KGNU - How On Earth

How On Earth is a 25-minute news magazine about science, environment, technology, and more. The show is produced by volunteers at KGNU community radio in the Boulder-Denver area. We collect fascinating science headlines from around the world, produce features about the exciting research being done in our region, and interview the many accomplished scientists that make Colorado their home. How On Earth is also broadcast live at 8:35am (Mountain Time) every Tuesday morning in the Boulder-Denver area on KGNU: 88.5 FM / 1390 AM / Streaming on

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The KGNU Science Show
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-03-13 15:47
last episode published
2019-03-13 04:04
publication frequency
6.89 days
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Science & Medicine Natural Sciences Social Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

The Goodness Paradox//Pledge Drive

The Goodness Paradox (Teaser): Today's spring pledge-drive show features brief clips from a recent interview with Richard Wrangham, a primatologist at Harvard University, about his new book, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue...
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Tagging the Bugs that Carry Antibiotic Resistance

In this week's show, Beth interviews Dr. Ivan Liachko, CEO and Co-Founder of Phase Genomics, a startup biotech company funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The company is using a new technology that allows researchers to pair plasmids, whic...
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MRI Improvement by Standardization

In this week's show, Beth speaks with William Hollander, and Kevin Miller, of QalibreMD, a Boulder startup focused on transforming MRI technology. Traditional MRI scans can result in a large differences between readings on different equipment. The resu...
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HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes: Science On a Sphere

Spend some time at the intersection of art, engineering and science; we’ll hear about the world premier of HOLOSCENES / Little Boxes February 20, 7:00 PM at Fiske Planetarium in Boulder. Get a glimpse of how cutting edge visual artists team up with wor...
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The Science of Exercise Recovery

Athlete's Guide to Recovery (starts at 5:39): Colorado is riddled with athletes, many of them incessantly chasing the latest recovery products and services that will enhance their performance -- from Gatorade and other ubiquitous sports-recovery drinks...
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Characterizing Microbial Communities

Microbial communities are all around us: in our homes, gardens, oceans, even deep underground but their roles in the function of the biosphere are poorly understood. Today Beth spoke with Professor Noah Fierer, at the University of Colorado, in Boulder...
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Composting & Carbon Farming

Why Compost? (start time: 7:01) Many of us may feel a little less guilty letting fruits and vegetables go bad, because we figure that this waste, thanks to curbside compost pickup, will be turned into nutritious food for crops, lawns or grasslands down...
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Wisdom of the Body

Animal scientists have long considered domestic livestock to be too dumb to know how to eat right, but the lifetime research of animal behaviorist Fred Provenza and his colleagues has debunked this myth. Their work shows that when given a choice of nat...
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A Tale of Two Missions: OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons

OSIRIS-REx (starts at 1:00) In today’s first feature, we hear about OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s first mission to do a sample return from an asteroid.  Our guest is Dr. Vicky Hamilton, a Staff Scientist at the Southwest Reserarch Institute’s Boulder office, and ...
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Soft Robotic Muscles

Soft Robotic Muscles (WHOLE SHOW)  Robotic Materials are going beyond gears and levers toward powerful components that are softer and more muscular.  These materials may someday soon help build more human like prosthetic limbs for amputees. . . . or he...
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Titan Talk with Sarah Hörst

Headlines: Inheritance of mitochondrial DNA.  Coffee and Parkinson's disease. Sending your name and a message to the New Horizons spacecraft.  Winds on Mars.  Water on Asteroids. Feature: Titan (starts at 8:55) The solar system has so many different w...
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National Assessment on Climate Change

Climate Change (starts at 6:30)  Volume II of the fourth National Assessment on Climate Change was released on the day after Thanksgiving. The findings are stark. It is already too late to prevent major long term effects of climate change.  The scienti...
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Never Home Alone by Rob Dunn

In this week's How on Earth, Beth interviews Professor Rob Dunn. In his recent book, Never Home Alone, he gives a sneak peak into the natural history of the wilderness in our homes, from the microbes in our showers to the crickets in our basements. You...
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Baking Soda for Autoimmune Disease//Crickets for the Gut

Baking Soda for Autoimmune Disease (Starts 1:00)  Georgia Medical College researcher Paul O'Connor reports that a small amount of baking soda in water, for two weeks, shifts the immune cell known as macrophage away from “attack” mode and more toward, “...
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Nature and Health

Nature is good for you. It can be a walk in the woods that helps to calm your nervous system and spark novel ideas, or a wilderness retreat that helps to reduce symptoms of PTSD or ADHD.  But little is actually understood about how nature offers healin...
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Living in a World of Thinking Machines

It has been 50 years since the original 2001, A Space Odyssey, where movie viewers first heard Captain Powers asking, "Open the pod bay doors, HAL" and found HAL thought differently about whether that was a good idea.  For most of that half-century, ar...
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Front Range Fracking // Planet+Human Health

Today's show offers two features: Oil & Gas Impacts (start time: 1:05) Proposition 112, which would require oil and gas wells to be at least 2,500 feet from homes, schools, parks and other buildings, has highlighted mounting public concerns about t...
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Ketotarian & Pledge Drive Show

This week on How on Earth Beth interviews author Will Cole, functional medicine physician, about his new book, Ketotarian. He proposes a novel ketogenic diet, which has typically derived its high fat content from meat and dairy. The book describes the ...
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Regenerative Medicine #1: Orthopedic Applicatio

Regenerative Medicine (start time: 7:30): We begin our series on regenerative medicine with a discussion of scientific advancements, promises, caveats, regulations, and challenges of regenerative medicine therapies for orthopedic applications, such as ...
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Eager Beavers

Beth talks with author Ben Goldfarb about his new book, amusingly titled Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter. You’ll gain a better understanding of beavers’ myriad skills, and want to restore beaver populations in our loc...
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How Skin Begins // Dr. Dan

Boulder researchers have discovered a key mechanism by which skin begins to develop in embryos, shedding light on the genetic roots of birth defects like cleft palate and paving the way for development of more functional skin grafts for burn victims.  ...
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Cricket Chorus // Foliage Science

This week's How On Earth features the following two segments: Late-summer Cricket Chorus (start time: 1:02) One of the most poetic sounds of the end of summer is …. no, not your kids kicking and screaming because summer is over. It’s the sound of cr...
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Saving Summer: The National Wildlife Federation Report

The National Wildlife Federation just released its report, Safeguarding Summer: From Climate Threats to Iconic Summer Experiences. This report chronicles the latest scientific findings on these trends and shows how we can engage on these issues to sav...
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Email Anxiety // Food Waste

This week's How On Earth offers two features: Work-Email Anxiety (start time: 7:58) If you're wondering why you often feel anxious on Monday mornings, despite having spent time with your family and friends over the weekend, you might recall the amount ...
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Low Carb & Lifespan//Down Syndrome & Inflammation

Low Carb Diets and Lifespan (starts 3:00) Dr. Ron Rosedale, MD, gives a "second opinion" about a widely publicized report in the prominent medical journal The Lancet.  The Lancet report contends that low carb diets (40% carbs or less) shorten lifespan,...
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Aerogel as Clear as Glass//New Science Standards for Colorado Schools

Aerogel as Clear As Glass:  (Starts 4:00)   Most aerogels "windows" are kind of foggy looking.  A CU-Boulder science team has created something better.  It's a liquid made from recycled plant material, a liquid that hardens into a  gel that’s almost as...
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Dogs for Diabetics

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell - it's so good, people can train dogs to sniff our everything from illegal drugs and explosives to lost people and even computer “thumbnail” drives, that maybe someone is trying to sneak into a high security build...
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Vascular Disease & Aging Part 2

This week on How on Earth, Beth finishes up her interview with Professor Doug Seals, aging researcher. He explains the role of vascular damage in heart disease and how lifestyle choices such as exercise and diet can maintain healthy vasculature. In add...
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What’s Happening Inside Your Arteries?

This week's How on Earth guest, Dr Doug Seals, researches vascular aging. Several events occur as we age that conspire to damage blood vessels, culminating in what is popularly known as hardening of the arteries. But lifestyle modifications to exercise...
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Wildfire Health Impacts // Detained Immigrant Children Suffer Medical Woes

We offer two feature interviews on this week's show: Health Impacts of Wildfire Smoke (start time: 4:22) It's peak wildfire season. Smoke from forest and grass fires contains particulates that can irritate eyes, throat and lungs -- especially in chi...
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Science of Psychedelics

We present another part of our interview with Michael Pollan about his book “How to Change Your Mind:  What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence”.  It is an investigation into th...
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What do Dogs Think?

This week on How on Earth, Beth talks to author Dr Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus, CU Boulder. His new book has the wonderful title of Canine Confidential. If you enjoy dogs, dog parks, and watching them interact with each other and people, you’ll e...
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Junk Raft//The Green Reaper

Junk Raft (starts 6:20) Marcus Eriksen discusses what can and cannot be done about the "plastic smog" of microscopic debris permeating the world's ocean, from the state-sized floating islands of plastic in the Pacific, to the microscopic debris that si...
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Mitochondria and Your Health

This week on How on Earth, Beth interviews Dr Lee Know, author of Mitochondria and theFuture of Medicine. These amazing organelles, which allow complex life on Earth to exist, do more than "just" make ATP. Ask that isn't enough! They are intimately inv...
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How Food Affects Your Brain

Two epidemics sweeping the developed world are Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.This week on How on Earth, Beth interviews Dr Steven Masley about his book, The Better Brain Solution in which he explores the connection between diet (and other lif...
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Ocean Conservation: MPAs

This week's show brings you the following feature interview: Protecting Ocean Biodiversity (start time: 2:42) In honor of World Environment Day (today), World Oceans Day (Friday) the March for the Ocean (Saturday), and Capitol Hill Ocean Week (all week...
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Michael Pollan: How to Change Your Mind (with psychedelics)

Michael Pollan: How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.  We speak with New York Times Bestselling science writer Michael Pollan about his new book tha...
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Chasing New Horizons, continued

In 2015, the New Horizons Spacecraft flew past Pluto. Because Pluto is so far away, it took nearly 10 years of travel for the spacecraft to reach that distant dwarf planet -- and that was after a decade of work to get the spacecraft to the launch pad....
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Chasing New Horizons // GoldLab Symposium

Chasing New Horizons  (starts 1:00) brings the reader Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto to  hear the details and meet the personalities behind building, launching, and flying this audacious mission.  How on Earth's Joel Parker (also an astrophysic...
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Chasing New Horizons – full extended interview

Here we provide the full interview by How on Earth’s Joel Parker of planetary scientists Dr. Alan Stern (Southwest Research Institute) and Dr. David Grinspoon (Planetary Science Institute), about their new book: "Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic F...
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2018 Graduation Special (part 2)

With graduation season is upon us, today’s edition of How on Earth is the second of a two-part annual “Graduation Special”. Our guests in the studio today are scientists who will receive their Ph.D. in a STEM-related field.  They talk about their thesi...
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2018 Graduation Special (part 1)

With graduation season is upon us, today’s edition of How on Earth is the first of a two-part annual “Graduation Special”. Our guests in the studio today are scientists who will receive their Ph.D. in a STEM-related field.  They talk about their thesis...
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City Nature Challenge BioBlitz Citizen Science enhanced with iNaturalist

Attention all Nature Lovers and Amateur Naturalists, Friday April 27th kicks of the City Nature Challenge, where Boulder will compete with 65 cities throughout the world to identify the most species within their area over a 4 day period. It's a competi...
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Cancer Biology // Oil&Gas Health Impacts

Today's show offers two feature interviews: New Theory of How Cancer Evolves Inside Us (start time: 0:58): It is commonly known that cancer afflicts old people more than youth. Conventional wisdom has held we get cancer with age largely because we accu...
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Astrobiology and the Anthropocene

As part of the Conference of World Affairs, which is being held this week at the campus of the University of Colorado, Boulder, we are speaking today with astrophysicist Adam Frank. Frank is a professor at the University of Rochester, where he studies ...
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Geoengineering the Climate

Hacking the Planet (start time: 10:24): It’s tough to wrap one’s mind around just how monumental and consequential the problem of climate change is. So dire that scientist and engineers for years have been exploring ways to “hack” the planet--to manipu...
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The Moral Arc – Extended Interview with Michael Shermer

Shelley Schlender talks with renowned skeptic Michael Shermer about his new book, The Moral Arc:  How Science and Reason lead humanity toward truth, justice and freedom.  This is an extended version of the interview.  (27 minutes)
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MDMA for PTSD – Extended Interview with Karen, PTSD Survivor

This is an exended interview with a survivor of treatment resistant post traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.  Karen says she is cured of her PTSD now, thanks to a treatment that includes lots of psychotherapy, plus three times when she took ...
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MDMA for PTSD – Extended Interview with Marcella Ot’Alora – Principal Investigator

This is an extended interview with Marcella Ot’alora.  Ot'alora is a Boulder psychotherapist, and the principal investigator for the Boulder branch of the FDA approved, nationwide studies of using MDMA in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder...
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MDMA for PTSD – Psychiatrist Will Vanderveer

In the years ahead, doctors across the U.S. might be prescribing a currently illegal drug as therapy for the hard-to-treat condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The new “medicine” would be MDMA, an ingredient in the party drug ecst...
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