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
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last modified
2019-06-12 22:46
last episode published
2019-06-12 03:31
publication frequency
6.91 days
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Science & Medicine Natural Sciences Social Sciences



Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors

Toxic Air’s Health Risks

Air Pollution, Possible Solutions (start time: 2:36) It is ubiquitous and essential to our life. It it is also the cause of some 7 million premature deaths around the world every year, ranking just behind diet, cancer and tobacco as a health risk. That...
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Paternity Science

This week on How on Earth, Beth interviews Nara Milanich, author of Paternity: The Elusive Quest for the Father. For most of human history, paternity was uncertain while motherhood most definitely was not. But in the 1920s new scientific advances prom...
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A Walking Life // MOSAIC Arctic Expedition

In the first feature (start time 1:00) KGNU's Maeve Conran speaks with Antonia Malchik, author of A Walking Life.  This book  explores the relationship between walking and our humanity, how we have lost it through a century of car-centric design, how w...
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2019 Graduation Special

With graduation season is upon us, today‚Äôs edition of How on Earth is our¬†annual ‚ÄúGraduation Special‚ÄĚ. Our guests in the studio today are scientists who have or will soon receive their Ph.D. in a STEM-related field. ¬†They¬†talk about their thesis resear...
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Gold Lab Symposium 2019

We speak with Larry Gold, founder of the Gold Lab Symposium that will take place at CU Boulder's Muenzinger Auditorium this Friday and Saturday.  This year's symposium will feature leading scientists discussing the double-edged swords of our modern tre...
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Plastic Pollution & Solutions

Tackling Plastic Pollution (starts at 3:09):  It is, sadly, common for beachcombers around the world to see, along with clam shells and sand dollars, plastic bottles, bottle caps, cigaret filters and fish nets washed up on shore. According to estimates...
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The Nuclear Option for Decarbonization

In this week's show, Beth interviews Joshua Goldstein. He and co-author Steffan Qvist wrote eloquently about how nuclear energy can replace fossil fuels - a vital necessity in a rapidly warming world. A new generation of nuclear plants reduces waste an...
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Concussion Test//Pot & Pain Meds//Chords and Codons

Concussion Test (Starts 1:00)  David Howell is chief researcher at Children's Hospital Colorado.  Howell says the century old Romberg Balance Test can help evaluate how long a child will need therapeutic intervention after a blow to the brain.     P...
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An Astronomical Journey with Michelle Thaller

This special edition of How on Earth is produced in conjunction with the Conference on World Affairs.  Our guest a participants of the Conference: Dr. Michelle Thaller, assistant director of science at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.  Her path has ...
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Pesticides and Health Impacts

A Consumer's Guide to Pesticides in Produce (starts  7:55) You may be wondering if you washed the strawberries, blueberries or kale that you had for breakfast this morning enough to rid them of residue of potentially harmful pesticides. That is, if the...
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This View of Life: Completing the Darwinian Revolution

This View of Life (starts 6:56) In this episode of How on Earth, we talk with David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist with a special interest in human biocultural evolution. Dr. Wilson is Distinguished Professor of Biology and Anthropology at SUN...
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The Goodness Paradox ‚Äď Full Interview

The Goodness Paradox (Starts 5:22): In follow up for last week's pledge drive show, we share our full interview with Richard Wrangham, a primatologist at Harvard University, about his new book, The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Vir...
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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 ‚Äúattack‚ÄĚ mode and more toward, ‚Äú...
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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 ‚Äúthumbnail‚ÄĚ 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 ‚ÄúHow to Change Your Mind: ¬†What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence‚ÄĚ.¬† 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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