar 5, 2018
Wikicommons

About half a million people visit Walden Pond State Reservation annually. Many come because of Henry David Thoreau’s book, “Walden,” which remains at least as popular as it was 150 years ago.

Wikicommons

In the weeks since the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the national debate about guns has begun to shift. One issue that has come to the fore is funding for research on gun violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a program focused on injury prevention and control, but gun safety research has not been part of their work for more than twenty years. 

Two different forms of light have showed up in recent science headlines. Nature multi-media editor Shamini Bundell explains: light from first stars hints at dark matter. Astronomers have detected the fingerprint of light from a period known as the Cosmic Dawn, when the earliest stars were forming.

MarkStevenson.org

President Trump's long-anticipated infrastructure plan now seems dead on arrival, but few would argue with the need for widespread infrastructure upgrades.

Are you addicted to your smartphone? Many of us certainly feel drawn to our electronic devices, and the array of information and activities they offer, in a way we feel uncomfortable admitting. And while there's some controversy about whether or not the term "addiction" is appropriate, there is growing evidence that things like posting on Facebook can elicit the same brain response as an addictive substance.

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