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.

Creative Commons/Rawastrodata

Citizen scientists pointed out a comet outside our solar system for the first time using transit photometry, a technique of watching how a star’s light dims when something passes in front of it. On Living Lab Radio, we talk to Andrew Vanderburg, one of the credentialed authors on the newly released study. He’s a NASA/Sagan post-doctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Environmental Protection Agency has scrubbed climate change language from its website and barred agency scientists from speaking at a recent conference in Rhode Island. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has also advocated for military-style red-team-blue-team debates of climate science. Lisa Friedman, climate policy reporter for the NY Times, joins Living Lab host Heather Goldstone to talk about recent EPA actions. 

Roger Hanlon

Cephalopods, like octopus and squid, are the natural world’s masters of camouflage. They can change not only the color, but also the texture of their skin, to blend in or stand out, as the situation demands. Now, engineers have created a programmable, shape-shifting material based on octopus skin. Roger Hanlon of the Marine Biological Laboratory joins Living Lab host Heather Goldstone.

Wildfires are nothing new, but a complex combination of climate change, forest management practices, and development patterns are making them bigger and more damaging. Our guest on Living Lab Radio is Edward Struzik, author of Fire storm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our FutureHeather Goldstone hosts.

Courtesy Kerry Emanuel via CIRA

It’s been five years since Superstorm Sandy struck New England. This hurricane season set a record for the most consecutive hurricanes and threatens to make that unprecedented storm seem run-of-the-mill. 

Island Press

Antibiotic infections affect some two million Americans each year, and kill at least 23,000. Researchers are struggling to keep up with evolution and find new medications to fight these infections. A new book argues that, despite our fear of them, bacteria and viruses may be some of our best allies and weapons against antibiotic resistance. 

Right now, fewer than one in five ground fishing trips in New England is monitored by an independent observer. Fishermen say it’s too expensive, and unfair to ask them to pay the cost. The Nature Conservancy is experimenting with an alternative: video monitoring systems, and computer algorithms that could identify fish being caught and thrown overboard on every trip.

President Trump is widely expected to declare the opioid addiction epidemic a national emergency. What tools do we have to fight addiction, and what else do health care providers need? Dr. Jeffrey Baxter of U Mass Medical School joins us.

NASA

The first detection of gravitational waves two years ago earned the project’s founders this year’s Nobel Prize.

Within two weeks of that news, researchers announced another, even more groundbreaking, gravitational wave discovery – a kilonova produced by the collision of two neutron stars. A key member of the team, Marcelle Soares-Santos, says gravitational waves will continue to produce breakthroughs in our understanding of the universe, including how fast – and why – it’s expanding. 

NASA shows how the ozone hole has recovered and how its recovery is expected to continue.
NASA / http://bit.ly/2yORtd5

Most of the time, the headlines are full of bad news. That’s especially true of environmental headlines. But Susan Solomon of MIT says we have a track record of environmental success stories that deserve more attention. 

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