31 Burst results for "Emily Kwong"

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

01:51 min | Last month

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Everybody emily kwong here with npr. Science correspondent rob stein. Hey rob hey there emily. Hey so today. We're checking in on covert long haulers. These are folks with cova symptoms that last weeks or months or folks who are getting better but suddenly new symptoms emerge and rob. Nowadays doctors are starting to describe this condition as long cove. it right. that's right that's right. it's not a really well defined well understood condition but they can show and people with even mild symptoms. And i wanted to take a look into whether it's also a word for people who get covert after they get vaccinated the so called breakthrough infections. Yeah it's a good question. So people getting coded. Despite the vaccine is pretty rare. The symptoms are usually mild. But we're learning that sometimes even the mild cases can make you feel pretty bad for a few days right. Yeah so you know. Mild cases can make you feel pretty crummy. There's a big variation in what's considered a mild case. And you know one hundred seventy eight million people are now fully vaccinated in the us. As of september twelfth the centers for disease control prevention says more than fourteen thousand fully vaccinate. People have been hospitalized or died from breakthrough infections. But the agency. Doesn't keep a running tally of a symptomatic or mild breakthroughs nationally which have been increasing during the delta surge. But you know it's really important to emphasize that far fewer of these cases resulted hospitalizations or deaths. The vaccines are highly effective at doing the most important thing keeping people out of the hospital and developing lethal symptoms nonetheless researchers are concerned that even mild cases including cases that come after vaccination may result in lingering symptoms right. Lingering symptoms aka long

centers for disease control pr rob us biden administration
What We Know About Breakthrough Infections and Long COVID

Short Wave

01:51 min | Last month

What We Know About Breakthrough Infections and Long COVID

"Everybody emily kwong here with npr. Science correspondent rob stein. Hey rob hey there emily. Hey so today. We're checking in on covert long haulers. These are folks with cova symptoms that last weeks or months or folks who are getting better but suddenly new symptoms emerge and rob. Nowadays doctors are starting to describe this condition as long cove. it right. that's right that's right. it's not a really well defined well understood condition but they can show and people with even mild symptoms. And i wanted to take a look into whether it's also a word for people who get covert after they get vaccinated the so called breakthrough infections. Yeah it's a good question. So people getting coded. Despite the vaccine is pretty rare. The symptoms are usually mild. But we're learning that sometimes even the mild cases can make you feel pretty bad for a few days right. Yeah so you know. Mild cases can make you feel pretty crummy. There's a big variation in what's considered a mild case. And you know one hundred seventy eight million people are now fully vaccinated in the us. As of september twelfth the centers for disease control prevention says more than fourteen thousand fully vaccinate. People have been hospitalized or died from breakthrough infections. But the agency. Doesn't keep a running tally of a symptomatic or mild breakthroughs nationally which have been increasing during the delta surge. But you know it's really important to emphasize that far fewer of these cases resulted hospitalizations or deaths. The vaccines are highly effective at doing the most important thing keeping people out of the hospital and developing lethal symptoms nonetheless researchers are concerned that even mild cases including cases that come after vaccination may result in lingering symptoms right. Lingering symptoms aka long

Emily Kwong Rob Stein ROB NPR Centers For Disease Control Pr Emily United States
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

01:42 min | 2 months ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Going to be talking about a veracious sea creature that can have up to twenty four arms and the person will be talking to is. Npr science correspondent. Now greenfieldboyce hainault. Hey there emily. I have only two arms. But i am nonetheless here to tell you about these things. I want all your arms around this story. Tell us about this. Many armed briny beast. Well it's a sea star it. It's one of the biggest in the world. It can be the size of a trash can lid or a manhole cover or something like that. It's called the sunflower see star. Yeah so these things used to be common all along the west coast from alaska. All the way down to baja california in northern mexico. Yeah i've heard of these. I've seen pictures. They're beautiful though used to be. I mean those are some ominous words. It is a grim grim situation. This species is critically endangered. It seems to be dying off. it's just disappearing from lots of places. Some people think it's completely extinct in california and this is a big deal because the sunflower see star is a top predator. It eats animals like muscles and sea urchins and keeps their numbers in check. I didn't realize that the sunflower see stars. A top predator. I know that sea stars though have for years been plagued by disease off. The west coast is that. What's killing sunflower stars to. Yes so this is a wasting syndrome. And scientists can't agree on what's causing it it's hitting more than twenty sea star species since the big die off in two thousand thirteen on both the east and the west coast but a researcher named jason hodan told me that sunflowers he stars seem to be particularly susceptible. Really do kind of like dissolve into a pile of goo. It's why he agreed to try raising them in

emily kwong npr west coast jason hodan california baja emily alaska mexico prince prince
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

02:03 min | 3 months ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"All right. Mattie you are here to talk about lightning bugs or as you point out beatles with flashlight butts yes the family of beetles. We call firefly's lamb. Purity are extremely diverse. There are more than two thousand species in that family and they live on every continent except antarctica. So emily they can look and behave very differently. one type can grow to be the length of your palm. There are firefly's that live most of their lives in water. Emily some place don't even fly and some don't flash for that matter so you know not everything. We'll be talking about today. Holds true for every species. So what you're saying is you couldn't just stick to one species because you've got excited and distracted by all the facts about all the species is that right. Maybe i did. Maybe i didn't. You'll be happy for it. I'll say that so. Who did you talk to about. This constellation of creatures. I called up. Stephanie vice a phd student in rio de janeiro. She's an entomologist who studies firefly's and just like us her love of firefly's started in childhood. I have a great memory of my childhood summer trips with my family and also i love to say they shining the forest when i do my field words. She says that there's one thing that applies to all firefly's and that's that firefly's have different lay stages and the larval stage in my opinion is by far the coolest firefly's spend most of their lives in the a lot of ro stage in when she says most she means like almost all of their lives are spent as larvae. I mean some spend one to two years just being voracious low babies. So the adult. Firefly's that i see flying around on the east coast china flash and find a mate. That's like a short period of their lives. Yeah yeah i mean. Some only live as adults for like a few weeks total. They're just out here. Trying to find a mate fertilize some eggs and die.

emily kwong mattie safai npr emily mattie
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

01:57 min | 4 months ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"All right emily kwong today. We are talking about the science of learning second language because you are learning mandarin chinese which like as far as a pandemic hobby goes more power to more bart. Right for real. Though it is a hard language to learn. Language itself actually is an incredible ability. If you think about it that we humans have it involves many parts of the brain and the study of language spans across many different disciplines. So bilingual's studied in at least three different fields linguistics psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Sarah phillips is a phd student in the linguistics department at new york university. And exactly the person. I wanted to call up to talk about language learning who. Yeah i remember sarah from our episode on six hundred like how the brain responds to sentences with confusing grammar or syntax. Yeah brains and language are hurt. Jam met in korea while her father was serving in the marine corps and they raised her bilingual here in the us. Learning korean was very important to be able to communicate with my mom's side. They family and the same way that growing up speaking african american english was very important in being able to communicate and be a part of my dad's family. She's got a really interesting backstory. And i told her about my project about taking mandarin class for two hours every monday flash cards on the other nights watching movies. I can't understand and listen to us. Someone who is engaging in learning a second language thereby uses another language on a pretty regular basis that means you're a developing bilingual so in essence you are via lingual by by you know we probably exactly if maybe maybe maybe as an alternative to be bilingual. Maybe we should think of. This is developing bilingual.

Sarah phillips Sarah korea emily kwong two hours Ford Jam first language first three years second language mandarin today african american six hundred nineteen fifties one english first few years Jayson one million new
The Science of Learning a Second Language

Short Wave

01:57 min | 4 months ago

The Science of Learning a Second Language

"All right emily kwong today. We are talking about the science of learning second language because you are learning mandarin chinese which like as far as a pandemic hobby goes more power to more bart. Right for real. Though it is a hard language to learn. Language itself actually is an incredible ability. If you think about it that we humans have it involves many parts of the brain and the study of language spans across many different disciplines. So bilingual's studied in at least three different fields linguistics psychology and cognitive neuroscience. Sarah phillips is a phd student in the linguistics department at new york university. And exactly the person. I wanted to call up to talk about language learning who. Yeah i remember sarah from our episode on six hundred like how the brain responds to sentences with confusing grammar or syntax. Yeah brains and language are hurt. Jam met in korea while her father was serving in the marine corps and they raised her bilingual here in the us. Learning korean was very important to be able to communicate with my mom's side. They family and the same way that growing up speaking african american english was very important in being able to communicate and be a part of my dad's family. She's got a really interesting backstory. And i told her about my project about taking mandarin class for two hours every monday flash cards on the other nights watching movies. I can't understand and listen to us. Someone who is engaging in learning a second language thereby uses another language on a pretty regular basis that means you're a developing bilingual so in essence you are via lingual by by you know we probably exactly if maybe maybe maybe as an alternative to be bilingual. Maybe we should think of. This is developing bilingual.

Emily Kwong Sarah Phillips Bart New York University Marine Corps Sarah Korea United States
How to Recognize Symptoms of Suicidal Behavior

Short Wave

01:52 min | 7 months ago

How to Recognize Symptoms of Suicidal Behavior

"Emily kwong here joined re chatterjee. Npr's mental health correspondent. So i want to start this conversation in a place of awareness. How can you even tell if a loved one. Be feeling suicidal. Well lassine says watch for certain warning signs. Most obvious is probably just talking about death and talking about suicide bitching it either casually or even if it's jokingly or specifically talking about it for themselves and then there are the less of your science like sudden changes in behavior there will be changes in their mood usually towards greater agitation or greater sadness increased anger and irritability changes in substance use so Radically increasing the amount of substance use or beginning to use substances. If they hadn't done that before there's some changes in sleep or eating now. During the pandemic law people may be experiencing these changes in behavior sleep patterns mood. It doesn't mean that they're all thinking about dying but having mental health issues does increase people's risk of suicide but it can take a wild before someone goes from being depressed feeling so hopeless that they don't want to live anymore and this gives friends and loved ones opportunities for prevention right. The way to think about this is to identify and help people with these mental health problems before they get to a point of crisis exactly You know. I spoke with psychologists or sula whiteside. She studies suicide prevention of the university of washington and also started. This website called now matters now which feature stories of survivors of suicide attempts. And she says it's important to pay attention if someone is withdrawing from friends and family and their regular activities

Emily Kwong NPR Sula Whiteside University Of Washington
Is The Sperm Race A Fairy Tale?

Short Wave

07:46 min | 8 months ago

Is The Sperm Race A Fairy Tale?

"Tell me a little bit about what you learned way back when about how conception works well. They showed us this video that described conception as a kind of obstacle course where the sperm little tadpole looking things and when they enter the vagina during this hostile environment. And they've done fight their way through all these obstacles and make it to the egg and the sperm. That reaches the egg wins. Kind of how it was told. Yeah that's pretty standard. It's similar to what i was taught to. And i spoke to lisa campbell angle stein. She's a reproductive bioethicist and she pointed out that we use really gendered language to describe this biology. She calls it a fertilization tale. So the sperm is this shining knight. Who's there to save the aig damsel in distress. And the sperm has all the agency the sperm is on a mission the sperm is fighting off other sperm to be the one to conquer the egg. Where's the egg is just sort of passively floating around waiting for the night and doesn't do anything itself. How does exactly what they told us. Yeah and lisa examined tons of textbooks at all levels from middle school to medical school for this kind of bias and she found some pretty wild stuff. For example sperm had this little hat like structure called the acronym textbooks described it as a motorcycle. Mean they could have called. It did horseback riding home at a ski how they could call the any type of helmets motorcycle helmet rights and that conjures up images of masculinity islanders. Tough guy weathers well clearly once again. The patriarchy finds a way but in this case. Isn't the story. exactly what happens. Biologically how it all goes down. Actually not at all. Oh no right. I am ready to go back to school. I want this post talk. Talk ariella let's do it. Only while buckle up today on the show go back to school to revisit the sperm race narrative and look at the ways that the edge and the reproductive tract plan active role in this process. I'm ariella zabidi. And i'm emily kwong. You are listening to shortwave the daily science podcast from npr. Alright classes in session. We're going back to school shortwave. School the best kind of school yes to learn about conception yeah and just to be clear. Today we're talking about this process as it plays out internally but a lot of folks conceived through the reproductive technologies like ibf. Yeah which are very cool. Okay just to recap. When i was taught conception in school it was basically described as a survivor style. Sperm race but ariella. You're telling me that this is a lie. yes yes. There are a few really big problems with this narrative when sperm i arrive in the vagina. They can't really race. I talked to jimmy heison. She's a biology professor at smith college. They don't have enough energy to make it to the side of conception. They don't have enough directional but isn't that what the cute little tales or for like don't the sperm use them to swim yet. Details do give sperm some swimming ability. But that's not a complete picture. The sperm are getting there faster than they could all on their own. And we've seen in rats and other mammals that even dead sperm can reach the lopion tubes so it seems like sperm. Don't rely that much on their own mobility. So are they getting their. The reproductive tract is bringing them along. Oh that is amazing. Okay how is the reproductive tract. Doing that so i talked to kristen hook. She's an evolutionary biologist. And she told me it's doing this tons of ways by changing the thickness of the reproductive tract fluid. Just like if we were swimming in a swimming pool with water versus a swimming pool of honey. You're gonna move differently in these different fluids or with contractions summer to contractions in your stomach after you've had a big meal or whatnot to move your food through your intestines so it's like the sperm are on one of those moving sidewalks y-yeah they're being transported along eventually reaching the philippian tubes. Okay and what happens after that. So the sperm. Start to move their tails more intensely. Which makes those pretty useless movements. We talked about earlier. More powerful research just that fluids in the reproductive tract kind of give the spur more energy. Think of it like taking a bath in coffee one. That's dreamy to the idea that the reproductive tract literally gives the sperm. Their strike is giving me strength right now. That is fantastic. I know emily. The official name for this process is hyper activation. Though that's riveting and there's even more the reproductive tract also has to prepare the sperm for one. It eventually meets the egg right now. The sperm is a little overdressed for the occasion. It's got a layer of stuff on that prevents it from binding the egg and molecules in the reproductive tract helps strip off layer so that the sperm is ready to bind. Ooh la la naked sperm. Okay and emily remember the sperm. Don't have is they have no idea where the heck they're going so the egg provides them with a gps it releases these super attractive chemicals that show the sperm where to go. Oh so it's like leaving breadcrumbs for them to follow. Yeah and you have to realize that philippian tubes aren't this straightforward path. It's really complex and winding there. There are tons of little crevices so without those crumbs. The sperm probably wouldn't know where to go. We were taught to think of it as a racetrack. Right but kristen. We know better now if you wanna go with a racetrack idea at least recognized that it's a dynamic race track so it's not like the german audubon. It's more like You know like more like a rainbow road where you have twists and turns and places to fall off and there are checkpoints that you get ask for your license registration and proof of insurance. I'm sorry proof of insurance. What does that mean honestly. That's not too far off from reality. And this brings me to may be the coolest part of all of this. Remember that hostile environment you described earlier. Yeah but you know. I was brainwashed back then in health class and i and i regret saying that because it sounds like the reproductive tract is actually far more helpful than hostile here. You totally but it is true that there are tons of obstacles along the way that seemed to be counterproductive. Like at one point these big immune cells surround the sperm and literally. Eat them. No that's terrifying. Yeah you don't want to be the sperm in that face off so it makes sense that you and me and teachers everywhere described this as a hostile environment but now starting to realize that these obstacles the actually have a purpose. It works to separate sperm. That are dysfunctional. From those that are functional works to separate debris that enters into the reproductive track with quotas and it separates the wheat from the chaff. Shall we say and then it takes what it needs or wants to the site of

Lisa Campbell Angle Stein Ariella Ariella Zabidi Emily Kwong Swimming Jimmy Heison Kristen Hook AIG Smith College Middle School NPR Lisa Emily Kristen
Why Tech Companies Are Limiting Police Use of Facial Recognition

Short Wave

09:33 min | 8 months ago

Why Tech Companies Are Limiting Police Use of Facial Recognition

"All right emily kwong so. We're talking about this announcement from a string of tech companies that they are going gonna put limits on their facial recognition technology especially when it comes to law enforcement amazon microsoft and ibm yes on june eighth. Ibm said it would discontinue general purpose facial recognition or analysis software altogether. Get out of the business completely and it made an impression after. Ibm's big letter. Amazon announced a one year moratorium on sales of they're very popular software recognition spelled with a k. To law enforcement to give congress time to implement appropriate rules so a one year ban. Yes microsoft took it a step further saying it wouldn't sell products to law enforcement at all until a federal law is in place. Here's microsoft president. Brad smith speaking to the washington post we need to use this moment to pursue a strong national law to govern facial recognition that is grounded in the protection of human rights and for matali in conde who has been pushing for regulation changes in tech for years. This was a big deal when these words were coming out of silicon valley. She felt all of the feelings. My initial was thank god. Thank god i was. I was happy. I was pleased. I was optimistic. I was short of breath. I was exhausted. Tally is the ceo of ai. For the people a fellow at both harvard and stanford universities for her. These announcements shifted the conversation. But that's about it. So i'm pleased. It's got us incredibly far but we're by no means the woods not out of the woods because for all of the advancement and facial recognition systems. Still get it wrong. They'll incorrectly match folks what's called a false positive or fail to associate the same person to two different images of false negative. Yeah and what's vaccine. Is these errors are happening. More often. when the machines are analyzing dark-skinned faces and that can disproportionally affect already marginalized communities prone to unconscious bias at the hands of law enforcement leading to false accusations arrests and much worse so until there's action on this metallic said words just aren't enough gotcha. So let's unpack this a little bit. Let's talk about how biased gets into facial recognition systems in the first place. I'd love that okay. So it starts right with how the systems learn to do their jobs. A process known as machine learning so to make facial recognition systems engineers feed algorithms large amounts of what's called training data in this case. That would be pictures of human faces. Yes the way machines learn is that they repeat task again and again and again and again and again developing a statistical model for what a face is supposed to look like so if you wanted to teach the algorithm to recognize a man you'd put in like millions of pictures of men you got it. The machine will then measure the distance between the eyes on each picture the circumference of the nose for example the ear to measurement and over time the machine starts to be able to predict whether the next image it seeing is quote a man which sounds okay right here comes the but but the machine is only a smart as its training data so remember joy ghulam weenie who i mentioned at the top of the episode. Yeah the the mit yes. So she and her colleague timid gabe developed a way to skin color in these training sets and the two they looked at were overwhelmingly composed of lighter skinned subjects. Seventy nine percent for ibi dash a and eighty six percent. For etienne's these are two common data sets that were largely as joy. Put it pale and male. So basically the training data used to create these algorithms is not diverse. And that's how that bias gets in The diversity of human beings is not always being represented in these training sets and so faces outside the systems norm. sometimes don't get recognized. Here's matala explaining what the research meant to her. That goes back to this other issue of not just hiring but a bigger issue of those no one in the team to say that you haven't put all the faces you haven't put all the digital images of all human beings could look like in the way that they sharpen society in order to recognize these faces. And it's so. After realizing how unbalanced these training sets were joy intimidate decided to create their own with equality in race and gender to get a general idea of how facial ai systems performed with a more diverse population so basically they fed it more diverse pictures to to look at. Yeah it was kind of interesting. They used images from the top ten national parliaments in the world with women in power specific yes specifically picking african and european nations and they tested this new data against three different commercially available systems for classifying gender one made by ibm the second microsoft and the third by face plus plus an running these tests joint him knit found clear discrepancies gender and racial lines with darker skinned faces getting mis classified the most. Here's mut-ali again. So one of the things that joy blue armies amazing work looks. That is the coloration between short hair and gender so many many many black women with afros where mislabeled as men mis gendered because the system had trained itself to recognize short hair as a male trait and this research project mattie produced a massive ripple effect further studies legislation in december the national institute of standards and technology or nist published a big paper of its own testing one hundred eighty nine facial recognition algorithms from around the world and they found biases to looking at one global data set some algorithms in their study produced one hundred times more false positives with african and asian faces compared to eastern european ones and when tested using another data set of mug shots from the us. The highest false positives were found among american indians with higher rates in african american and asian populations again depending on the algorithm. Wow yeah that is not what you want from your data. And i'm guessing white. Men benefited from the highest accuracy rates. Yes they did now. The knicks study did conclude that the most accurate algorithms demonstrated far less demographic bias but for multi. This evidence of bias raises a bigger question about the ethics of relying on. Ai systems to classify and police at all the problem with ai. Systems machine learning is that they're really really really good at standard routine tasks and the issue with humans is that we are not standard. We're not routine. Were actually massively messy right. We're not the same but when a police officer searches face in the system. They're not making arrests based on just spat match alone are they. Oh absolutely not. Yeah it's a tool for identifying potential suspects but if you think about how there's already implicit bias in policing critics. A facial recognition are basically saying. It doesn't make sense to embrace technologies riddled with bias to right if all this research has shown. These tools are capable of misidentifying black people. We cannot use biometric tools that discriminate against a group of people who are ready discriminated against within the criminal justice system but policing most specifically mattie. When i first spoke to mut-ali in march she was open to moratoriums on facial. Recognition like amazon is doing buying time for these systems to improve regulations to be put in place but the protests have her views. Because why why am i being moderate with completely reimagined how we interact with technology so now she wants to see facial recognition banned from law enforcement use which some cities in the us have done. Moutallos has tried to push for legislation to outlaw discrimination in technology before but it seems like now people are paying attention and have a language for talking about structural racism that they just didn't have before whether why america listened to me or not. I was gonna continue with this work. I believe that technology should be an empowering force for all people and that's my work but now having old and new ala not just allies but co-conspirators bright. I'm so happy. Because i didn't think would happen in my lifetime and it's an it's

IBM Microsoft Emily Kwong Matali Amazon Ghulam Weenie Brad Smith Matala The Washington Post Stanford National Institute Of Standard Harvard Etienne Congress Gabe Mattie ALI Knicks
Bring Me Chocolate Or Bring Me Dead Stuff

Short Wave

03:44 min | 9 months ago

Bring Me Chocolate Or Bring Me Dead Stuff

"All right emily kwong lay some of that chocolate goodness on me. You got it because chocolate is the true meaning of valentine's day only chocolate. This pure can be this. So i love you but lactose intolerant. Why are you doing this to me. I thought about this. The thing that gives chocolate. Its flavor is dairy free. Did you know cocoa comes from a fruit that grows these amazing looking multicolored cacao pods and i was. Cd's read things hanging from the trees. While what are these things. This is food scientists. Darren ostrom suka at the cocoa research center at the university of the west indies. Speaking with simmons safety and our friends at life kit about his fascination with cacao pods. It's like it's like a football shape. Fruit it can be smooth. It can be wate. it can have ridges. Darren saw these pods all over the place. Growing up in trinidad and tobago. They grow on the couch. Frey or theobroma cacao in under story crop of the tropical rainforest meaning they grow pretty close to the ground and the exterior of these pods is hard like it's tough but not so tough that critters can't break it open to go on a little cow binge correct if i was a squirrel. This would be what i would do. I mean absolutely. Darren breaks open a pod with a special tool kind of like a dull michigan it resists when gives time what it feels very satisfying on. Then when you twist the blade you hear a sort of crunch on you see opening insite describes the inside of the pod like a sticky cobwebs it has rows of caucases which he calls beans covered in this gummy white pulp called musa delicious mm-hmm usage and the aroma hits immediately. I'm spending my and it smells. Citrusy like like citrus flowers. It's like a subtle perfume Yeah there's so much flavor potential in these cacao beans at this point once the pot is opened fermentation begins so after. The seeds are removed from the pod. They're collected and transported to an area where they can ferment for days. Yeah and naturally occurring microbes breakdown. Those beans unlock their flavor notes. I i did not know that. Quang i mean for meditation gotta love it. Kind of sounds like like wine a little bit. Maybe a little bit. Yeah kinda if you think of cacao beans grapes and the tastes does reflect the ecosystem from which it came. The beans are then sorted roasted and sold to chocolate-makers to become the chocolate. You know and love. it can be fruity. it can be floral. It can be bright. So i like to think of a flavor profile that cuckoo offense to be like a good piece of music is we. What makes a good piece of chocolate is a harmonious 'presentation of flavor notes that in balance with each other at the coco research centre. He works on the level of genetics and with farmers to optimizing flavor and adopting their crops to climate change and disease. Darren even works with the cacao. Farm used to pass as a child. Chocolate is something he just can't stay away from is like with ocala. Florida is she. You can check out anytime you want. But you've been the relieve gets on the skin and it becomes your positive your consciousness so for me. I don't really work at a job. I work at

Emily Kwong Darren Ostrom Suka Cocoa Research Center Darren University Of The West Indies Theobroma Cacao Frey Valentine Tobago Simmons Trinidad Football Michigan Coco Research Centre Ocala Florida
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

04:27 min | 9 months ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"All right. Emily kwong i can think of few things more fundamental to our existence than our senses like this morning. I was drinking. My coffee and coffee is such a multi sensory experience. If you pay attention to it you've got that little sloshing coffee sound the warm mug on inside your little pause than that smell. Honestly the tagline of our show should be shortwave brought to you by coffee and off all the senses. I asked our neurobiologist andre white. His favorite food easter. I'm gonna say taste. I asked him when the pandemic is over and travel restrictions are lifted. What would you eat. I and he said no question. Aki in salt fish in jamaica where he grew up he is a fruit that grows on a tree. There that you can boil and salt. Fish is called that has been preserved in salt. And i just i love it all i mean. It sounds delicious. Qualm sensory information is potent. Andre says that from a neurological perspective you can think of our senses as an internal representation of our external environment as well as our place in movements through that environment. More on that in a minute. But first i wanna talk about. What makes this all possible. Your sensory nervous system. What i didn't realize until talking to andre is that this system is finally finely tuned so the unique thing about our senses is that we have specialized receptors that are tuned to individual stimulus. What right so the reason why that blows my mind right. So the reason why you can see light with your eyes as because we have photo receptors in our eyes and the reason you can't see light using your ears is because we don't have photo receptors in our ears. And so the information for those individual types of stimulus they get converted into electrical and chemical signals into the nervous system so chemo receptors figure heavily into taste and smell for touch which he defines as our samata sensory system we've a variety of receptors. Some pickup pressure and temperature but also pain it some help with proprio -ception which keeps track of where our limbs are at any moment like whether your arms reaching out for that cup of coffee or scratching your head. I knew these aren't like senses but what about like hunger or thirst. Yeah andrea would describe those more motivational states then part of our somatic sensory system. I have often been motivated by the states. You know what i mean. Okay okay so a sense could be broadly defined not as a specific type of stimuli of information from the outside world but this highly specialized circuitry in our bodies with all these receptors paying attention to different stimuli and then converting them into signals our brains can stand. You nailed it. Yup and it all gets put together in the brain to give us in large part without consciousness a representation of the things we see feel hear taste. You know i feel like this is getting into some like phil asaf territory kwong you know like because if our senses are just a representation of the outside world in our brain how do we know if the world is real you know do you mean are we living in the matrix. I mean. i'm not meaning that andrei personally says this question is best left to philosophers because there's debate about how to even define a sense right but no matter how you argue it. His point is that knowledge of the senses can help us modify them. It also allows us to take advantage of that circuitry so if we think of hearing aids understanding how we hear allows us to convert sound waves in the environment into electrical signals artificially and then tap into our auditory system. So that people who have whether it's they were born with an inability to hear or they received damage to the hearing system we can now bypass that inability in order to convert sound into signals at our brains

michael andrea whites mount holyoke college matty safai today five senses five year old more than five five three fifty
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

04:18 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Or at quang. I am ready to go back to school with you. Which honestly dreer great. We would be good lab competitive. Yeah we will be competitive but we be great together. I think and so the science concepts. We're going to unpack. Today is states of matter. You know some of those other states of matter. You didn't learn about in science class rights so the physicist i called up to explain this is martin's veer line at mit. and what. i find hilarious. How martin is he said when it comes to his own kid. He actually prefers to keep this particular science lesson. Pretty simple to assam like. Oh yeah you the gas liquid solid bam. Leave it at that you know. He's seven and states of matter is really just a way to describe how a group of particles think atoms or molecules etc move which is sort of beautiful and collective and different from what you would gifts by looking just at a single particle and changes in temperature and pressure can cause those particles to move differently and change their behavior right. We see the super easily with water. That's right in the liquid phase water molecules slip and slide past each other but we humans quickly learned that if you lower the temperature the particles slowdown bam. We see is appear and we fridges. And we're very excited about. That actually was a huge deal hundred years ago to make ice and if we go in the opposite direction heat water. The particles move faster and farther apart and eventually the h. two o. Molecules breakaway and dissipate into the air as water vapor humidity. That's right it is already a miracle in itself. Water exists in these three different states that we can see those states at temperatures that we can reach as a humans in the kitchen. But here's the thing we can only do so much in our kitchen. Speak right speakers though there. But there's a limited range of temperature and pressure that even you can achieve in your kitchen mattie and there are states of matter beyond this okay like do you remember plasma who ya. Sometimes it's called the fourth state of matter and it can happen when matter gets heated to a super high temperature like electrons rips from atoms which actually allows plasma to conduct. Electricity super cool. Lightning is plasma. Plasma is wild. It is wild. Yeah and if we were to go in the other direction to an extreme if martin son were to ask dad what can happen at a temperature much cooler than ice. Is there something else. I might start telling him about these superfluid states of matter which is exactly what martin's studies at mit these superfluids states of matter that we're long predicted but not easily observed in nature. So how many states of matter are out there. Well we don't actually know martin want to even commit to a number. When i asked him this question he actually said ouch. The is apparently no end to the series of interesting new. Twist that nature gives us to to find your states of matter. We just are digging as we speak. We're digging into this all the time and that's because in theoretical physics. You can use math to predict things that experimental physicists haven't observed yet and i say yet because in the last few decades scientists have successfully coaxed atoms under extreme laboratory conditions to enter other states of matter states that could have useful applications for future technologies awesome. Okay let's get this. Emily like how do they do. This kind of lab can had to exist for these other states of matter to emerge. I'm so glad you asked. They had to get cold. Ultra cold we work in the neno. Kelvin regime for breakfast ano- kelvin. So you might ask what so. That's actually very called. It's a billion times cold interstellar

Mattie siegler garcia emily kwong matty safai cuba palm beach florida
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

11:57 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Colin purring in Pennsylvania wanted the world to know about his accidental fungal experiments involving twinkies. So what happened next? So he posted photos on twitter and they were seen by two scientists, Brian Love it and Matt Casson at West Virginia University, they study Fungi Casson says fungi are everywhere and they have this amazing ability to break down all kinds of substances. Fungi growing on jet fuel. Wow. So he means fungi can grow on pretty much anything and everything. Yeah and in the past their lab has tested how well they grow in peeps. You know that classic marshmallow tree tour hasn't says fungi found the peace challenging because you know they don't have a lot of water in them in a way they're kind of like an extreme environment, right? The food industry has crafted the ability to to make foods that have a long shelf life. You know I could test that out right now I got some old peeps in my house my kid. Kept from Easter like years ago. But anyway back to the twinkies. So these researchers were intrigued by Collins Posts on twitter and Colin was only too happy to mail his twinkies right to their lab. They suspected that whatever had mummified the twinkie was some kind of fungus but they wanted to confirm that and then find out exactly what kind of fungus. Okay. So twinkie mummy gets shipped to the lab obviously, they had to open it up. I'm guessing and as I look at the photo, the plastic wrapping around the shriveled twinkie looks like it's been vacuum-sealed like it sucked inward like. Right right. So the scientists thought maybe the fungus got in before the package was sealed, and then as it grew the fungus was using up more air or oxygen than it was putting out I mean, here's how love it described it. You end up with a document. And very well, vacuum may have halted. The fungus is ability to continue to grow We have the snapshot of what we were sent but who knows if this process occurred five years ago and he just only noticed it now yeah five years that's forty times the shelf life of a twinkie in eternity for twinkie anyway they had expected this horrific smelled hit them. When they opened the packaging, the smell would possibly kill one of us. But because of them of -cation there there really was no smell at all, which was really a pleasant surprise. So twinkie mommy is unwrapped smells like nothing what happened next? Well, they took a quick look with a magnifying scope and Juhasz some signs of fungal spore formation on the twinkie. So that suggested a fungus of some kind and the next step was to take a sample. So casting used a bone biopsy tool to sort of drill through the tough outer layer of this grey mummified twinkie, we certainly hit the marrow of the twinkie and quickly realized that there was still some. Cream filling on the inside. So, the inside was still cream-filled. Yeah that was a surprise they thought it would be sort of hard all the way through of it says, whatever did this to the twinkie it seems that the fungus was more interested in the cake on the outside. Then the filling on the inside see, this is a smart fungus because cake is clearly the superior part of the twinkie same with Orios same with cupcakes. You know what I'm talking about right now I don't know to me. It's like the combination of two things that's key. So I can't really separate them in my mind. That's fair I. Accept that. So the scientists have taken samples from the twinkie, do they go about determining what kind of fungus growing on it? They actually sampled multiple twinkies. Okay. So one was the mummified twinkie we've been talking about the other was the second twinkie from Collins box that was not mummified. The one that was just you know marred, it had that weird little blemish on the outside of it, and then they had this control scientific experiment they need scientific control, which was a what they called an as symptomatic twinkie from the same box. So they put those samples into lab dishes with nutrients commonly used to grow fungi, and from that little blemish twinkie the one. With just the little. Marc, they were able to grow a very common indoor fungus called Klee does sport him common indoor fungus, right? It's one of the most common airborne molds worldwide. Okay. So what about from the mummified twinkie? Okay. So that's where it gets even more interesting. Love. It says, they have not been able to grow any fungus from that particular sample. It may be that we don't have any living spores on store certainly dying depending on the fungus they could I very quickly and remember because the twinkie had been sort of vacuum sealed by whatever was going on there. You know it seems like it couldn't grow anymore inside it's wrapping. So there's truly perhaps no life in this twinkie. Well, the scientists you know weren't going to let that stop them they. Samples from both the marred and the mummified twinkies and he sent off to DNA sequencing company and twelve hours. Later, they got the results back the mark twinkie was a ninety nine point six percent matched to a fungus called close Boreham zeile film. The mummified twinkie was eighty one percent to a closely related clear does for him species. Plato's Boreham Tenuous Sim. CASSON's says DNA from the mummified twinkie was pretty degraded. So they actually probably are the same fungus. I'm so amazed they were able to identify these fungi from these twinkies. It is the mystery of the twinkie over I remain confident that science will continue already one researcher Kate Wallace at the University of Illinois contacted them and asked for a bit of the mummified that she wants to put in a scanning electron microscope. One that can get really really close. Up Images and hopefully you know see something cool and Kasim says he's not turning his lab entirely over to twinkie studies but you know they could still do some more research. We thought about inoculating some healthy twinkies with some cletus forum may be doing some transplants with the bone marrow biopsy tool where we replace a healthy plug with a fungus colonize plug. And see what happens from there. This twinkie line of research is just relentless. There's so many of questions still I mean what's the overall moral of the story here that you can try to hold onto the past but nothing gold can stay not even a twinkie well, that's one moral I mean another moral of the story is that Colin, purring ten should've listened to his mother and had more respect for expiration dates but you know people are really drawn to this myth that twinkies are immortal. I should mention we did reach out to hostess brands for comment on this story and I have not heard back from them at all You know the mummy twinkie is this different kind. Of disturbing vision of what the future could hold for twinkies and you know for all of us I mean Matt and says, this story seems to be gripping for people maybe because the grey mummified twinkie is such a dramatic contrast to this golden iconic twinkie that lives in our memories when those memories are tainted by like a visual reality like the twinkie experiment, we're kind of like caught off guard and we're like wait no, that's a symbol of my childhood. You can't take that from me to. So basically, like you said, emily, nothing lasts forever. You know here's Brian Love again, we're living in a time where we're all really grappling with our mortality eventually, all of us are future fungi. On. Seeing. That is sort of facing the the reality. Of. Holly and Our destination now, I did not expect a twinkie experiment to be a meditation on the human. Condition but. There you have it. Thank you so much. No Greenfieldboyce my pleasure. This. Episode was produced by Brent Bachman and Thomas Lou. It was edited by Giselle Grayson and fact checked by Ariella Zabidi the engineer on this episode was Leo. I'm Emily Kwong. Thanks for listening to shortwave from. NPR. Can we end this episode with the Monster Mash because it's all about working in a lap surprise you did the Mush who did the molds demolish? On the next episode of louder than a riot. Twenty year fight to clear the name of former. No Limit Rapper Mac. Fit. Me and my brother was closed two years that he lost that some of the best years of his life he loves. For me it hurts. Listen now to louder than a riot. New podcast from NPR news.

Colin Pennsylvania NPR Mike
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

05:33 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"All Right Emily Kwong you are here for another microwave the. . Short. . Little episodes where we read some listener mail at the end. . And we're talking about what science has to say and not say about plant bioacoustics and this question that I can't believe I'm asking which is does talking to plants impact their growth. . It is probably the most common question I get from the public. . This is Heidi apple professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Toledo. . And just to get this out of the way, , there is no conclusive scientific proof. . The talking to your plans helps them grow. . All. . Right. . Every episode done Boo Boo Boo we. . Hold the phone if I? ? It's not that simple because Heidi is one of the few people who has studied plant response to sound and she considers plants to be sentient beings. . They have a sense of vision sight smell. . And taste they have hearing. . Scientists disagree about what language to use here I mean our plants sentient. . They don't have brains. . You know those kinds of questions but scientists have found evidence that plants can detect sound all life has some form of McConnell reception. . Mechanical reception meaning, , they can sense stimuli from their environment like touch pressure and vibration. . We humans have pressure receptors on our skin and it turns out that plants can sense pressure to this is this is very cool. I'm . getting into this now. . Yeah. . Through these special proteins called mechanical receptors that can send a signal that sets off a chain of events telling the plant, , how to respond so like if a bug lands on them or something yes, , and the plant will perhaps release chemical to defend itself plant panic. . That's right. . So these Magana receptors are really important for telling the plant what's up in its environment and plant scientists think these McKenna receptors may play a role in helping plants, , pick up vibrations including the vibrations caused by sound. . You know sound waves we've known for a long time that plants can respond to single tones or even music. . And they can respond by growing a little differently or their seeds may germinate at a different rate. . But we never understood why they would do this. . Why would they have this capability and that's where <hes> my work with collaborator Rex Co crowd at the University of Missouri comes in. . So few years ago. . Heidi Rex put together a little study asking if a plant will respond to vibrations in their environment and the vibration they chose to test was caused by a Caterpillar shoeing. . What an adorable experiment munch up the leaves of the plant, , specifically a mouse ear cress which Heidi had growing in the lab. . and. . These vibrations are super subtle. . The the leaf sometimes moving like one ten thousand of an inch as the Caterpillar bites down. . Brexit Heidi played the vibration, , the vibration of the nominee caterpillar right back to other crush plants who had not been munched on at all, , and then expose those same plants to real. . Caterpillars. . And measured their chemical response and the plants that had heard the recording beforehand produced more insect defense chemicals Oh so like playing the sound before the real caterpillar primed the plants. . Yeah. . This experiment show that plants pre exposed to the sound of Human Caterpillar produced a different response more plant panic if you will. . Yes I will which suggested you know that plants these plants are sensitive to the sounds of this Predator the Caterpillar and then they tested other vibrations on the plant wind other insect eating noises that were not as threatening and when you know the plants did not respond like chemically they didn't respond. . Correct. . So okay. So . does that mean they have? ? For lack of a better term selective hearing more like selective responding. . Okay. . Plants do respond to sound but only to sounds they've evolved to respond to if that makes sense. . In, , this case a Caterpillar Chewing Gotcha. . Okay. . So Caterpillar chewing. . Yes. . But what about a human voice? ? Well, , that hasn't been comprehensively tested. . Okay and Heidi thinks it's not likely a plant will be experiencing. . No as in the sense of wind or a bird or a singing and Tamala gist. . You, , but they will they will be tuned to only the things that are important to them. . Right, , and and we don't know if one of those things is a human voice. . We also don't know the. . Of what they detect and we don't know if they'd have a reason to respond. . So should you talk to your plants? ? <hes>. . Sure. . Why not is it going to help them grow better your voice alone? ? No I don't think it's going to however. . If you connect emotionally with your plant, , better because you're talking with them, , that means you're probably going to take better care of it, , and therefore we're talking to your plants indirectly could

Parsley Parsley Amanda drewery Amy Amanda amy amy waters Quan Berg emily Amien
Does Talking To Plants Help Them Grow?

Short Wave

05:33 min | 1 year ago

Does Talking To Plants Help Them Grow?

"All Right Emily Kwong you are here for another microwave the. Short. Little episodes where we read some listener mail at the end. And we're talking about what science has to say and not say about plant bioacoustics and this question that I can't believe I'm asking which is does talking to plants impact their growth. It is probably the most common question I get from the public. This is Heidi apple professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Toledo. And just to get this out of the way, there is no conclusive scientific proof. The talking to your plans helps them grow. All. Right. Every episode done Boo Boo Boo we. Hold the phone if I? It's not that simple because Heidi is one of the few people who has studied plant response to sound and she considers plants to be sentient beings. They have a sense of vision sight smell. And taste they have hearing. Scientists disagree about what language to use here I mean our plants sentient. They don't have brains. You know those kinds of questions but scientists have found evidence that plants can detect sound all life has some form of McConnell reception. Mechanical reception meaning, they can sense stimuli from their environment like touch pressure and vibration. We humans have pressure receptors on our skin and it turns out that plants can sense pressure to this is this is very cool. I'm getting into this now. Yeah. Through these special proteins called mechanical receptors that can send a signal that sets off a chain of events telling the plant, how to respond so like if a bug lands on them or something yes, and the plant will perhaps release chemical to defend itself plant panic. That's right. So these Magana receptors are really important for telling the plant what's up in its environment and plant scientists think these McKenna receptors may play a role in helping plants, pick up vibrations including the vibrations caused by sound. You know sound waves we've known for a long time that plants can respond to single tones or even music. And they can respond by growing a little differently or their seeds may germinate at a different rate. But we never understood why they would do this. Why would they have this capability and that's where my work with collaborator Rex Co crowd at the University of Missouri comes in. So few years ago. Heidi Rex put together a little study asking if a plant will respond to vibrations in their environment and the vibration they chose to test was caused by a Caterpillar shoeing. What an adorable experiment munch up the leaves of the plant, specifically a mouse ear cress which Heidi had growing in the lab. and. These vibrations are super subtle. The the leaf sometimes moving like one ten thousand of an inch as the Caterpillar bites down. Brexit Heidi played the vibration, the vibration of the nominee caterpillar right back to other crush plants who had not been munched on at all, and then expose those same plants to real. Caterpillars. And measured their chemical response and the plants that had heard the recording beforehand produced more insect defense chemicals Oh so like playing the sound before the real caterpillar primed the plants. Yeah. This experiment show that plants pre exposed to the sound of Human Caterpillar produced a different response more plant panic if you will. Yes I will which suggested you know that plants these plants are sensitive to the sounds of this Predator the Caterpillar and then they tested other vibrations on the plant wind other insect eating noises that were not as threatening and when you know the plants did not respond like chemically they didn't respond. Correct. So okay. So does that mean they have? For lack of a better term selective hearing more like selective responding. Okay. Plants do respond to sound but only to sounds they've evolved to respond to if that makes sense. In, this case a Caterpillar Chewing Gotcha. Okay. So Caterpillar chewing. Yes. But what about a human voice? Well, that hasn't been comprehensively tested. Okay and Heidi thinks it's not likely a plant will be experiencing. No as in the sense of wind or a bird or a singing and Tamala gist. You, but they will they will be tuned to only the things that are important to them. Right, and and we don't know if one of those things is a human voice. We also don't know the. Of what they detect and we don't know if they'd have a reason to respond. So should you talk to your plants? Sure. Why not is it going to help them grow better your voice alone? No I don't think it's going to however. If you connect emotionally with your plant, better because you're talking with them, that means you're probably going to take better care of it, and therefore we're talking to your plants indirectly could

Brexit Heidi Heidi Apple Professor Of Envir Heidi Rex Emily Kwong University Of Toledo Rex Co Mcconnell Tamala University Of Missouri
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

09:25 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"All right today in the show were unscrewing what's not working in science education around representation and racism, , and how to teach science in a more inclusive way and idea from listener and scientists Esther Kunle yes. . Thanks to Esther we went looking for K., , through twelve teachers teaching at the intersection, , of Science, , and racial justice at all grade levels I want to start with. . Let me see fears. . She's a post doctoral fellow in the collaborative for stem education and outreach at Vanderbilt. . Okay. . She's a black scientist. . Out in science classrooms Tennessee in among fifth graders. At . this one particular school, , she is a total rockstar. . So walk into a classroom and they'll be like. . Yeah it's me. . It's me everyone autographs today. . We lit up each others world. . Our say, , let me see a drops into fifth seventh and eighth grade. Science . classrooms like a real life. . Miss Frizzle I'm not kidding you. . She wheels the cart between classes clattering with beakers and different very interesting looking chemicals and students. . They're so intrigued they run up to our like remind wife we've. . Just all that stuff and then when she's in the classroom, , let me see a doesn't just help them run experiments. She'll . also delve into the ethics of designing an experiment. . Okay. . She'll talk about how wrong the Tuskegee study was, , which is winning scientists studied syphilis in black men and withheld treatment Sushi's like introducing bioethics to kids as important part of the curriculum. . Yup. . Scientists are presented as very human herself included and her students can totally handle these conversations. . We see what's happening with this generation with them protest and they're speaking out on, , they're not having it. . They're not. . They're not going to allow us to continue to destroy their and our point is that if science teachers can tap into that compassion and That curiosity and show the way that scientists have messed up. . Kids might take an interest in science I love, , and if we can't do that, , then we are GonNa lose them and I think it's hard for minority kids. . They already don't see themselves as the teacher or the Christmas doing the science. . So that already unemployed simple block of well, that's , just what the old white man with the crazy hairdo. . and. . So another thing let me see Ya does is namedrop scientists of color as often as possible. . She'll talk about a physicist did Eisler medical physicists had he and Ecole, , green astronauts, , Joseph Akaba, , and genetic APPs. . She designed a paper rocket lesson around them and this helps kids develop a mental picture of a career in stem beyond a doctor or a dentist. . This is so cool because it's not just about teaching science history, , right? It's ? also helping students see themselves as scientists and for Gretchen Craig. . Turner. . The next teacher I, , want to introduce you to. . This level of engagement becomes even more important students get older and start to you know get into their teenage years and develop their own opinions their own opinions about science. . Yeah. . You know to be critical of it. . Oh. . Yeah. . That was not in my k. through twelve science education hers either I don't remember a lot of writing or <hes> opinions being a part of science. . In fact, , it was very much <hes> I believe taught the opinions didn't belong in science right that it was supposed to be a right answer Gretchen teaches. . At Burlington Edison High. . School. . In Washington state she is white and her classroom to be as inclusive as possible and to reflect the diversity of the student body and in her first year of teaching a biotech class. . This was back in two thousand, , ten in English teacher gave her a copy of the book. . The immortal life of Henrietta lacks was like you should teach the steer students. . Yeah. . So the history of the Hilo Cell Line Yep. . So Henrietta, , lacks cancer cells were used for years by scientists without her family's knowledge cells that. . One. . Of the most important cell lines in medical research, , her case raises so many questions about patients, , rights. . Yep questions raised in this book. . So Gretchen got a bunch of hardcover books for her class and we read it and. . It shaped how I teach in tremendous ways because the students responded to it. . <hes>. . So strongly, , you know they were excited <hes> maybe not at first I still get a lot of Turner. . This isn't an English class, , right but but they got into it. . So into it, , it is a six week unit the book in a Science Class. . STUDENTS DO SELL labs while they're reading and they journal to. . Okay so they're jotting down notes on different themes like medical apartheid informed consent lab science, , and at the end they write a big paper and also oftentimes in class, , there will be students who who's own families have experienced medical apartheid in the. . Effects of that and I think some of the students and see themselves in the story of the lacks family. . The conversations become really personal and probing not. . You know necessarily what you'd expect in science class but exactly what Gretchen is hoping for well I, , think what you know many young people ultimately want from their teachers is to be seen into be heard. . And so if the science curriculum. . <hes> if they feel seen and heard through that curriculum, , they're more invested. . So when her students learn about genetic testing, , Gretchen includes a film about the innocence project and they're a group that uses DNA testing to exonerate those who've been wrongfully imprisoned. . And Gretchen has her students, , write poetry and songs as kind of oaths to those wrongfully convicted my blood, , my skin, , my hair, , all held the key to my freedom DNA. . My eyes glazed over desperate for relief with a pain. . I now understood my hand reaches for I. . Don't Know How often you're around teenagers. . But the. . Teenagers of this just tremendous sense of justice and what is right you know, , and so those conversations are often very passionate for students <hes>. . But it's also the world that they live in. . Wow I mean kwong, , there's so many things in here. . That are so powerful in and I know there's a lot of science teacher who listened to shortwave who might want to incorporate racial justice in history into their teaching too I mean, , where do they look well Gretchen and let me see a- had the same advice which is at teachers should fill in the gaps in their own racial understanding I learn about the history of science or their field, , and that's exactly what the last teacher I spoke with is doing. . Vigia satiety is a college professor at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, , and looking critically at her own field statistics has been hard painful work. . You know I honestly I just feel like I'm I missed something that was really important to learn about my discipline and I'm I'm a little bit mad at myself for not being curious on my own to figure out the origins of things and she has been startled to realize the full extent to which modern statistics draws upon the work of you. . Genesis Francis Colton Karl Pearson Ronald Fisher. . Some of the most foundational tools and stem like the normal distribution curve were applied to support their racist and eugenicist theories tools that we. . Use today, , but we don't really stop to think about the people who created them and why they created them. . So the is trying to stop to teach yourself where these came from, , but to not rush the process with some slapdash curriculum, , she wants to incorporate these historical into her classes with care I want to give it the space deserves and of course, , and not not to feel like this awkward add on <hes> that people can optionally engage in in a way that centers the students Vigie like all the teachers I spoke with designs, her , classes by asking herself who's being left behind with this material, , and how can I bring them along? ? That's what can be gained from. . And anti-racist science education I think all of us in our minds have been in or heard of course where the professor says look to the laugh looked the right. . One of you won't be here at the end of this time or you know something horrible this should not ever be uttered in a classroom. . I say look to your left to your right like I. . Want you all to stay. . I want you all the love my field as much as I. . Love my field because there's so many interesting things you could do with it and we really could use your wonderful mind and our discipline. . We could use your perspective and the things that you bring. . So basically to change science, , we have to change how we teach science. . To fix the lab gotta fix the classroom. .

scientist Esther Niyaz Creole Eliane NPR Emily Kwong Francis Crick Mattie Carl lineas reporter brilliants London James Watson
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

03:56 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Today I'm joined by NPR health correspondent and reproductive fairy godmother Chatterjee for some real talk about peri menopause. . We're GONNA talk about how the physical symptoms can come with a host of emotional and mental health symptoms to which some people don't realize right exactly <hes>. . But before I say more I just WanNa say that I. . Think. I. . . Love My new title <hes> Reproductive Fairy Godmother but anyway getting back to business yes. . So sure would go yeah. The . physical symptoms can come with a host of emotional mental health symptoms absolutely. . So take for example, , woman I spoke with Terry, , hines now about a decade ago when Terry was in her mid forties how period started to change it increased in frequency it increased in intensity and increased endurance. . Now she had some of the classic symptoms of paramount applause laycock flashes, , chills started gaining weight which many women do during this time but the would notable changes to her mental health to they just did not have the energy to do the things that I wanted to do was such a fog over who I was what I wanted whereas going. . What I was capable of accomplishing I just could not find my footing at the time. . Terry. . Lived alone in Philadelphia where she worked as an assistant principal at a school. . And she really struggled to get out of bed and good work and do the things that she loved to do like taking her dogs for morning walk and she began to withdraw from her friends as well. . Yeah. . To speaking from experience these all sound like symptoms of depression. . You know self-isolation foggy nece low energy exactly, , and you know the thing is that Terry actually struggled with depression before and had sought treatment for it and she knew her symptoms she knew what triggers and that that was usually a big change in her personal professional life. . But this time though she says, , she was just so focused on all the physical changes going on <hes> in her body because of premenopausal that her emotional struggles at first, , they didn't even register in a mind. . Oh so on top of Peri, , Menopause Terry was managing depression to exactly and that's not uncommon. . Among individuals who have had previous diagnoses or <hes> of clinical depression anxiety and this data suggesting that in the leader stages of paramount applause as many as thirty percent of women experience depressive symptoms. . I want to put this on the evening news like all persons who experienced presents should be made aware of this. . So they're prepared. . I mean that's a huge number. . So do you have a sense of biologically why they're such a spike? ? Right. . So it's a stage of life when your hormone levels are changing, , it's all changing your periods of changing your hormonal <unk>. . Goals are all sort of you know going awry and that can trigger intense changes in mood and psychiatrists that I talk to for the story said that if you're experiencing depression or anxiety during paramount a pause. . It's not the changes in your hormonal cycles are unusual. . Lawrence say dramatically different from somebody else's but it's more likely that you bring is more sensitive to these changes. . So if you've experienced depression before you're more sensitive experiencing it when going through peri menopause exactly now, , the other reason is that paramedic plus isn't just a biological change, , right? ? It's also a huge life transition. . Because they're all these changes in your body Sharon, , it's a big part of aging which coming to terms with your metabolism might be slowing down. . You might be mostly processing these things as well, , and any big life transitions can affect people's emotional wellbeing

menopause Emily Kwong NPR Emily High Perriman Chatterjee
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

05:36 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"We are tackling a question from listener. . Rachel. Weiss . space-junk this growing population of manmade objects cluttering up Earth orbit so Does that happen? ? Okay I. . Let's consider what satellites are made out of metal plastic glass powered by batteries or solar panels, , and when they're placed in specific orbital highways, , they stay there moving. So . quickly that they don't fall towards the earth kind of like, , you know if you had to put a boat in a body of water, , you want to avoid fighting the current kind of thing that's more. . But jaw who we met earlier, , he says that from sputnik onwards, , our satellites have been creating debris shedding spent rocket bodies pieces becoming glued satellites have been known to explode when unspent fuel is on board, , and of course, , they can cross flightpaths and collide with one another and whenever satellite shed pieces they. . Tend to not should one but many many pieces, , hundreds of thousands of pieces depending on the type of collision. . These collisions rarely destroy the satellites, but , they can alter their operation and send pieces jettisoning off into space affected not only by gravity, , but other physical forces. . So we're pressure thermal radiation charged particle, , environment <hes> interactions with you know magnetic fields, , and all of this makes it very difficult to predict what space junk will do next the little that falls back to Earth, , which is one object that day on average burns up or falls into the ocean. . So space junk is probably not going to land on your head. . Have you calculated that probability because you're GONNA ask me this question I haven't. . But there's a scientist <hes> mark. . Matinee, , at NASA orbital debris program who has it's one in several trillion honestly I still like it but okay Mattie the people you should worry about more astronauts right? ? The International Space Station actually has a tracker to monitor for collision risk and they will maneuver out of the way when the risk is too great. . Wow. . But I feel like if there was a major collision, , I would hurt about it, , right? ? Yeah. . There hasn't been a major collision you know the US military NASA and other agencies and groups around the world they tracked debris and Warren of potential collisions but there's been a few scares in recent decades. . So in two thousand, , fifteen, , for example, , the crew. . On. . The International Space Station had to hide in their Sawyer's capsules. Basically, . , the stations lifeboat when debris from an old Russian weather satellite came dangerously close. . I don't like that no spacecraft and satellites will routinely maneuver out of harm's way but only if they have ample warning so the whole spacefaring community was pretty rattled when in two, , thousand, , seven, , the Chinese military destroyed one of their own weather satellites they were testing out anti-satellite. . Technology. . Brian Weeden, , remembers tracking this big explosion for the US air. . Force. . I personally was sort of shocked. . It was of like wow Brian was part of a squadron that counted the resulting debris and in the end ended up cataloging more than three thousand objects. . So that one. . Got turned into three thousand things and that's just the things we can track wasn't space junk a big part of the movie gravity you are remembering cracks lake. . From the missile strike has caused a chain reaction hitting other satellites in creating desgris two thousand eighteen Hollywood movie begins with a chatty George Clooney and Sandra bullock servicing the Hubble space telescope gays, and , contentedly back at Earth. . When this huge cloud of debris from missile strike grips through communications blackout it's a bad situation happen North America's laws individual. . Dramatic portrayal definitely raise the profile of space junk. . Even if the portrayal wasn't very accurate I, , think navy on the whole it has been a good thing for for the issue. . Even, , if I might grumble a little bit scientists love to grumble. . That's Brian Weeden again he's now the director of program planning for the Secure World Foundation thinks a lot about sustainability in space, , and he says that opening scene gravity doesn't capture the true problem over the breath catches him was portrayed as sort of a nuclear chain reaction. . Right there's one event that sets off this series of things that will happen very fast. . The reality is sort of the opposite where it's it's like climate change. . The problem with space junk is it's a long relatively slow accumulation over decades with a big negative impact down the road. . Got It. . Yeah. . So Brian says. . The risk of space junk involves convincing people, , launching satellites, , governments, and , companies to change their behavior. . Now mindful of the future and maybe have a little inconvenience or a little more cost now to forestall bad things in the future, , and that's a really difficult argument to make because we humans just aren't engineered to kind of think like that preach especially when nothing truly catastrophic has happened yet but space junk is already proving to be problematic in the short term, , it's translating into real world costs a satellite. . Field alerts about potential collisions. . Do Do I change my satellites orbit because that costs fuel and that will shorten the lifetime your satellite, , which isn't good for the commercials base economy, , which is Kinda booming right now. . Yeah. . We did that episode all about how SPACEX IS GONNA put a bunch of satellites up there. . Right you know in the long term space junk has the potential to not only collide with manned spacecraft like the International Space Station, , but threatens satellites at all levels of orbit like those used for imaging and whether data collection, , which then could mean our climate models are less accurate or we don't have a good way to track the mirrors and that could have negative

Rachel Weiss US Montana Department of Defense John Malmstrom Air Force Mattie NPR NASA Emily Kwong Matty Austin reporter University of Texas Jacksonville Florida
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

04:07 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Okay Nell. Greenfieldboyce last year, you visited the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Tell me about it. What was it like? So it's sort of beautiful location right there on the coast of Massachusetts and you go inside. In you know, they took me to this room full of kind of burgling aquariums everywhere and. All of our exotic animals, the guy giving me, the tour was Brett Grassy and his official title. There is manager of Cephalopod operations. It's amazing title. So we've got our beautiful <hes> flamboyant cuttlefish. We've got our straight PAJAMAS, squids. These ones are native to Australia. We've got our octopus church, which is the pygmy zebra octopus, their native to Nicaragua small octopus species that doesn't get much larger than table. A. Table Grape. Nice. Yes. So they're they're looking at all kinds of squid and octopus is to try to find ones that you are easy to take care of that reproduce. quickly, that are going to be good to be sort of like the next lab rat and their work involves everything from the very latest high tech kind of gene editing tools to just like a bucket of rocks sitting on the floor. Why rocks? Well, they use them to make like little habitats in the tanks <hes>, but they also use them to way down some of the lids. So octopuses are notorious for being able to kind of escape out of their enclosures. I've heard of this in aquariums. Octopus have been known to climb out and wonder around. Yeah, they're clever. You know. So when I visited Bret told me, there were roughly around three thousand cephalopods under their care there. But honestly walking around and looking in the tanks, you can hardly see any because they like to hide in those rocks and you know other little things, little containers. Keepers put in their tanks at one point read opened up this one plastic container and reached into the water and pulled out this little like like terra cotta pot and inside was this California two spot octopus. She's right down in there. Because see her eyeball, fairly see her. Yeah, and so basically, this is a kind of a common Dan either they're gonNA find rocks or. Some sort of basically dark enclosure sometimes. So this was a female octopus sitting on her eggs, and while we were looking at her, she's sort of shot out some water at us. She's of trying to skirt some water here. She thinks that I'm going to give some food <hes> or she's just trying to say you know I'm sitting in here taking care of my eggs and <hes>. You know come back another time so now. Now. If you had a podcast called nell spies and octopus I would listen to it will we would have a lot to talk about because <hes> cephalopods are pretty crazy i. mean they have these sophisticated brains, they can solve puzzles, they can change their skin color like an instant. They can re-grow arms, they travel using jet propulsion. I. Mean. Some people have said they are as close to aliens living on Earth as we've got. that. is so cool. Honestly, we do a whole episode just about cephalopods, but I WANNA go back to this research question about using them as model organisms. So why CEPHALOPODS in particular? Well. It's all those odd features that makes them interesting to biologists I. Mean, for example, I mentioned their brains, you know the they're clearly sophisticated problem solvers, but their brains just look completely different from our own like they showed me one in a glass vial that looked almost like a triangle shape and you know there's <hes> brains that look like doughnuts that wrap around the Esophagus, you know <hes> at the same time, we know that some of their brain chemistry. Chemistry has got to be somewhat similar to ours because there have been experiments at how octopuses react to the drug ecstasy. Right? It seems to make them like little more friendly and cuddly to. So you know it's it's just fascinating to look at these creatures that are on the one hand. So different and on the one hand similar and studying, them could help scientists see what's necessary and what's not for being able to perform you know amazing mental feats. Feats like the ones people can do, and apparently you know some cephalopods seem

Woods Hole Massachusetts Josh Emily Kwong Nell Greenfieldboyce NPR Marine Biological Laboratory Biological Laboratory reporter Woods Hole Rosenthal CEPHALOPODS.
Mars Is The Place To Go This Summer

Short Wave

04:07 min | 1 year ago

Mars Is The Place To Go This Summer

"Okay Joe Palca. We are talking missions to Mars. Let's start with the United Arab Emirates which launched its probe two weeks ago. As you said, this is the country's first mission to Mars Yup and the probe is called hope and it will arrive in twenty twenty, one and twenty twenty one is a big year for the U. E. as I'm sure you know Emily Kwong I do not Joe Palca, but you're going to tell me why, yes, I am a because it's the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the UAE which was established in nineteen seventy one. So the morality leadership was eager to do something. Something to celebrate and a mission to Mars seemed like a great idea, Joe, that is a pretty splashy birthday present. Yes. That's what I was hoping for my fiftieth birthday, but I didn't get it. But seriously, that's just one of the reasons that they were going to Mars, it's partly to celebrate, but I talked Sarah Murray the deputy project manager and science lead for the emerets Mars mission. The purpose was not only to get to Mars by twenty twenty one and have vowed scientific. Data coming out of the mission that is unique nature and no other mission has captured before. But more importantly, it was about developing the capabilities and capacity of engineers in the country. Interesting. Yeah. Sarah says that the country's leaders wanted the you A. to develop a more of a knowledge-based economy and building a Mars probe provided a focus for expanding the country's technological capabilities. Okay. So Sarah mentioned the unique nature of this mission. Joe Tell me about the probe and what it is designed to do. It's about the size of a small car in weighs about a ton and a half, and it has these solar panels that look like wings essentially an and when they're spread out, it's about twenty four feet wide and when it goes to, Mars it will go into a really unusual elliptical orbit that will take essentially over every point on Mars. Once a week, it's providing us with full understanding of the changes, the weather of, Mars. Throughout an entire Martian day and throughout all the seasons of Morris throughout an entire Martian year, which lasts roughly two earth years. Wow. So they're really trying to get a comprehensive picture of the Martian atmosphere right and it's not just over time. Here's David Brain. He's part of a team of scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder collaborating on the emerets Mars mission. The three instruments that are on the space craft will help us measure the atmosphere of Mars from the surface, all the way to space. which has really been done before with other missions and that's very cool. All right. Joe, I know that China's mission to Mars has been a bit shrouded in secrecy. Here's what we know that it's name is teen win one which means questions to heaven. But one of the most notable things about it is that it includes an orbiter, a lander Andrew Rover. So a spacecraft that orbits the planet can land on it and move across the surface. Right? Well, it's really it's got three parts. It's all pushed together for the trip there, but then they separate. The orbiter of course stays in orbit and does remote sensing of the planet, and also will serve as a radio relay station for the mission on the surface, and then they'll these two things together, Land Rover, and then the rover will drive down a ramp and explore around the landing site. So it's an interesting mission, and I think it's a little hard to say China is not obviously in the same category as. As NASA terms of look what we did look over here, look do this we you know there there are a little more circumspect about how they do their missions. But the scientists I've talked to say this is a very serious interesting probe and it puts China in a really interesting position because only one country has successfully landed and roved round on Mars. Can you guess which country that is Russia? Now it's a It's the U S. of course, Russia did actually land a probe. It's a question of whether to call it a success or not because it only sends signals back for a few seconds. So technical success, I guess but not a very interesting mission.

Joe Palca Sarah Murray Mars China David Brain United Arab Emirates Land Rover Twenty Twenty Russia Emily Kwong Andrew Rover Nasa Project Manager University Of Colorado Boulder
"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

Short Wave

10:32 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on Short Wave

"Joe you have been reporting on the pandemic for months now and specifically one crucial part of this story vaccines right I think <hes> vaccines are pretty much the way out of this. Most people agree it's been so far the most successful tool in preventing infectious disease. But, of course we don't have a vaccine right now, and so that's why we're doing all these other things like shutting things down and social distancing and wearing masks in washing hands, etc, until we do have a vaccine that safe and effective and available right, and we're basically hiding from the virus in the meantime right, but I've heard that vaccines have traditionally taking years to develop. So, what are we doing to speed up the process well quite a lot actually and <hes> just to give you one example. Example a couple of weeks ago. I got a virtual tour of a vaccine facility in Baltimore. What you're looking at here is one step of multiple step process. It's run by a company called emergent bio solutions, and Sean Kirk overseas the manufacturing and technical operations and what he's doing, he's he's pointing a cell phone camera through a glass window into another room with several large stainless steel pieces of equipment. You can see the banks taken out. Talk you, so what's going to go inside? This bag is actually. Believe it or not insect cells that have been modified to make proteins from the coronavirus. That's going to be used to make the vaccine. The technicians are loading this bag into a fifty liter stainless steel vessel. That's part of what's called a bio reactor around the outside of this is the vessel itself it provides. The heating cooling. And with the inserted agitator, the mixing the cells, spitting out a protein that's going to become the corona virus vaccine. All this is being done with the strict standards of the Food and Drug Administration. The vaccine is from a biotech company called Nova Fax, and emergent says they're ready to make hundreds of millions of doses of it on a short timescale. Hold up Joe. Because I thought there weren't any approved vaccine's yet. So what's happening here with this manufacturing? Well, you were asking what's going to speed up the process and this is part of the answer. They're not just waiting to see if the vaccine works. They're doing what's called at risk manufacturing it. They're getting ready to make hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine. And when they finish testing it, it might not work okay, but the government says we don't have any choice because we can't wait until we find out of it works to start manufacturing it. Because that'll just add months and months to the process, so they're getting going right away. Sounds like kind of a gamble, but we don't really have much of a choice. Is that right well? That's what people are saying. I mean it's a gamble that health officials say we have to make if we want to have a vaccine that's GonNa be around in time to put a stop to this pandemic. Okay Today on the show what you need to know about the virus vaccine from how it works to the challenges of disturbing it to. The world. This is shortwave the daily science podcast from NPR. Okay Joe Palca. Let's start with some vaccine basics I read. There are over one hundred vaccines in development for this corona virus, and these vaccines are trying to do the same thing trigger an immune response from your body without actually getting you sick. Yes, I've been thinking about it as a little bit like showing a picture to someone and say if this person comes to your door. Don't let them in <hes>, and and that's essentially what you're doing with a vaccine. Right and I guess there are a couple of different ways. Occur virus vaccine can maybe trigger that response. Tell me about a couple of them. Well one thing you can do is you can actually kill the virus. What does that mean well? It's not really alive, but let's say treat it with heat or formaldehyde. It's no longer working and you inject into somebody well. It has the shape of virus and the look of a virus, but it doesn't do it. A virus does so the immune system can respond to that. That's kind of how the polio vaccine that Jonas Salk came up with. Or you can take the virus and modify it so that it's no longer able to make someone sick <hes>. That's basically what the Sabin Polio vaccine did. It weakened the poliovirus. Immune system saw it made all the right responses, but didn't Cause Disease Gotcha. Since those two, there have been married of different ways. It's just the idea of getting the Munin system to recognize parts of the virus so that it'll have an immune. Without actually making somebody sick all right. Let's talk to about why vaccine development takes so long because we mentioned earlier, it's normally very step by step process and I'm guessing that's why it takes a while right well. Yeah I, mean there are lots of steps in the process. First one is to make sure that the vaccine is safe. You're GONNA, be giving it to a lot of people, so you WANNA. Make sure it doesn't cause any problems on its own important, and then you want to make sure it has an immune reaction immune response, so you measure the cells that people make are the proteins that they make from the immune system after you've given them the vaccine. And then you want to make sure it prevents them from getting sick from the coronavirus. None of these sound like easy tasks I gotta say Yeah No it's. It's all time consuming. It's all difficult. It all requires a lot of people and patients and coordination and <hes>. You can't really speed it up I. Mean if you WanNa, see if something's going to work for six months, you kind of. Of have to wait around for six months to see if it's GonNa work right, and so with this coronavirus receiving manufacturers trying to compress the time line, but this takes a lot of money and a lot of financial risk, so does anthony. FAUCI of the coronavirus task force thinks we can develop a vaccine by the end of this year, because the government is helping these manufacturers financially through. An warp speed. Here's vouch speaking with NPR's Rachel Martin. It's risking hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe a half a billion to a billion dollars. The government isn't destined that taking that risk way insane precede, and you'll save several months, so joe aside from this. What else can be done to move the process along well I mean one of the things you can do. Do is just get a lot of people working on the problem at the same time, and then you can also do things that will make sure that the regulatory processes smooth so the food and drug. Administration is coming along with you in every step so that they don't have to review everything. After you've done it, they can review everything as you're doing it. But. This idea of having a lot of labs involved in something that's going to really be helpful and I talked with Dr Lewis Fellow over at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School his team is developing something. It's packed with micro needles that contain tiny bits of the coronavirus, and the Niger needles are so small that you don't even feel them, so you while slap on the patch and wait a few weeks and boom, immunity corona virus. Virus Patch. It works if it works, but this is just one approach, and I think that they will basically feed off of each other <hes>. This is GONNA help us to do these trials both quicker, <hes> and to find vaccine. That's most effective when we start to be to be able to compare these different approaches seven Joe. Let's say sometime in the future we have a winning vaccine or a few vaccines that are fully approved. How on planet, Earth Are we going to distribute them like who's who is going to get it I i. m Evi one vaccination. Are Those people born on March tenth? This is a scene from the movie contained I know we promised we wouldn't play this movie again on the PODCAST, but. This scene is kind of how vaccine was deployed at least in the film. So Joe is there massive lottery drawing in our future to decide who gets the CORONA VIRUS VACCINE? I don't think that's going to be the actual way that it's going to be ruled out. Okay. Most of the people I've talked to suggest that it's going to go first to healthcare workers and people who are on the frontlines of combating the disease, but then you want to think about the sort of the societal infrastructure. I mean who makes things go and. I think a number of years ago. People wouldn't necessarily have thought of <hes> delivery truck drivers says people who are crucial to the infrastructure of the country, and yet more and more people are now relying on deliveries to get stuff, and so they may be considered critical people who need to be vaccinated or their people who are at high risk for the disease. But the fact is that at some point, we're going to have to figure out a way to get this to everybody. Right Seth Berkley, for the CEO of an organization called Garvey. The vaccine alliance put it really well. We're not going to be safe as a world unless everywhere save so even if you know, we had <hes> parts of the world that would have a low spread or no spread. If you had large reservoirs of the virus in other places, of course, you have a risk of reintroduction I like that we're not going to be safe. As a world, unless everywhere is safe. Okay, last question Joe. Will the corona virus vaccine be one that changes every year because the corona virus changes every year. If we know that, or will it be more like the measles are the polio vaccine? We don't know we don't know which I could give you a better answer. But the answer right now is. We don't know so. There's not enough experience with this virus yet to know for sure, of course what's going to happen? It's possible that they'll be a different version that they all need to make vaccines against for every year. or it's also possible, and this is probably more likely that. They'll need to be boosters from time to time, maybe not as infrequently as measles, but may be more frequently that some so that <hes> the it's not clear how long the immune response that you get from. A vaccine will work so. The trouble is just I mean it's so new. The understanding of this virus that the people aren't saying anything

Joe Palca NPR Sean Kirk Food and Drug Administration Emily Kwong Matty Baltimore
"emily kwong" Discussed on KCRW

KCRW

04:47 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on KCRW

"Supplement containing psyllium a plant based fiber for trapping and removing waste in the digestive system it's five thirty five on a Wednesday it's All Things Considered from NPR news I'm Mary Louise Kelly in Washington and I'm Elsa Chang in Los Angeles from the beginning of the corona virus scientists worldwide agree that the virus occurred naturally that it made its way from animal to a human like sars and merged it but the trump administration has been raising the possibility that a lab accident in China could be behind the start of the corona virus to explain all of this we're joined now by NPR's Geoff Brumfiel Hey Jeff hi there also this idea that all of this started in some lab how did that even gain traction in the first place well I mean there is what I call circumstantial evidence there's a famous lab in Wuhan that studies corona viruses from bats in bands are likely to be the source of this virus the US state department apparently raised some concern about that lab a few years ago and intelligence agencies are looking into it but here's the thing nobody at least publicly seems to have looked closely at how this work is actually done so myself and my colleague Emily kwong had been interviewing as many scientists as we can find who do this for a living and it's looking like this theory is kind of on thin ice really why is that what makes a lab accident a really unlikely theory okay so the first thing to know is that there are a lot of corona viruses in bats maybe many thousands researchers think most of them don't make people sick but nevertheless scientists are very careful when they go to collect samples I spoke to John on the set a UC Davis professor who leads a global project on emerging diseases and here's how she described it we wear a boot Steinbeck and ninety five masks I protection covered heads so they're all suited and booted and they swap these bats and then they immediately plunge those samples into liquid nitrogen freezing the virus so out in the field they're being super careful okay third being super careful out in the field but then when they go back to the lab are they still being super careful yeah they are that's a short back in the lab they actually work with a dead virus they actually inactivate the virus the killing and just study it's genetic code and even then they do that under biotech bio containment hood wearing masks and gloves they do keep a tiny live sample but that's kept on ice it's almost never taken out of the fridge and when it is a lot of times they can't even get the virus they're looking for to grow so it doesn't work okay so I get how an accident sounds super unlikely but do we even know if the lagging behind followed these protocols that you're describing right now actually we do until all this went down that lab was working really closely with US researchers we know this is how they work hi now of course this doesn't completely prove there was an accident but when you put it all together the scientists I spoke to say think of it this way you've got a car wreck fifty feet from a telephone pole the fender is wrapped around the pole in your investigating whether the car was struck by lightning okay so what is the telephone pole in this scenario so that's all the other people who interact with bats I spoke to Peter dash check president of the eco health alliance a group that focuses on this kind of work and he says his team have been in caves when like a tour comes through we might do that with a hazmat suits on insurance will be filing pass in the show since the show which is quite bizarre and ironic okay it's not just tourists locals do it to a province of China there was a small survey that found nearly three percent the population had corona virus antibodies so unnatural crossover really looks most likely here so interesting that is M. here's Jeff brownfield thanks so much death thank you Elsa vice president Mike pence took a trip yesterday he was leaving Washington for the second time in a week to flood Wisconsin a key battleground state it's a test run in with the political normal may look like after the corona virus and it revealed some challenges and pure white house correspondent Franco or donors was along for the ride where it enters airforce base and it's clear things are not the same as they used to pick a child murder six all right we'll take that to get you started on the first one over here it was the same but now they're greeters there's a circle of officers wearing.

NPR
"emily kwong" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

WNYC 93.9 FM

04:21 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on WNYC 93.9 FM

"The beginning of the corona virus scientists worldwide agree that the virus occurred naturally that it made its way from animal to human like sars and members date but the trump administration has been raising the possibility that a lab accident in China could be behind the start of the corona virus to explain all of this we're joined now by NPR's Geoff Brumfiel Hey Jeff hi there also I DO that all of this started in some lab how did that even gain traction in the first place well I mean there is what I call circumstantial evidence there's a famous lab in Wuhan that studies corona viruses from bats in bands are likely to be the source of this virus the US state department apparently raised some concern about that lab a few years ago and intelligence agencies are looking into it but here's the thing nobody at least publicly seems to have looked closely at how this work is actually done so myself and my colleague Emily kwong had been interviewing as many scientists as we can find who do this for a living and it's looking like this theory is kind of on thin ice really why is that what makes a lab accident a really unlikely very okay so the first thing to know is that there are a lot of corona viruses in bats maybe many thousands researchers think most of them don't make people sick but nevertheless scientists are very careful when they go to collect samples I spoke to John on the set UC Davis professor who leads a global project on emerging diseases and here's how she described it we wear boots tie rack and ninety five masks I protection covered heads so they're all suited and booted and they swap these bats and then they immediately plunge those samples into liquid nitrogen freezing the virus so out in the field they're being super careful okay third being super careful out in the field but then when they go back to the lab are they still being super careful yeah they are that's a short back in the lab they actually work with a dead virus they actually inactivate the virus the killing and just study it's genetic code and even then they do that under biotech bio containment hood wearing masks and gloves they do keep a tiny live sample but that's kept on ice it's almost never taken out of the fridge and when it is a lot of times they can't even get the virus they're looking for to grow so it doesn't work okay so I get how an accident sounds super unlikely but do we even know if the lab in Wuhan followed these protocols that you're describing right now actually we do until all this went down that lab was working really closely with US researchers we know this is how they work now of course this doesn't completely prove there was an accident but when you put it all together the scientists I spoke to say think of it this way you've got a car wreck fifty feet from a telephone pole the fender is wrapped around the pole in your investigating whether the car was struck by lightning okay so what represents the telephone pole in this scenario so that's all the other people who interact with pets I spoke to Peter gash check president of the eco health alliance a group that focuses on this kind of work and he says his team have been in caves when like a tour comes through we might do that with a hazmat suits on insurance will be filing pass in the show since the show which is quite bizarre and ironic it's not just tourists locals do it to a province of China there was a small survey that found nearly three percent the population had corona virus antibodies so unnatural crossover really looks most likely here so interesting that is M. here's Jeff brownfield thanks so much death thank you also vice president Mike pence took a trip yesterday he was leaving Washington for the second time in a week to flood Wisconsin a key battleground state it's a test run in with the political normal may look like after the corona virus and it revealed some challenges and pure white house correspondent Franco or donors was along for the ride weird Andrews airforce base and it's clear things are not the same as they used to pick up her child murder.

On Earth Day, What You Can Do For The Environment

Short Wave

02:20 min | 1 year ago

On Earth Day, What You Can Do For The Environment

"Madison shortwave reporter. Emily Kwong Hey Mattie. Hey you so kwong. It's a listener question episode that we have perfectly timed because tomorrow is Earth Day the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day. And yes and you know. What Earth is shortwave replenish? We love you. We love your tectonic plates. Your Ocean absolutely. You're many fungi and insects. Kwong favourite insect on three one To Walking Lady Bug but as we all know our home planet is getting warmer We've had evidence of climate change since nineteen sixty when Charles Keeling measured carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere and detected in annual rise and climate. Change has of course progressed significantly in the past few decades bringing costly changes to our oceans and forests soil and air so this leads us to our listener question right right like this one from Janet Grou- in Heidelberg Germany one topic which is very much in the news. These days and very much on my mind is climate change. It's something which is causing many people a great deal of anxiety because they feel helpless in the face of it. So what can individuals do to slow global warming? Thanks for the question Janet and you know we like to over promise over deliver on short yes so I took this question straight to the top to folks who have thought about this more than most. Hello my name's Tom. Rivett CARNAC and I'm Christina Vienna's Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett. Carnac were lead negotiators for the United Nations during the two thousand fifteen Paris agreement. Dang Quang those. They're like big time climate folks. It's true only the best for our listeners. And this landmark document. The Paris agreements really crafted the language. That we now use to talk about. Climate Change Action. Here's Cristiana. We knew that this would be a once in a lifetime. Opportunity to how one hundred ninety five countries come around and agree. This is our one chance and we have to set out the in dire thing the way that science

Rivett Carnac Emily Kwong Janet Grou Tom Rivett Charles Keeling Reporter Paris Madison Cristiana Mattie Christiana Figueres Heidelberg Germany United Nations Christina Vienna
"emily kwong" Discussed on 90.3 KAZU

90.3 KAZU

04:19 min | 1 year ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on 90.3 KAZU

"How are you I'm Emily I went to visit her a few months ago at her home in Maryland a place for students by nature inside and out there's blueberry bushes out front and a bird bath outback Elizabeth is a career health policy consultant she and her husband Matt Cullen got seriously into bird watching after trip to Costa Rica and level the water birds I grew up in Florida so I like the big wading birds and they're easy to see the other hobby is playing board games and in two thousand fourteen Elizabeth scheme group had a conversation that changed her life they were talking about how much they loved the mechanics of board games dice rolling collecting items but the themes were kind of repetitive there's a lot of games about castles and about trains and about space and I'm just not excited about those things outside you know there should be a board game about birds and my brain just sort of latched on to that and started thinking about us like I think I think that game so Elizabeth broke out her trusted Sibley field guides and started making bird cards trying to represent the rules of ecology as board game mechanics in the same way let's say you build settlements and Catan most board games have resources in them that like wood and or and stone Anna is like what the resources being if this wasn't a given that humans and it was like in a game about birds instead and so the researchers are the things that the birds eat in the past five or six years there's been a boom in stem powered board games we now have evolution terraforming Mars psychosis and Tesla versus Edison both published by the science you gain company genius games and for Elizabeth this signals a growing appetite for board games exploring a greater diversity of themes from a greater diversity of designers I think that's happening more and more as publishers realize that it's not as risky as they may have thought it was and while this is not a scientist her game is kind of a quiet lesson in ecology at least that was Angela Twinings impression she's a lecturer at the university of Tennessee Knoxville and while reviewing the game for science magazine noticed something about how the bird cards complemented one another you kind of start off with a completely blank nature preserve and you're trying to attract the birds into your concern one at a time like you know the order actually really matters and you might get a different community depending on who gets hurt so when we spend the first bird cards you place in your nature preserve impacts other bird cards in the future and that is a real concept in ecology known as the priority a fact that states like you know the order in which you can use a ride to a new habitat can actually dictate the way that community structures itself so Elizabeth Hargrave while not an ornithologist by sticking to the facts when it came to bird behavior ended up modeling some of the inner workings of ecosystems when we spend came out last year her hope was simply to get burgers into board gaming and board gamers into burning but what I hadn't really thought about it is that there is this set of people who are already burgers and board gamers and they lost it they're not the only ones to date wingspan has sold over three hundred thousand copies for NPR news I'm Emily kwong this is NPR news morning edition goes to the source to the people affected by the news this plant could shut down and a lot of very good people could lose their jobs like this it's completely ridiculous that we should feel unsafe to go to school and I just have way you'll be told that that's what I'm no well king for stories that matter to you listen every weekday morning edition from NPR news join us for morning edition for until nine tomorrow morning on ninety point three K. U. C. U. host Lisa lady will have your updates on weather traffic beginning.

Maryland
Exploring The Canopy With 'TreeTop Barbie'

Short Wave

09:53 min | 1 year ago

Exploring The Canopy With 'TreeTop Barbie'

"Hey everybody matty Safai. Here was shortwave reporter. Emily Kwong today. We thought you might appreciate a little joy in your life especially now that's right here on short wave we want to bring you up. Does it explain what's happening with the corona virus but also episodes that feature other interesting science like this one from the very first week of shortwave. It's probably one of my favorites. Oh yeah mine too. It's got rain. Forests SLINGSHOTS A DECADE-LONG CONFLICT WITH BIG Barbie bad gets rope burn. Let's not love the rope? Burn Kwong it's clearly the roburt. These are the sacrifices you make manny right onto the show enjoy. You're listening to shortwave from. Npr One day this past summer I got to visit a rainforest. Okay that's licorice fern. That is the scientific name. Is Paula podium vulgarity? Ecologist NENAD CARNEY. This is called sledge. This is called Club Moss. It's actually very primitive Plant leaning has been studying in exploring ecosystems like this for thirty five years. Okay so that is called Bikram. That's another species of Moss. I like to call it pledging moss. Just because it's so soft and so please so much like a little pillow. Here's Flynn's this is recommend trim. There's like three four different species of MOSS RIGHT THERE. Couple other things about this rainforest. You're probably thinking rainforests so tropics now. We were in the Pacific Northwest Olympic National Forest in Washington state and it's called a temperate rainforest A. Rainforest because we get it's characterized by having a lot of rainfall there about one hundred twenty inches a brain a year. The other thing about this trip to the forest. Is that all these plants so see how soft these mosses are yes. Don't you just WanNa sleep on them? Yeah all of new weenies. Decades-long work. Okay I'M GONNA come up side by side with you. All of it is about wow sixty feet off the ground for many. This is awesome awesome. This is called the canopy pretty much everything above the forest floor all the way up to the tops of the trees. Come up with me now. Little Rope canopy. Here is a dizzying thicket of bright green leaves and Mosses and ferns all bathed in sunlight. And we knew very little about it because the canopy is literally called the last biotic frontier. It's been so poorly studied. It really aren't very many people who studied the canopy. Feel like when you say. The last biotic frontier should look off into the distance. Ready to the last biotic frontier so today on the show pioneering scientists Malini non Carney on the canopy plus a little later on in the episode weenies decades. Long fight to get more women into science. And how she found unlikely ally in Barbie. Yeah I thought it was weird too. It's not that we're the sticker up and you're listening to shortwave from NPR. Alright so let's back up down back on the ground in Olympic national forest. Malini told me that in the grand scheme of things canopy sciences. Actually PRETTY NEW. People have been studying forest for centuries but it's only been in the last twenty twenty five thirty years that people have actually climbed up into the forest canopy to understand the environment up in the tree tops. One of the hurdles for scientists was literally just figuring out how to get up to the tops of the trees so noelene a few friends figured out a way to adapt some mountain climbing techniques to get up into the canopy and that means shooting ropes into the trees. So I invented this thing called the master caster which is metal rod and we welded it so it has this little hole here for the line. Basically this master caster thing is part fishing. Rod Part slingshot. This looks like a garage sale. A fourteen year old boy's dream could both and and so with a fishing weight loaded into the slingshot. So I'm thinking right up there. Malini cast masterfully. You we set the ropes now on your weight on this got harnessed in step down and then started the long hard process of inching up the road. You're going to go into a crouch and lift your legs up. That's kind of like a caterpillar and then San exactly you. Well you know. I've got to kind of over. The course of her career researching canopies in the Pacific northwest as well as in the forest of Costa Rica. Malini has documented all kinds of things about the canopy sixty feet up this giant maple tree. She shows me one of the cooler ones. Just looking at the underside of these mosses like. There's this canopy soil Allowing Dig Samat over here. Malini peels back a thick fistful of Moss from the branch on the tree. Instead of bark we're looking at tightly packed bed of Brown dirt. I mean that has actual soil that is basically composed of the dead and decomposing. Moss's that live up here and there are like earthworms that live up. Here are a big round up exactly. It's called into canopy soil. Wow look at that. And it's a weird you know you hear smelling the soil smell. But you're you know you're up sixty feet above the forest floor. So it's it's this sort of whole world that the canopy creates they're living plants or mosses there ferns their soil and it's all kind of invertebrates that live here birds that forage for these invertebrates that live in the canopy soil. So it's like this microcosm this mini co system. That's going on kind of independent of the forest floor. But at the same time interacting the forest as a whole of course today canopies all over the world face threats from climate change from logging fire deforestation and a lot of work. Now is about trying to figure out what would happen. If we lost such a complex interconnected ecosystem. I think it's important for canopies to be as intact as possible. Because they do foster so much diversity that you can get seventy species of mosses on a single tree and each of those mosses sort of living life with its insects and invertebrates and supporting birds. And so it's just part of this sort of whole cycle of what makes a primary important. Here's another thing leany discovered when she was first getting started in canopy research. There were very few women. Scientists doing this kind of work and so she set out to change that this was. This was just a fabulous day. That happened in my lab forest. Canopy lab undergraduates worked there. My graduate students would work me and we were just kicking around by these. Look how could we make the forest canopy more meaningful to mattress other scientists but to regular people like how about young girls? They need encouragement. And somebody said. Well what about Barbie aright pause Barbie time because she was busy enough helping to basically create an entirely new field of scientific study in the early two? Thousands deleted decided. You know in her free time she would try to create market and get into the hands of little girls and boys everywhere treetop Barbie. What took iconic doll which is so symbolic of what young girls aspired to. What if we just put this shell around her? Which is a canopy biologist? So called Mattel the company that owns Barbie and then when I propose this idea they said no no no. We're not interested that has no meaning to us We make our own barbies. You know you can't do this. Forget it forget it. So that's when we said well. Why don't we just do it ourselves? And if Mattel's not going to take a couple of trips to goodwill later to get some recycled barbies with the Angela's making our top barbies. And I started bringing campy Barbie along with me and you know talking to my fellow scientists and saying look guys we not only have to do our good science we need to start encouraging people from outside science and and this is one way that we might do it trees are wonderful arenas for discovery this is Malini is two thousand nine tedtalk which by the way is a hugely nerve wracking thing for scientists. And you're hooked up to this hands-free Britney Spears Mike to give a talk. That will basically be your top. Google hit for life to stand on stage. Showing off a little plastic treetop Barbie. Should I really be spending time with this? Are PEOPLE GOING TO THINK? It's weird that me as a scientist and me as a woman scientist is a brown woman. Scientist is spending her time doing this. they're sort of risk. That goes along with that but I felt that the potential good that could come out of it of providing a real role model for a little girl. Who doesn't even know that that the canopy exists to study. You know like when I was a kid and so if that can happen then I think it's worth the risk what we do my students in my lab and is we buy barbies from goodwill and value village. We dress her enclosed that have been made by seamstresses and we send her out with a canopy handbook. And my feeling is thank you that we've taken this pop icon and we have just tweaked her a little bit to become ambassador who can carry the message that being a woman scientist studying treetops is actually a really great

Malini Barbie Scientist Emily Kwong Nenad Carney Pacific Northwest Olympic Nati Olympic National Forest Matty Safai Club Moss Moss Reporter Manny Mattel Pacific Northwest Paula Podium Google Flynn A. Rainforest Britney Spears Mike NPR
The Comeback Bird: Meet the Ko'Ko'

Short Wave

05:49 min | 1 year ago

The Comeback Bird: Meet the Ko'Ko'

"Hey everybody I have shortwave reporter. Emily Kwong in the studio with me. Hey Mattie hey you you so today we are turning a spotlight on Guam which is a US island territory in the Pacific Ocean. That's right Guam. Is An eight hour plane ride from Hawaii Wii but a quick phone call for us to reach Suzanne Medina. She's a wildlife biologist with the Guam Department of Agriculture. We spoke with her at five fifteen in the morning. Her Time Eight. I naturally get up early. I enjoy the quiet. In the morning on Guam assists a little too quiet because there are no birds that are are waking up with us. Why is it so oh quiet? I feel like it's a tropical island so it should be bustling with some birdsongs. You would think but sometime. In the Mid Twentieth Century Guam's biodiversity diversity began to take a nosedive because of one slithering stowaway. Yeah in the late. Nineteen forties the island was being rebuilt. This was after World War. Two and some military cargo ships arrived with Brown tree. Snakes on board be snakes are venomous. Prolific tree climbers and most significantly. They have no natural predators on Guam. So they're eating all kinds of stuff but nobody's really eating them. Essentially yeah the Brown tree. Snakes invaded the island gobbling up eggs and birds at a rate that was really shocking. It profoundly alter the ecosystem in Guam and the forests grew for more and more silent with every passing year because of this one snake. Yeah and biologists. They felt totally helpless because they didn't have money to bring these preyed upon John Bird populations into captivity and no one in the scientific community including fish and Wildlife Service believed that a snake or what invasive Predator could take an entire population. It had never been documented before. So that's why it wasn't until the late nineteen eighties that we were able the start to receive funding on recovering birds and by that point multiple forest dwelling bird species had disappeared. Some of them only found on Guam. They became totally extinct in the wild meaning. They aren't in nature anymore but there are a few of them in captivity. Yes and there were two species headed in that direction. The Micronesian Kingfisher Fisher which is called the Sea Hake in tomorrow the indigenous language of Guam and the Guam rail which is called the cocoa military personnel assisted in creating these human human chains to scoop up the remaining birds including twenty-one cocoa and from this founder population of captive birds almost forty years since the cocoa go vanished from the wild in Guam. There are now more cocoa in the wild then in captivity. The cocoa is back back again again. No cocoa okay. All right tell a friend today on the show. We cocoa the second bird in history that we know love to come back from extinction in the wild. How biologists did it with a little matchmaking and a lot of patients are emily? You've brought us the recovery story of the Guam rail the second bird in history to be brought back from extinction in the wild. What do they look like? Okay so Guam. Rails which are called Coco in. Guam are about a foot tall brown with a grey stripe above their eyes. And they don't fly so when Coco's were thriving in Guam rancher scattering chickenfeed would often see them Creep in out of the forest. There's wonderful stories of families leaving their doors open to their houses. which is what we do and you would find? A Family Coco in in your house. Just kind of like hanging out in there and maybe foraging in the kitchen or whatever you just have to push them out the door they slugs snails seeds flowers out there getting food they can get it. Aren't we all right and they have what's called a territorial call and it's a very long one minute Data data data data that that that the data in it just goes on and on. Suzanne Medina loves these birds. She came to Guam in nine hundred ninety seven and by that time the forest had grown pretty quiet. The trees had been a native birds weren't around to disperse their seeds in. You mean like disperse them with their poop. That's right poop doesn't and get enough credit. It's important no. It's true and in the absence of these native birds. The spiders they preyed upon totally surged. Suzanne actually carries a stick. Dick as she walks around the forest knockoff spiderweb so the forests are just all out of whack so clearly. The situation is pretty bad. How did Suzanne and her colleagues bring back Sococo well? One of their first allies in his effort. Zoos on the American mainland so in the late nineteen eighties. Zoologist at the Guam Department of Agriculture named Bob Beck championed a major recovery effort. This founding group of twenty-one Coco's that were captured were split up. Some were sent to zoos zoos including the Smithsonian Zoo here in DC that was Guam's insurance population like a bird savings account shirk. The other birds were kept in Guam to to be the production population so to be bred in captivity and eventually released but there was a big problem. What was that well? The offspring the first generation born in captivity did not want to make babies. There's a lot of aggression issues with them. Some perspective mates would actually fight each other instead. I mean captivity is pretty stressful. It's definitely not a mood setter uh-huh and these biologists did not know what to do. It's not like there's an instruction manual for raising cocoa's the birds went extinct in the wild so quickly that there was nothing known on natural history so a lot of what was done in the early years was just trial and error. Uh

Guam Guam Department Of Agriculture Mid Twentieth Century Guam Suzanne Medina Coco Emily Kwong Brown Tree United States Reporter Pacific Ocean Mattie Wildlife Service Bob Beck Sea Hake Dick Smithsonian Zoo
Food Waste + Poop = Electricity

Short Wave

09:16 min | 1 year ago

Food Waste + Poop = Electricity

"Everybody Emily Kwong here. Filling in for Mattie WHO's out training for thumb were competition today our story comes from NPR correspondent. Alison opry the. Hey there emily. Hey Alison so what you got for us. Well why don't we start with a pop quiz. What do you say? I thrive in. Quick pressure. Go on do you know how much of the food supply in the. US never makes it to our mouths. Ten percent thirty two Orley percents. Thirty to forty percents is the estimate in fact folks at the. USDA the US Department of Agriculture estimate that you could fill the Willis Tower in Chicago goes big skyscraper every year forty four times the amount of food that goes to waste that is staggering. Food waste is this huge problem and on top hopping being a massive waste when food ends up in a landfill. It rots and a lot of methane is released and methane is a greenhouse gas which is a huge contributor attributed. Climate jets right. It traps heat in the atmosphere and methane is over twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of its warming the impact in fact a recent report from the United Nations found that up to ten percent of all human made greenhouse gas emissions are actually linked to food waste. I humans we're just we're just the worst you know but we're also kind of good at coming up with solutions for Demar species. Okay sure well to solve this problem. Some farmers farmers and Massachusetts are taking all of that methane making food waste and turning it into energy actually making electricity to power nearly fifteen hundred here at homes. Wow that's pretty amazing. And to make that energy these farmers or combining that food waste with something else that can be a big source of methane especially on big big farms. I'll give you a hint. It stinks Oh cow poop. That's right and it's stored in these big pits and cow. POOP can release a a lot of methane as well. So you're saying that farmers have found a way to take to methane sources food waste and manure and turn it into energy. That's right to methane source is is one stone so today on the show we had to Massachusetts to get a closer look at how some dairy farmers are turning tons of cow. POOP and truckloads food waste into Green Energy Alison. I suspect this is going to get messy but I was thinking more like two parallel line from our colleague. Dan Charles. We're GONNA get a whiff of the future. Okay Allison before we get into how these farmers are doing this a host talk about. Why is it just about methane and the environment? Well I mean. I'm sure a lot of farmers do care about the environment but really times are tough for dairy farmers is out there. I mean many farmers are looking for ways to diversify their incomes. They've gotten very efficient at doing what they do. Producing milk perhaps to efficient. And that makes it tough have to be in business so my name is Peter Melnick and I'm a fourth generation dairy farmer in Deerfield Massachusetts. I visited Peter's farm late last year. He's one of a handful of farmers in Massachusetts converting wasted food and manure into electricity. He has essentially turned part of his family farm. Fire into this mini power plant. Well and he says they're saving about one hundred thousand dollars a year by producing energy a hundred thousand dollars a year. That's huge savings. Yeah Okay so how. How does this waste to energy process actually work so a key piece of equipment on the MELNYK farm? Is this ANAEROBIC digesters. adjuster fun name. What is an ANAEROBIC digesters? So it was basically a big sealed tank and when the food waste in the manure are put into the tank and heated. All all of this biomass is broken down. By the little organisms the bacteria and a methane bio gas is produced from this big mixture. That's right and and the digest that he has on his arm has a tank that can hold about a million gallon of what is basically a big organic waste Brownie. Yes and then as methane is released it rises to the top of a bubble shaped dome recapture the gas in that bubble and then we suck it into a generator. It's about the size of your car. And that engine run on methane instead of diesel or gasoline and that in turn is turning big generator which is then creating one megawatt. The water is one mega law a lot of electricity. Well to put this in context. This operation power is not only his farm in his home but a lot more. We only use about ten percent of what we make in the rescue. It's fed onto the grid and it's almost enough to do fifteen hundred homes. That is a huge output. Oh put energy fifteen hundred homes and you mentioned that Peter is mixing food waste in with the manure. Why is he adding food? Waste too well the more you add to the digested the more volume you have. The more electricity can make so that manure may not produce enough to make the economics of the digestive system work out you need scale right. So Peters not not only using this manure he's also processing millions of pounds of food waste from across the Boston area food that is spoiled or surplus also a lot of waste products from food production facilities around the state traditionally all this would end up in a landfill but instead it is to his farm we presently take in about a hundred hundred ton which is about three tractor trailer loads every day. WHOA that is a huge amount of food waste? I watched it. It's amazing I mean these trucks and and it's just piped in to this big hit where then ends up in the digest. Her gets waste from the local creamery. Waste from a local brewery rury local juice plant and then another big source for him is waste from whole foods. The grocery chain seventeen of their stores in Massachusetts participate dissipate There's a woman at whole foods Karen Franchet. She showed us how it all works. We do have items that we can't sal either because they're spoiled vitamins. That are bruised that we might not be able to sell so what she showed us when we visited. Is this big industrial Masher. This was at the whole foods roots in Shrewsbury Massachusetts. It basically gobbles up everything that would be wasted and you can imagine. There's everything from bones. We put fish in there. Um Vegetables You can have dry items like rice or grains so it really becomes kind of a liquefied food ways liquefied show. Yeah Okay and what happens next. Wow so the slurry is loaded into the tank of a truck. It heads to Peter's farm and then it goes right into the digest or anything anything that ends up going to landfill or incineration costs us more money. That is the most expensive way to get rid of waste on our source so this is cheaper for whole foods. That's right it is and also I should point out in Massachusetts. Grocery stores and food producers aren't allowed to send this organic waste to landfills anymore. The estate passed a law back in two thousand fourteen that restricts this it applies to all businesses the generate over a ton of organic. Waste a week. Wow so there's incentive for supermarkets like foods to participate in something like that exactly. Okay let's go back to our farm for a minute. Can any farmer get in on this. Like how did Peter get his digest her. Well here's how it works. The digesters are built and run by a company called Vanguard Renewables Vanguard pays farmers a fee for the use of their land and and also gives them free electricity to power their farms and houses. Right now there are five digesters spread out across the state the CEO. Oh of Vanguard Renewables Jon Hansen says he hopes that this whole operation expands. There's more than enough food waste in Massachusetts to feed all of our I five digesters plus many more allison. Do you get the sense that this is something that can be realistically expanded. You know I think it really depends on the right mix of policies as an incentives. That's what Massachusetts put in place. They passed the commercial food material disposal band. They had a series of grants. I mean this is a new approach so I think we'd have have to look to see. Would we have some kind of federal policy or other state policies to promote this handsome and told me he's really inspired by what's happened in Europe where he says there's more than seventeen eight thousand digesters so we saw what was happening in Europe where anaerobic digestion is extremely widespread across the United States. We don't have that incentive incentive program. We don't have the federal energy policy or any federal benefits. Fran rubel digestion. We are at the cusp. We're at the early days. We've finally got the economics onyx to work. And when I spoke to Peter Melnick about this the farmer he says he really agrees as the price of milk has really been flat. The digesters for is just been A home run for us in that sense. It's made us more sustainable environmentally but also economically as well Alison thank you so much for taking us to Massachusetts where this kind of amazing chain of suppliers and energy makers exists now. I know where to send all my extra cow manure and food waste. Oh my pleasure. It was really a great story to report.

Massachusetts Peter Melnick Alison Opry United States Emily Kwong NPR Mattie Who Europe Deerfield Massachusetts Vanguard Renewables Vanguard Melnyk Farm Usda Willis Tower Allison
A Star In Orion Is Dimming. Is It About To Explode?

Short Wave

10:16 min | 1 year ago

A Star In Orion Is Dimming. Is It About To Explode?

"One of the brightest stars in the night sky is named beetlejuice is about six hundred fifty light years away which is pretty close in outer space terms and if you've gazed eased up into the night sky and seen the Constellation Orion. You've seen beetlejuice before. So if you were to look up at it you would want to start by finding the three stars that make a nice little line that we call a Ryan's belts and then beetlejuice is as you're looking at it. The shoulder of Orion on the left. Emily Leveque is an astronomer at the University University of Washington who studies stars like beetlejuice which is known as a red supergiant supergiant because this star is enormous much bigger than our sun. If if you were to put beetlejuice where our son is it would swallow up all of the planets out past Mars and because it's so massive it means that it goes through a very different sort of life experience than our Sun will which brings us to why we're talking about beetlejuice right now. In recent weeks astronomers have noticed that beetlejuice. It's no longer appears to be one of the brightest stars. In the night sky there were sort of quick reports put out from people who monitor and observe beetlejuice very frequently. Saying you know it's getting dimmer and dimmer it's starting to get closest to the dentist we've seen there's also big dedicated networks of amateur astronomers that keep very close track of the brightness of stars like beetlejuice and they started noticing the same thing when we called Emily. She was preparing for this big astronomy conference in Hawaii Hawaii and she thought there would be a lot of buzz there about the dimming of beetlejuice beetlejuice is going to be a big topic. I'm sure especially family. She told us a Ryan is her. Favourite Constellation Constellation. But actually you don't have to be a pro astronomer to see what's happening with beetlejuice you can look for yourself at one point. beetlejuice was one of the brightest rytas stars in Orion. But now not so much so if you were to go up and look at it tonight it's dimmer than the star in Iran's right knee which is Ri- Joel and it's about equal in brightness to Ryan's other shoulder which is a star named Bella tricks so the fact that we can see with our eyes. That got noticeably dimmer really caught a lot of people's attention and then spiralled as just a wow. This is a really interesting and compelling thing changing sort of on our timescale in the night sky. So what's going on as we'll explain with help from Emily Leveque. Scientists have a few theories for why BETA disappear so dim and in the most dramatic explanation. Is that this star could be about to die. What's known as going SUPERNOVA? It would look pretty epic. I'm Emily Kwong filling informatics format today. This is short wave the daily science podcast from NPR. So here's the thing there's been quite a bit of speculation that the reason beetlejuice getting dimmer is that it's about to go Supernova. That's the big explode e end to the lifespan of a massive star and while dimming can mean that's about to happen for reasons that will get into it's not the most likely scenario for beetlejuice but first we had to clear up something with astronomer. Emily Leveque is this very cool star named after the tenth highest biased grossing film of One thousand nine hundred eighty eight. I'm pretty sure that it's the other way around. The spelling is different and sometimes here astronomers pronounce a little bit differently. Bentley will say beetlejuice instead of beetlejuice. Three times But it's actually derived from a Arabic name and there's I think some disagreement on what exactly it means but either means the arm of Orion or the hand of Orion or the hand of the hunter because the total constellation is looks like a person hunting. It's the only can I be honest. The only constellation I can ever successfully identify. Isn't that belt. It's very telling so I'll admit it's the easiest constellation and for me to identify to This is one of those. Well kept secrets of astronomy. A lot of us are embarrassingly bad at finding things in the night sky because we're used to looking at things that are so so dim that you can't see them with their own eyes and our telescopes have amazing computers. That can help us find things so we'll occasionally go out and look up and do just what a lot of people doing fine like that familiar. Little Line of three or another easy constellation to get our bearings A.. Let's talk about how astronomers such as yourself people who really study V. Stars have noticed something different about how beetlejuice looks in the night sky. How does it look different? So I will say we've been monitoring the brightness of beetlejuice for decades its and we've been measuring its brightness very frequently and we've seen its brightness change with times we've watched it get brighter and dimmer. This just caught people's attention because it was close close to the dentist that beetlejuice has ever been and what could dimming like this indicate so our guest right now is that what we're seeing is a combination of a few behaviors that we see in red super giants and that we've seen before in beetlejuice. The just happened to be coinciding. So we know that stars like beetlejuice. Have big support of boiling convective cells near their surfaces seal sort of get a bright hot spot and a slightly dimmer cool spot and it's entirely possible that this dimming is due in part to those convective cells we also know that stars like beetlejuice will actually shed off some mass from their outer layer. sobel sort popoff. The outermost layers of the star when that mass hits the Interstellar medium. It'll condense into what we call dust and dust dust in space kind of does. What does here it blocks light and gets in the way and can be a little bit of a nuisance but it would make star look a little bit dimmer if it then had a little veil of dust around it we also know that stars like this can pulse eight a little bit so their outer layers will sort of squeeze in puff out just due to instabilities in those layers and that'll also affect how bright the star looks so? I think the current guests is that we're seeing a couple different behaviors in beetlejuice. That on their own aren't too to strange. That just happened to be coinciding to make the star look especially dim so just as a thought experiment say beetlejuice is going to go Supernova. Br Nova how would we know. And what would it look like. So first of all the light that we're seeing from beetlejuice was emitted by the star about six hundred and fifty years ago. beetlejuice is a six hundred and fifty light years from Earth so when the light emerges it comes toward us as fast as it can but it's moving at the speed of light so looking at Beta Jesus a little bit like looking back in time to what the Star was actually doing six hundred and fifty years ago in terms of whether we will see beetlejuice go Supernova in our lifetimes beetlejuice and other massive stars like this kind of follow a live fast die young philosophy so they live about ten million with an m years beetlejuice in particular we know is moving into a later stage of its life because it is so big and so red but that could mean that we still have one hundred thousand years before it dies and produces a Supernova If it did though say we all went outside tomorrow and we we were seeing the light arrive from babies dying as a Supernova six hundred and fifty years minus day sometime in the Middle Ages. Let's say okay it. It would look pretty epic we have some records of other SUPERNOVA. That happened in the Milky Way and their appearance parents is incredibly dramatic. What we would see is Bagel juice getting brighter and brighter? Because we'd be seeing the incredibly bright signature of the SUPERNOVA explosion explosion. It would actually get so bright that if beetlejuice was up during the day we'd be able to see it during the daytime alongside the sun and it would last for for weeks and I think that if beetlejuice were to go supernova tomorrow and we saw it at night it would be comparable in brightness. I think to the full moon. ooh Wow we'd be able to see are shadows based on the light from the SUPERNOVA. Okay so what would it look like for beetlejuice more of a going collapsing inward on itself. I I am more of them. Exploding outward with star debris scattering across the universe. What what does it look like for Adl juice? It's a good question in it. We think that it's a bit of both both okay initial disruption comes when the core of the star collapses and depending on the type of star. And how much mass is in that core. It'll collapse into to a neutron star or a black hole after that collapse all the outer layers of the star come falling in toward the core and then bounce back off in a sort of rebound shock and that shock is what we see as a Supernova and what we would call a supernova because we see this outward blast of material you know new gas slamming into the interstellar medium and getting really bright and it looks to us like an explosion but it originally did start as a collapse. It's why I try to avoid saying that a star exploded as a SUPERNOVA. Because it's not to be the pedantic scientist it's not quite the first thing that happened in the star. But it's a bit Moroccan role as a turn of phrase. Oh yeah how would you so. This star is a part of your favorite constellation or Ryan and how would you feel if if indeed it we're we're going SUPERNOVA. I would be psyched. And I think some people expect that we would be very sad but it's a very exciting citing transition to watch and this would be one of the best studied stars we have available to US producing a Supernova. which right now is a process that we're you're still trying to understand we'd still be able to see the Supernova as it happened and then faded away these stars also leave behind what we call supernova remnants? So they're these these beautiful multicolored gas clouds that show us the dissipating material from the star. So it would be this amazing font of data and new ways to understand stars so I think it would be incredibly exciting.

Beetlejuice Emily Leveque Ryan Orion V. Stars Emily Kwong University University Of Washi Hawaii Hawaii United States Scientist NPR RI Bentley Iran Bella Joel Middle Ages
A Shortwave Christmas Carol

Short Wave

09:08 min | 2 years ago

A Shortwave Christmas Carol

"Hello anybody there so matty. Yes ma'am last week Brit and I connected to a radio station she's visa. I am radio in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania have a conversation with space physicist and electrical engineer Nathaniel result. Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be here and in two two thousand fourteen. His research took him to Antarctica cool. Yeah home to the South Pole and hub of scientific activity with research stations and field camps spread across the continent. New Zealand has a station down there. Several European countries due to scientists are asking questions. You can only answer in Arca and the Southern Ocean this time of year about wildlife wildlife like penguins. Yeah sure like penguins microbiology. tectonics the northern lights. Daniel was down there to look at the earth's magnetic field and polar regions. I picture this whole space. Mattie like science summer camp but spread across a desolate icebound landscape. What a dream? Yeah you're kind kind of summer camp and these people. They're far from home. which can be really tough? During the holidays so nathaniel when he was down there took part in a musical tradition tradition. That cues up every year on this day December. Twenty four South Pole station. We're ready and standing by thinks the Antarctic a Christmas carol basically the different stations in Antarctica. Sing to each other over shortwave radio. Oh my God this is legitimately the cutest thing you're seeing over the radio Transmission was from the Amundsen Scott South Pole station ahmanson shadow yacht ought. Here's a Christmas Carol from the Italian station. Mario's a Kelly singing an Italian Christmas Carol. I really liked service. I firmly believe this cute Nathaniel would have to agree with you and it's a beautiful thing and you know the different stations and people they have to have to watch out for each other because it's it's difficult environment down there and annual listening at McMurdo Station in a Blue Penguin Hoodie. Sure I'll add wondered if this caroline could be heard beyond Antarctica by shortwave listeners. And other parts of the world he wanted to know how far can these transmissions Israeli travel so how far away were people able to listen well. Before the Caroline Begin thin you'll put out an alert to shortwave radio listener saying hey if you I can hear this email us a lot of snow and people did. They were able to tune in. He got emails from the Netherlands. South America places far away from Antarctica. Some people were able to catch snippets of this singing at the bottom of the world so today. On the show shortwave. podcasts looks at shortwave radio how it works how it travels. And how anything of result is leveraging. A community of shortwave radio listeners for science. Emily Kwong are short. We've expert is nathaniel. Yes he's an assistant professor of physics and Engineering at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. Okay so obviously I know shortwave the charming daily science podcast. But tell me about shortwave. As in shortwave radio so since since the nineteen hundreds we've been using radio waves to communicate. The waves are all different sizes the lower the wave's frequency the longer the wavelength one. Of the unique characteristics. Of shortwave shortwave. Radio is that it can travel. The radio. Waves can travel long distances very long distances around the world because there are three to thirty megahertz hurts in frequency they travel through space to this electrically charged part of our atmosphere called the ionosphere and are reflected or refracted back down to Earth. If we didn't did not have the atmosphere these shortwave signals would travel off into space and not be able to travel around the globe but luckily for us. They can travel around the globe. They they propagate far distances and those with receivers on earth are able to listen. Nathaniel loves shortwave. Because you don't need a lot of equipment to send and capture one of these transmissions oh it can be incredibly simple. You need a transmitter on one side and a receiver on the other and a decent antenna and when I say A transmitter there. There are some people who they make their goal to talk as far around the world is possible with that as little as equipment as possible as low power as possible so maybe using a quarter of a awas and ten dollars worth of parts people are able to send signals that. Get the go all the way around the globe. This is the ultimate Lo fi form of communication gathering. Yeah and that communication could be anything broadcast propaganda spice stations emergency information weather reports rag chewing which is a term mm to describe people just talking about their daily life so radio twitter. Yeah the transmission just has to fall within the right frequency range to count ashore wave and there's an international community of hobby radio operators who seek out a special license from their respective governments to do this. That's called Ham Radio Ham. Yeah that's the hobby Of using this radio so nathaniel discovered that community on a boy Scout Jamboree Ham radio operator had set up a station in the middle of the woods and just turned all his crackling and buzzing sounds coming out of a radio and I heard him talking to these faraway places and and that was just really fascinating fascinating to me and he was hooked got his license in Nineteen Ninety Eight. Just a teenager transmitting to whoever's listening in the northern New Jersey New York metropolitan area area so just pure bruce springsteen propaganda it was mostly just his call son and seventy three. This is W. Two and AF whiskey to November Alpha Foxtrot threaten seventy-three means best regards. It's a pretty common ham. Radio sign off eventually he upgraded to a better transmitter through a wire out the window of his bedroom and attached hatched tree in his front yard and he managed to get a hold of a station in Hungary and it was just a very short contact. But you know that was pretty neat you just throw a wire out your window. And you're able to talk to guy in Hungary and and it worked in these moments stayed with him propelling his scientific methodology and his his career cool. Okay so tell me a little bit about that. How his nathaniel used shortwave for science in a lot of interesting ways because disturbances happening in the ionosphere on a sphere space weather solar wind conditions? All of that would affect radio waves so in Grad school he was able to show how a solar flare caused aradio blackout so cool. Yeah and during the big two thousand seventeen solar eclipse which I missed because it was cloudy. Tragedy so sad but Nathaniel hosted a community science experiment through his group Ham side. The group measured how the eclipse affected the transmission of medium and high frequency radio waves. And the way he's using radio for scientific inquiry is so innovative that this year the National Science Foundation awarded him a one point. Three million dollar grant deign to do what well he wants to bring. Universities and this network of Ham radio operators together to track. What's going on in the ionosphere where short waves propagate in a more day to day way which we we don't really do right now? No not really. We don't really understand what happens on short timescales like why is the fear doing this in New York City but doing doing something else in Pennsylvania overhead and Pennsylvania and. Why is that important to understand the ionosphere to that level of detail? Well we as a planet Senate are really dependent on things happening in space and disturbances in the ionosphere do affect communication satellites global positioning systems. which are used to land planes all these tools? We rely on to keep us safe and connected and so it's very important to try to understand how everything is is is connected together in order to make this systems more robust and and in order to make them work. And in order to you know transmit Christmas carols around the world essential I think a lot of Ham radio for me has always been about connecting people from different parts of the world together. And and you know if you if you even look at like why Ham radio exists if you actually look in the the laws I believe. It says that it's for international goodwill and It's important to try and promote this international goodwill kwon. Do you think our podcast connects people all around the world. I mean we don't have three million listeners. That's how how many people listen to him radio now yet. Not with that attitude okay. I know world domination is your project but I will say I got into radio because I enjoyed tuning in and not knowing what I was going to hear our podcast definitely. Does that help so I think so so from our team to whoever is out there listening in in the world happy holidays. Happy Holidays

Nathaniel Pennsylvania Antarctica Amundsen Scott South Pole Stat South Pole Station South Pole New Zealand Assistant Professor Of Physics Italian Station South America Pittsburgh Southern Ocean Hungary Mcmurdo Station University Of Scranton National Science Foundation Mattie Daniel
"emily kwong" Discussed on KCRW

KCRW

02:15 min | 2 years ago

"emily kwong" Discussed on KCRW

"Not that dropped the school from its number two spot this year to the notorious designation of on ranked for case your W. I'm Kaylee wells someone California weather will have lots of sunshine today and tomorrow after the low clouds and fog burn off it will be mostly clear this evening then areas of low clouds and fog overnight ice today from the lower to mid seventies at the beaches to the low to mid eighties island overnight lows in the low to mid sixties and highs tomorrow from the upper sixties to mid seventies at the beach is low to mid eighties inland right now it's cloudy in sixteen Santa Barbara clear in eighty eight in palm springs clear seventy three in Palmdale is clowning sixty five in downtown Los Angeles you're listening to morning edition the time is four fifty one it's morning edition from NPR news I'm Rachel Martin and I'm Steve Inskeep good morning Mongolia is undergoing a dramatic change and some of the changes driven by extreme weather the country's talked between China and Russia it is a largely rural nation and in Mongolia harsh winter storms combined with a decade of drought of forced tens of thousands of herders to abandon their livelihoods NPR's above the fray fellow Emily kwong begins a three part series on Mongolia's changing environment in the grasslands step with a natural disaster the steps of Mongolia are a vast yellow green grass and home to millions of grazing animals but nineteen years ago modeling herder we attend gone check saw very different scene he rose at first light to check on his animals after a harsh winter storm did you attend a well to do it everything was covered by white snow there was no way to distinguish the sheep trails of it would do this as often as my finger and everywhere there were corpses of dead animals the herder lost his entire livelihood to a phenomenon Mongolians called so it still DZ beauties so it is a winter so harsh that animals die in mass and it's often linked to drought in the summer when grasses dry animals Griffin if the winters harsh in anyway they don't make it the hotels.

Kaylee wells Palmdale Los Angeles Rachel Martin Mongolia China Russia California NPR Steve Inskeep Emily kwong nineteen years