26 Burst results for "Mattie Safai"
The CDC Doesn't Know Enough About Coronavirus In Tribal Nations
"In August more than five months into the pandemic Jordan. Bennett. was about to see some data she'd waiting for for a long time. Yeah. No a truly I was really excited because there hasn't been any data on American Indians or Alaska natives since the start of the pandemic from the CDC that's right. Until last month while universities had released a good bit of data about Covid and its effect on some. Native, American and Alaskan natives. The CDC really hadn't Jordan would know she's a reporter and editor with the Public Media News organization Indian country today she's also a citizen of the Navajo nation and she's been covering the pandemic since the beginning as well as a twenty twenty census and all of Indian, country no big deal just all of Indian country Yeah. The whole. That data that she'd been waiting to? was released by the government as part of a weekly CDC report in mid August the title of the top red. COVID nineteen among American Indian and Alaska Native Persons in twenty three states and when i read it, it was Kinda already something that I knew and a lot of native public health experts already knew and what I was really looking for is you know what is new that they gave to us the report said because of existing inequities, native Americans and Alaskan natives are three point five times more likely to get the corona virus than white people but anyone who'd been looking at tribal nations as closely as Jordan had could have told you that they were. Being hit especially hard for example, at one point earlier this year, the Navajo nation, which spans parts of Arizona New Mexico and Utah The nation's now reporting nearly four thousand in nineteen cases in a population of one hundred, seventy, five thousand had an infection rate greater the New York State. Eight PM curfews on weekdays and on weekends a fifty seven hour lockdown, not even the gas stations are open. That was just one tribal nation that got a lot of attention. Many others had infection rates that were also higher than the hard hit states in the northeast like the Colorado River Indian tribes in Arizona and California the Yakima in Washington state or the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona. And data from the states where many of those reservations are located weren't included in the CDC report, which gets it a larger problem. If there's data had you know where the impact is, how do you know where you could send testing to where there's a lack testing? You have to have that data in order to create policies into also figured out how to distribute vaccines. This episode was the CDC does and doesn't know about Covid in native American and Alaskan. Native tribal nations and how Jordan is working to get more data to the people who need it most I mattie Safai and you're listening to shortwave from NPR. This report from the CDC which linked to in our episode notes does say two important things. The fact that native Americans and Alaskan natives are more likely to get the virus. That's one. The second thing is that compared to white people young folks in those communities people under eighteen tested positive at higher rates. When it comes to these findings, the CDC did make one thing clear. Here's one of the researchers on the study, Sarah Hatcher it really important that the. This disproportionate impact. Likely driven by versus stinks social and economic inequity not because of some biological or genetic. Persisting social and economic inequities we're talking about access to healthy food housing income levels, stuff like that. Here's Jordan again the and other just like public health infrastructure or in like the lack of investment in the public health infrastructures in native communities and you have over credit households, anders a number of inequities that this pandemic is bringing out. More on that in a bit. But first Jordan says that the CDC report is notable for what it does not include this report did leave out tons of cases right now it only looked at twenty three states and it didn't include Arizona. Is One of the hot spots in Indian country. And they account for at least a third of all the cove nineteen cases according to the report. They also left out states like Oklahoma Washington. California Colorado thousands and thousands of cases. And researchers from the CDC were up front about leaving all that data out. Here's Sara Hatcher. Again, our announcement is really not generalize beyond those twenty three state overall. And we're not really able to speculate whether we expect the overall rate to be higher or lower we. The reason some states got left out was because the they recorded about race and ethnicity including that for native, American, and Alaskan Native Cova Cases was incomplete and that was really at least surprising to me because. I like how can you not capture this data right here you have Arizona where you know again, the Salt River Pima, Maricopa Indian community Healer River, ending community, White Mountain Apache their cases are thousands You had the tone, nation and Navajo Nation and the possibly Yawkey tribe. There's just thousands of cases in this one St. So many gaps like in this data as well. I think just points to how the CDC doesn't really know tribal communities and know that Indian health system and how it's built instead up. So, let's talk about that. Now. It's much more complicated than this. But basically, when tribal nation signed treaties giving up their land, the federal government promised to provide them with healthcare and set up the Indian Health Service, a government funded network of hospitals and clinics. To deliver adequate healthcare to tribal nations but that's not what's happening right now and what the pandemic is very much highlighting. For years the IHS has been way underfunded per person the federal government spends about half the amount of money on the IHS. Medicaid. And that's part of the reason a lot of tribes over time have step to establish their own privately run tribal health clinics. So throw history. They all IHS. But then tribes wanted to you know take hold and own and operate their own healthcare. So that's how these tribal health clinics came about. At this point, the large majority of healthcare facilities are operated by tribes about eighty percent in those facilities are encouraged but not required to share data that they collect on the virus but Jordan says, that's something a lot of them do not want to do not with the federal government or even with reporters like her even now as a Navajo WOM-. In as a Navajo reporter, it's also difficult for me to try to get the data. Because then I understand that like I grew up around my background is in health and so I I know you know it's because of settler colonialism but also research to a lot of times and medical research you have researchers going in parachuting in parachuting out and they don't give back that data it at least from everything that I've seen the past several months trust is like the main factor in this That's one thing trust. There's also the reality that doctors can get race or ethnicity wrong in California where it's pretty prevalent from what sources tell me some doctors will just check a box on native people because of their surname, their surnames, more likely to be coming from like a Hispanic or line next or origin like Dominguez or Garcia or you know today's assumed there Um Latin x but they're not, and if those people wind up dying that seem incorrect data can wind up on their death certificate right? You don't know what's going on or the pact of the pandemic if you don't have that data if you don't know what the person died from. How are you going to prevent it and prevent more from dying from it? These factors lack of trust underfunded public health infrastructure, racial classification all add up to a picture of the pandemic that isn't complete. For example, there's an alarming lack of covid hospitalizations data for native American or Alaskan native folks stuff like if somebody was admitted to the hospital, the ICU or even died compared to white people, CDC only has about a third of that information for Alaskan natives and native Americans and I think that's just again it just goes back to how well you know the state health department or even like the CDC or the public health experts they're not these tribal communities
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"So, , before we get into it, , we need to talk about something that will definitely play a role in the end of the universe dark energy. . See Our universe is expanding spread on out and that expansion is speeding up. . I think that's due to something called dark energy but they don't really know what dark energy is and there's nothing in normal physics that will do that like regular matter won't do that. You . know it has to be something weird and whatever it is we call it dark energy but we do not know what dark energy is made of. . We don't know how it got here. . You know why it exists <hes> it might be just a property of space something called the cosmological constant that space just has this kind of inherent stretching in it, , but it may be something different changes over time and could. . Get a very extreme. . Far. . Future. . The big rip. . So depending dark energy is really kind of dictates potentially end of the universe. . So I see what how long do you think that'll take you figure out? Katie ? like ten or fifteen years. . I'm personally not working on dark energy. . Partially passing the Buck Katie really. . It's a very hard thing to study. Okay. . . Because it does is make the universe expand faster. . Okay. . Okay. . So Are you ready to start talking about the end of the universe different scenarios as you will. . All right. . So let's start with heat death. . Our Universe is expanding in that expansion is accelerating due to dark energy in in the heat death scenario our universe kind of continues to expand and expand and expand, , right? ? Yeah. . Yeah. . What happens is that everything is farther apart from everything else you have fewer of these galaxy interactions, , you make fewer stars and eventually each galaxy gets more and more isolated. . So we will get to appoint. . An emily about one hundred, , billion years we will get to this point where we can't see other galaxies in the sky anymore <hes> because they'll be so far away their light will be stretched out so much that we won't be able to see them. . and. . So the universal just get a lot darker than our own. . The stars in our galaxy will be dying out. So . our galaxy will fade away and then. . Even, , black holes will start to evaporate because that's something that can happen to a black hole is that it can lose its mass through this process called Hawking evaporation. . So black holes will start disappearing and then matter decays and then eventually you end up with the universe that's just cold dark empty, , and all left is kind of a trace amount of waste heat from the processes of the universe that's called the heat death called dark empty. . That's actually just sounds right into but really like that is considered to be one of the more likely and yeah that's kind of what happens if you if you just extrapolate from what we know about the universe's evolution today and assume that dark energy is this cosmological constant this just property of space that it has this expansion built in it takes a ridiculous number of trillions and trillions of years, , but you end up with a basically an empty universe. . Yeah. . All right. . So If dark energy acts a little differently than we potentially get to a different and game the big rip right you describe it. . As an unraveling and this happens considerably faster than heat death, , right? ? Yeah. Yeah. . . So the idea behind the big rip is if dark energy is something else if it's if it's a particular kind of stuff, , we call Phantom dark energy where instead of just being property of space that actually is something that grows in intensity overtime something that there's more and more of it you know in each little space of of space overtime then it can be something that doesn't just move galaxies apart from each other and isolate them but actually tears the galaxies themselves apart. . So what it would do is it would pull the stars away from our galaxy. . So we'd see the Milky Way kind of. . Dissipating, , and then it would pull planets away from their stars and then it would start to actually rip apart stars and planets and thin atoms and molecules, , and eventually rip apart space
What 'Arrival' Gets Right — and Wrong — About Linguistics
"Jessica con was a teenager when she first learned that linguistics is a thing. She stumbled upon story of Your Life, a science fiction novella by Ted Chiang. It's all about linguist- trying to figure out how to communicate with well aliens I. Think it was actually probably the first time I heard about the field of linguistics. And then I started college the year I saw an introduction to linguistics curson signed up for it. These days Jessica's field linguist at McGill University in particular I work on. Syntax. Basically the way words combine to make sentences in a few years ago. She got an email to be a consultant on a movie, a movie that was coincidentally based on the exact novella she read as a teenager. I'm not trying to draw any connections that aren't there, but you read about linguistics for the first time in a book that became a movie that you became the the person they consulted with. It's amazing right? It's pretty wild I mean when I first got the email that asks me to work on this film I was really ready to push spam because it sounded very strange and then at some point I saw the story of your life and I wait a minute I haven't thought about that in years and then I responded That Film Twenty Sixteen Sifi hit a rival. So real quick. In case you haven't seen it. Here's the gist. This is Davy arrived. All of a sudden twelve spaceships land all over earth trouble saying. And we don't know why they're not doing anything after landing there. Still no signs of first contact or just the sitting there are at least and so governments around the world are panicking trying to figure out why are these alien spaceship sitting here and different teams are going into try to understand why they're here what they want. And we are following one of these spaceships that I think is somewhere in Wyoming and the. Amy Adams who is a linguist? Production. And her job is to decipher the alien language and figuring out what they want. So today in the show another installment of the Shortwave Science Movie Club what the movie arrival got wrong about linguistics what it got. and. Whether or not Field Linguists Jessica coon has actually communicated with aliens. Honestly it's a tossup. I mattie Safai you're listening to shortwave NPR's Daily Science podcast. So Jessica you were the linguist who consulted on the movie arrival. So give me a big picture sense of what that means like. What did they actually have you do? Yeah. So the first thing I did was I got to read drafts of the screenplay which was really fun because it's a very common thing to do and academia we read things and we give feedback on them but usually not this fund of a scale committee meeting ever exactly yeah. It was very funds so I got to read the screenplay and they especially wanted. Feedback on how linguistics and linguists were represented in the film. So there were lots of places where I gave feedback and they incorporated it into the film. There were other places where they would say, okay just, Kinda yes. Yes. Thanks for your help but really in the end linguists are not Hollywood's primary audience and we're not going to get everything right here and now linguists just get to join like all the other fields of people who get really annoyed when science misrepresented onscreen. So welcome to the club. Sorry, we're not GONNA change that. The movie makers also put Jessica through some exercises, basically giving her a whiteboard and asking her would you do if aliens showed up and those exercises actually informed one of the most famous scenes in the movie when the main character we spanks played by Amy Adams. Schools the guy in charge of the mission about the fundamentals of linguistics. He asks her for a list of vocab words. Essentially, the keywords she was planning on teaching the aliens, that day. Cavaliers responding. Lock. help you understand. So Amy. Adams walks over to the whiteboard and scribbles what is your purpose on earth? This is where you want to get to. The question. Okay. So first, we need to make sure that they understand what a questions. The nature of A. Request for information along with the response then. We need to clarify the difference between a specific you. And a collective you because we don't want to know why Joe Alien is here we want to know why they all landed. In purpose requires an understanding of intent we need to find out. Do they make conscious choices or is their motivation? So instinctive that they don't understand a why question at all and and biggest of all, we need to have enough vocabulary with them that we understand their answer. I love that scene Yes that is one of the great triumphs of of linguistics in the film. I mean this was. So this was one of the most interesting parts of the movie for me because I'm you know this idea of building a base for understanding of a new language is like really interesting and and like the first steps in trying to communicate, which is you know like your thing right? So but it's something that I think we. Just, don't think about into see it in kind of in practice was so fascinating and I'm glad to hear it was like pretty well done your eyes question Mark Yeah I. Think I. Think it was really well done. I. Mean I think one thing that is really neat about this movie and what makes it such? You know interesting and intellectual Sifi is. They're not just typical humanoid creatures. We don't already have some kind of magical universal translator in place, and so we have to figure out how how do they even communicate and will we be able to communicate with them given how advanced they are that they've made these spaceships have arrived on earth I, think it's safe to assume that they have some advanced form of. Communication and that that form of communication should have patterns in it that we could eventually decipher. But thinking about you know, is it audible or is it written or could creatures communicate with smells or we just have no idea what could be out there if it's audible is in a sound frequency that human
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"The case that a mass can protect the person wearing it is laid out by scientists in a new paper coming out soon in the Journal of General, Internal Medicine Catherine Wu wrote about that paper which ties together three different concepts about viruses and how they work. The first is the idea of viral dose. That's kind of the amount of virus that is hitting your face parts and the amount of virus that you're exposed to. The second concept is viral load, basically the amount of virus that has. has set up shop in your body after you get infected, exactly. The third idea which is not new to scientists who studied viruses by the way is that cutting back on the viral dose might mean that even if you get the corona virus, your immune system will react in such a way that you won't get as sick. This idea that you can <hes> encounter a tiny little bit virus and your immune system's going to have just a way easier time wrangling those kind of few invaders. and. So it's less likely that your body's going to struggle to control the infection and less likely that you're gonNA get really really sick again, not a new concept for scientists. But what is new is the corona virus itself. Remember how we all called it novel for those first few months, scientists had never seen this corona virus before. So saying masks might protect the wearer doesn't mean that scientists are just changing their mind. As Catherine and I talked about, it means that each day they're learning more and more about the virus, but things like viral dose in viral load a really hard to study. Yeah. Absolutely, and this this research is fascinating. I think the trick here is we have so much data that seems like it could support this idea. But a lot of it is totally observational people are looking at how much virus do you have when your symptoms start <hes>? When is the easiest time to test someone, but the kind of gold standard experiment that people have done in the past with humans with you know, maybe kind of shady ethics and are now trying to do with a bunch of animal models is. Is. You actually have to give a living creature different doses of virus and see what actually happens to that animal or human, which is really hard to do. Yeah. And like you know we, we know a little bit about the flu because there are actual studies in which they gave people, certain amounts of these doses. But for Corona virus because we don't understand the complications we are you know in, it's because it's such a deadly disease. We really can't do that and and people are really not comfortable doing that. So we do have some studies in animals and one of the pieces that you talked about in your piece was the study out of China, where researchers studied this idea using hamsters. Yeah I thought, this was actually a really cool study <hes>. These researchers basically put hamsters in adjacent cages, <hes>. Some of them had the corona virus, so they were infected. In, one cage and then they were separated from their neighbors <hes>, and some of the cages had these little partitions between the mink made out of surgical masks. So the researchers did not put masks on the hamsters. hamsters don't usually take kindly to that sort of thing, but it seems like they did kind of the next best thing and it turned out that the hamsters that were separated from their. Their neighbours by these surgical mask partitions were a lot less likely to get infected with the coronavirus in the first place and the hamsters that still ended up getting infected with the virus. They have less signs of illness than their neighbors that weren't separated by these masks, and there's like a little bit of nuance here Catherine. Right, which is that if the masks had just prevented some animals from getting. Getting, sick at all. You would say like this makes sense to us. Maybe there weren't enough particles to get the little hamster sick. But in fact, they did get sick. They just got less sick, which is kind of a piece of evidence for this idea of the dose makes the poison right I think that makes a lot of sense I. Mean. It's it is a little bit tough because I? I don't think it's as clear cut as to say like Oh, if I get ten viral particles on my face, I'm not GONNA get sick. But if I get fifteen I'm going to get a little bit sick and then if I get twenty I'm going to get super sick no one knows those numbers yet and those are absurdly numbers so feel free to ask yeah. Those are measles numbers Catholic. Keep going. Yeah. But like those are not clear cut and honestly what numbers hold true for me are probably not GonNa hold true for you. It's super complicated I think what researchers are trying to get at here are super broad trends at a population level. Yeah. Yeah. Because whether or not one. person has more severe symptoms to the other could be based on a lot of different things because the immune system is endlessly complicated as we talked about the last time you were on the show. Absolutely, and so there's also these observational studies, right. So these are not scientific experiments that are being done, but these are people trying to kind of look at these huge data sets we have and see, okay, here are a couple of different variables what could they be and so there are some that are around this idea of infectious does I mean you described? Described the situation in seafood plant in Oregon. What happened there? Catherine? Yeah. So <hes> during these really really big scale out breath that were happening at like meat processing plants and other food processing plants. A lot of employers wised up pretty quickly to this idea that these like very crowded insular environments are pretty high risk for spread and so they started giving out. Masks to all their employees so that they could work with some degree of protection there did end up being an outbreak at the seafood plant in Oregon, but more than ninety percent of the people who tested positive for the virus didn't end up having symptoms, which is pretty extraordinary. Considering that the CDC is still trying to really nail down this number, but they've put out some recent tentative. That maybe about forty percent of the infections that we know about our domestic as a huge difference between forty percent and ninety plus percent. Yeah. Definitely. Definitely. In the other thing, you know the other piece of data that again is very core live and we're not. We're still working to understand this is that you pointed out that more mask wearing in the US has coincided with. Fewer deaths and at the of the pandemic, although that's a very complicated thing to prove, right? Yeah. That is I i. think that's something people have been talking about a little bit over the past few months. There's a lot of factors that could go into this. You know we're much better at treating this virus, and there's some evidence to show that the average age of the person has gone down and we know older people are more susceptible to really severe covid nineteen. But. So many more people are also wearing masks now, and it's certainly possible that people are getting smaller doses of this virus on average, and maybe that's contributing to fewer symptoms and less severe disease, and thus peer depths, and we should probably say Catherine that the type of covering you're wearing matters, right. The type of mask that you're wearing does matter in how much protection you have. Absolutely. That's a really good point. A lot of researchers have said, you know you want to choose something. That's got a couple of layers to it. You want to have it. Fairly tight over your mouth and your nose is okay. That's a little loose fitting. We don't WanNA, make it really uncomfortable for you, but you want it to sort of seal off your mouth and your nose which means covering. All of those holes in front of your face. And when you actually put it on and take it off, try not to touch the front of it because that's where all the stuff that you're trying to keep out of your nose and mouth has probably accumulated and said, grab those ear straps or whatever is keeping it on your face. Yeah. Absolutely, and you, Catherine I do think there's a bigger threat here. <HES> I. Want to ask you because you're a scientist turned journalist just like me and it's you know about how science is done and interpreted in a pandemic. Sciences. So much of not knowing what's going on and learning little pieces at a time and going back and forth on an issue before you arrive at a conclusion is actually very very common. I. Mean it is my <hes> I. Mean I don't know Catherine. That's how it was aggressip school for me <hes>, and so this idea that like because you know people don't know what they're talking about with masks or you know like the CDC's changing up their guidance like it under, you know it's frustrating, but it's also how it works. You know what I mean. Yeah. Absolutely I? Think the most humbling thing I had to go through in the process of becoming scientists was just getting more comfortable with being wrong all the time and then talking about. Run all the time because I think if if I. Didn't feel empowered enough to talk about my mistakes with other scientists who could. Broaden perspectives. I wouldn't have ended up learning anything, but you know to kind of flip it on its head I. Think it's just been incredibly humbling an incredible to watch how the scientific community has come together. Science is often so plotting and tough, and sometimes it paper will be published and then eight years later, data will come out that'll show. The stories a little bit different here. A lot of that timeline has been collapsed into just a couple months for this pandemic and people are coming together from around the world to learn
How Gene Therapy Helped Conner Run
"Mattie. SAFAI NPR science correspondent. John Hamilton Hi John Hi Mary so John, where would you like to begin I? Think we should start with the scientist. Okay. Let's do it. Okay. So obviously many many scientists have worked to understand this disorder. But today we're gonNA focus on Jude Samal ski back in Nineteen eighty-four and I'll ski was still a graduate student at the University of Florida and he was part of this team that cloned a virus called A V. and those are group of viruses that can infect people but they don't cause diseases. Yeah. I remember I learning about this in Grad School John that discovery was a big deal because basically we can turn these viruses in tools and and that's because viruses on their own are pros at getting into ourselves and getting up close and personal with our DNA, which is exactly where you need to get to treat a lot of genetic disorders at. Their source exactly, and he was one of the scientists who figure that out. So as you these viruses have just revolutionized gene therapy right and after some Oh ski and his team Clone Davie, they wanted to try to use the virus to treat descend muscular dystrophy. That's the genetic disorder you were talking about earlier. Got It. So a lot of these therapies work by kind of targeting gene or genes that are the root of a disorder. So what's The deal with to Sheng muscular dystrophy John Kids who have Sharon. Lack a functional version of gene called D. M. D., and this gene makes a protein called destroyed often that helps muscles stay healthy. Got It. Okay. The idea is if the problem is that someone lack a working gene, you could just give them a working copy of that gene and what's the most wanted to do was packed some of the genetic code from a disrobing gene inside. Right and then once the virus got into the body, it would infect muscle cells, and then that faulty code is replaced with a functional version. Right? smokey says a Aviv, this harmless virus would work. Station service it's a molecular Fedex truck. Carries a genetic payload and it's delivering to its target right but it turns out bring a gene is a little bit harder. Then delivering a package and destroyed gene is especially challenging. One reason is it's is the a the virus are Fedex truck is incredibly tiny even among viruses. It's so small. You need an electron microscope just to see it, and then you have the destroyed gene, which is huge. It's the largest known human gene it contains about five. Hundred Times more genetic code than a so fitting that specific gene into that specific virus would be like trying to get a football stadium into a fedex truck something like that. Yeah, and most he has some other challenges to One is that do sheng affects billions of muscle cells all over the body. So this a delivery truck would have to be programmed to find all of these cells recognize them, and then infect them with this new genetic code. Yeah and some spent fifteen years tackling these challenges he was going along you is making progress he said, but it was coming one small step at a time. This is very challenging. It was mount ever said the gene therapy community in each one of these steps was setting up base camp, but then in nineteen, ninety, nine so mulcahy's work for that matter all gene therapy research pretty much came to a stop. The reason was that a teenager named Jesse. Gelsinger had died in the gene therapy experiment, right? I. Mean I. Remember Learning about that in graduate school in genetics. It was horrible. It was really sad the experiment he was part of had nothing to do with muscular dystrophy or the virus nothing to do with some all skis work, but it didn't matter right gene therapy trials were postponed or abandoned investors disappeared and so did research funding it stopped everything everyone got supercautious everyone except the muscular dystrophy association. The Jerry Lewis Telethon people they continue to push for the advancement of gene
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"Okay. Yeah. So I thought the photoreceptors in the general thing was pretty cool. But then on, explain to me what she does with butterflies in her lab at UC Irvine. Gosh is so fun to train. Butterflies is so cool to learn more about how butterflies seat Color Adriana trains them to fly towards. Let's say a certain type of Red Light. What we do is we train them to associate a colored light of a particular wave league with something. They really want butterflies always want nectar. And so we feed them by just placing them on the colored light I'm rolling for bosses letting them SIP. I, mean if the biggest question of Your Butterfly Day is who's going to unroll your purpose sticky next to a yummy pile of laboratory grade nectar. That's pretty good. Right, and after about a week, Adriana introduces a second colored light one, they haven't been trained to attacked. You give him the choice, and if they correctly choose the train collar, you know that they can distinguish between those two lights. Now, there's a little twisted us, which is that you have to test them over a series of relative brightness of two lights because. Some insects are positively or tactic meeting that they love flying toward. <hes>. Aside from Understanding Butterfly Vision better. What kind of light and colors butterflies see could help us better understand how not to interfere with their environment. If we want to design buildings and unnatural objects that are sustainable dome inversely affect our animal and insect populations, we need to know something about what their sensory world is like. So. We mentioned that China has to make sure that the little butterfly isn't just flying towards the brightest light in her experiments. A lot of insects do that, and that's because scientists think it's part of a survival strategy. You can imagine that if you're a butterfly lie in forest under the canopy. It's a little bit darker under the canopy. Then if you're flying above the treetops <hes> and butterflies are constantly trying to avoid being eaten by lizards and birds, and one of the things that they do is they an escape response, which is to fly towards the Brightness Patch of light. They can find in their visual field. Yeah, and that's often a gap in the canopy. On, the subject of flying, it's actually something. Butterflies can't always do at the drop of a hat. They need to be warm to fly, but they're cold. So Adriana says, if you've ever seen a butterfly hanging out slowly opening and closing its wings that's called basking. They can open their wings. The wings pick up some like that hopes. Up Right, but they also have to be very careful. Opening their wings is really because it also means that usually they're more powerful parts are now visible to potential
Fat Phobia and It's Racist Past and Present
"As a teen Sabrina strings loved getting to hang out with her grandma even when her grandma was obsessing over one of her soap operas I remember one time. She called me into the living room and she's like Sabrina look at Victoria. McCoy's kept on young and the restless. Victoria is killing herself to him. Why are white women dying to be thin? Fast forward to one three adult Sabrina was working at an HIV medication adherence clinic in San, Francisco, where she witnessed real life, examples of women sacrificing their health to be thin nights, spoken to a couple of women both HIV positive who refused to take their HIV medications for fear of gaining weight, and that blew my mind, and immediately took me back to conversations I've been having with my grandma like gosh onto something so important you know when she was talking about it, she saw it as largely a white phenomenon, but the women I interviewed that day. We're both color. Why were these women dying to be thin and did race have anything to do with? Him. Sabrina went on to become a sociologist at the University of California Irvine and wrote a whole book investigating these questions. If you're like me, you might have assumed that. There was some moment in between Marilyn Monroe. TWIGGY EH in which. Suddenly we'll. We suddenly became fat-phobic in those three years, but Sabrina started digging looking at nineteenth century magazines like Harper's bazaar in what she found was troubling articles warning American women well middle class and upper class white women. They needed to watch what they eat, and they were unapologetic, and stating that this was the proper form for. Jackson Protestant women, and so it was important that women eight as little as necessary in order to show their Christian nature and also their racial superiority. Today on the show we go all the way back to the transatlantic slave trade to understand the racial origins of fat phobia, and how black people are still dealing with the consequences today? I mattie Safai and this is shortwave the daily science podcast from NPR. So Sabrina. Let's let's get into what you discovered about the history of fat phobia a little bit you. You did a ton of research and you started the story several centuries back in Europe definitely in the ethos that like Renaissance Women. you know we're full figured. And that was absolutely a thing that was valued, and then there was a big shift explain what was going on back then so it turns out that the growth of the slave trade, especially by the eighteenth century led to new articulations of what types of appearance we could expect of people by different races, and also what types of behaviors. Such that by the middle of Eighteenth Century, a lot of French philosophers in particular were arguing that you know what when we're in the colonies, we're noticing that Africans are sensuous. They love sex and they love food, and for this reason they tend to be too fat. Europeans have rational self control. This is what makes us the premier race of the world, so in terms of body. Body size, we should be slender, and we should watch what we eat so okay Sabrina. Are you telling me that? When the slave trade started and European saw that African women were essentially curvy much like European women at the time at that point, they decided that being fat being thicker wasn't ideal anymore, and they built a system of oppression around this idea of needing to be. Thinned to prove racial superiority is at eight am I close. It's not quite as intentional as that. Effectively what they determined was that. You know we want it to be able to have a mechanism for ensuring that we could recognize who was slave, and it was free right, and it was easy in the beginning of the was simply skin color. What did you might imagine? After two hundred years of living in close proximity skin color really no longer works has a mechanism right, because now we have all of these people who are We would consider them today to be by racial, and so what they did was they decided to articulate new aspects of racial identity and so eating and body size became of the characteristics that were being used to suggest that these are people who do not deserve freedom. The trans, Atlantic slave trade eventually ended, but argues that we are still absolutely living with these racist attitudes about body size today. And in her book, she also traces how these anti-fat attitudes worked their way into modern medicine for somewhat arbitrarily, reasons for example take BMI or body mass index. That equation actually wasn't intended to be used to measure individual fatness. Though of course doctors did and still do today, can you? Can you explain the problem with using am I as a measure for obesity especially when it comes to black women, who I know have been told that they have the highest rates of obesity according to that measurement to be am I. Yes, so am. I is a measure of the ratio of a person's weight to their height. And what this does not account for is bone density. Muscular already any other type of genetic influences in your way or cultural environmental influences in your weight, and so, what ended up happening? As many people pointed out is that you might have to people with the same BMI, but vastly different life experiences embody compositions outside of the simple reality of their weight to height ratio, right, and the problem of applying this to them in particular, is that African American populations as studies have shown for literal decades since at least the eighties tends to be healthier at heavier weights than white populations. And so that already is an indication that cross racially. This is not a very useful tool, not to mention the fact that even within race there are going to be vastly different experiences, of an individual body between like their weight and their health profile so surreal this message from the medical establishment that excess weight is the biggest you know reason for black women's health problems or a very central of it. Why do you see it as so damaging? For Black Women, ultimately, the main advice that people are given when they so called obese is to lose weight, and there are so many problems with this. We have been telling people to lose weight for decades. What ends up happening is that they either don't lose the weight or they sometimes do lose the weight, and then frequently gain it back so first off. It could be more harmful to tell people to lose weight in the long run, and then in addition to that there are the psychological effects of telling people that their bodies are wrong. Right at their bodies are inherently unhealthy This type of fat stigma also leads to health outcomes right right right, so let's talk about this. In the context of covid nineteen I'm thinking about the recent New York Times op Ed you wrote about how cove nineteen is disproportionately impacting. Impacting people of Color specifically black people, and how you took issue with obesity, gaining traction as a leading explanation for that disparity, so talked me a little bit about that. This piece was actually motivated by something that I felt was very troubling, which was I had been seeing so many report, suggesting that the disparities in Colbert outcomes between white populations and black populations. They would say things like well. You know there's already the pre existing factor of obesity, and somehow that was one of the first things that come up and I thought there is very little evidence that disparities in quote unquote obesity are what's contributing to these negative outcomes, but there's plenty of evidence to suggest that Kobe. Fatalities or maybe even serious complications with Kobe nineteen are being influenced by people's environments. Are they essential workers? Do they have access to enough soap and water hand sanitizer, and so of course might imagine that the ability to socially distance to shelter in place to have access to healthy foods under Corinthian, all of this is very much being structured by a person's social location and black people tend to live in communities without access. Access to a lot of different healthy and life giving resources. Yeah, in in Sabrina, I'll tell you that as a person that reads a lot of the literature on Kovin prisoner biologists I am seeing a lot of papers coming out that are associating with the obesity without with health outcomes of COVID, but those links tend to be correlated right, but even if we were to find out that there's absolutely a causal link. Link between covert and obesity which I think you're arguing. There isn't one especially right now. At least the rates of obesity and white and black populations aren't actually that different right like it wouldn't necessarily be the thing that made it. So can you tell me a little bit about those rates versus the actual percentage of disparities? We're seeing so according to the CDC, the Obesity Twain. African, American and white populations are. Are Forty two point, two percent for white populations and forty nine point, seven percents for black populations are about that and so we're looking at effectively a seven percentage point disparity between white and black populations in terms of rates of obesity, however, when we're looking at serious complications with covert nineteen. What we're seeing is that black people are dying at rates of two point four to seven times that of white populations. How that's seven percentage point differential is leading to two point four to seven times the disparity in serious complications. Death. No one's really being able to explain that. This is the problem with the kind of cords of studies, which is that they lead people to believe that somehow. Is One of the drivers when in fact it could simply be a confounding in these studies, but we're so used to studying obesity and treating these correlations as if they are evidence of causal link that people are frequently not being very critical when they're seeing studies that show these relationships. Sabrina, you've obviously spent years by now working to understand this issue and to educate folks about it I'm wondering you know like why why this. Why have you specifically taken this on one of the reasons? Why continue to do it? Is I've seen what a difference? It's made to people's lives. I mean I've had so many people reach out and tell me that they felt for the longest time like something was wrong, but no one was talking about it or that I have spoken to their personal experience. I couldn't have imagined when I started doing this work. That could have possibly had the impact that it's had you know I'm standing on the shoulders of giants people who have been feminist scholars medical scholars journalists who've been doing this work at least since the nineteen seventies, but we're at a moment right now where there's a critical mass of people who are aware that the discourse surrounding fatness that we've long accepted really is baseless, and we think about a new way of allowing people to have a positive relationship to their bodies, and to cultivate health within themselves and their communities that does not rely on that stigma. Okay Sabrina I appreciate you. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your life and your work with us. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much. It's been a pleasure. Sabrina strings. Her book is called fearing the black body the racial origins
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"Today, a non coronavirus. You about honeybees from a guy who knows all about. Them Sami Ramsey Aka Dr Bugs. First of all can i. just ask you how you got that nickname, so actually got that title Doctor. Bugs while working at the Supreme Court of the United States <hes> I work with the Supreme Court in. I know, I know I was the only intern some measure and the deputy clerk of the court referred to me as bugs, and then told him that I was going for my doctor. He's like Oh, Dr Bugs so honestly, the Supreme Court just did not know how to handle your entomologist and all they could do was just yell but. They really did not know what to do with that. And of course, nickname stuck, which is perfect for savvy. A honeybee researcher at the US Department of Agriculture also props to the Supreme Court for taking an entomology and turn the best science. Yeah, I, said it. Okay. So how is play an important role in our ecosystem and for our economy, but the cells as you might have heard are not doing so hot. <hes> we lost. About forty percent of our honeybee colonies left with deeply concerning and unfortunately, as continued a trend <hes> over the past decade, or so of US losing close to thirty percent of our bees every year. And that could have huge consequences for all of us. So today the show what's killing the Bees Sammy Ramsey tells us what's driving these die-offs including a wild critter straight out of a horror movie. And he tells us what we can do to help the base. Two semi your friends, the honeybees. They're not doing well. Can you give us a quick snapshot of Why that matters Honeybees are dramatically importance to the environment in a number of different ways <hes>? We could survive without them. We would just be really really bummed out because we would lose things like coffee. Avocados <hes> lemons limes oranges. Fruits and vegetables are pollinated by Honeybees, and while they wouldn't disappear entirely the huge amounts that we produce them in <hes> with simply be unsustainable, and they will become incredibly expensive prohibitively, so <hes> honeybees are worth more than eighteen billion dollars to the US economy every single year, <hes> primarily because of their pollination services in the night off that you mentioned earlier. Is this at all related to you know news reports that came out a few years back about bees kind of vanishing. Is that related to this dollars that a different thing? Who Okay here we go, so? We were talking about the colony collapse disorder. The defining quality was really that would open a colony that had been fairly productive, and just days before, and there would be pretty much nobis there. We have not seen that particular set of issues in more than half a decade now. We don't know whether it was a virus. Weather is a novel parasite whether it was just the confluence of. Of all of these different issues all coming together that the bees been dealing with stress climate change <hes> because it disappeared so sharply that we still haven't had the time to fully flesh out what occurred there. Okay, so so that is not what's going on now. That has subsided. We're not exactly sure what caused it. We're not exactly sure what ended it, but we're glad it's gone. So let's talk about the actual issues. That's making it hard for the bees to survive now so there's a triangle. Factors called the three piece, and that stands for parasites, pesticides and poor nutrition. These are the three main issues currently impacting honeybees now while colony collapse disorder is not still e problem. It did open our eyes to the fact that our bees are really unhealthy. What is? Is potentially the case. Is that colony collapse disorder isn't the issue. The bees were dealing with, but just sort of the punctuation mark at the end of a very long and very concerning sentenced about the state of honeybees around the world, so let's talk about the I p. the parasites you study that one that sounds like honestly to me a transformer. Tell me about that one. Varroa destructor does sound like a transformer, and while you might think that name is melodramatic, it's not I mean this parasite is off the wall wacky this parasite small about one point two millimeters long <hes> it climbs onto a be, and it will actually wedge itself between the exoskeletal plates that make up the bee's body so pretty much the be skin. It wedges itself under their. Their kinda levers one of the plates up and breaks through the skin under that with this mouse parts, and it releases this cocktail of digestive enzymes that break down the tissue in that region into a slurry, is literally turning the beasant cream of honeybees soup, and then sucking that out of their body so deeply concerned. You didn't have to say that with the Soup Yeah Sorry I <hes> you. It's a very good metaphor, but you didn't have to do. Well I. Want People to understand the horror story that honeybees are living through on a regular basis. It gives us more of a respect for them. You know. Yeah, okay, so let me get this right so this particular parasite this in. Might you know the way that it acts on the bees is extremely destructive in an also kind of them up suffer even more from poor nutrition exactly so let's talk about poor nutrition. What does food for a be look like in in? Why aren't they having much access to it? As they need great question so honeybees, the visit tons and tons of. Of Flowers, and they drink the nectar from these flowers. They transported back to the colony <hes>. They regurgitate it into the cells. <hes> at they dehydrate it and turned it into honey <hes> they also collect pollen from these flowers, and all that pollen is used as a source of protein <hes> to then rear their offspring. So when these BS don't have a lot of pollen or nectar, they begin to starve, and they go into this stressed out sort of crisis mode. There's a lot of stress that they deal with as a result of that, and unfortunately, it's not just the matter of starvation. Them having a diet that is not. That can be really problematic. An individual, who is constantly eating French fries isn't starving, but they don't have the full complement of nutrition that they need in order to be healthy, and that's sort of the scenario that we have the bees in at this point <hes> and that doesn't allow the bees the sort of diversity that they need when they're feeding. Of Our land has been turned over for of course, the development <hes> for. So. There's a lot of monocultures out there of plants producing the exact same nutritive in their pollen. Okay, so final P. Pesticides. What are we talking about exactly? And what's kind of the problem? <hes> pesticides win used responsibly can be very effective at reducing the numbers of destructive insects that are destroying crops and keeping the cost of producing these crops down <hes>. Now we have a lot of pesticides that are systemic there absorbed by the seed, and they ended up in different parts of the plant, such as the pollen or the nectar that has been collected by the bees and brought back. Back to the colony, and it moves all through the colony in addition to that there are chemicals like my decides mixed in with the herbicides and weed killers. People sprayed on their lawn, mixed with the Agricultural Insecticides while those chemicals may be used responsibly. We actually don't know what the interacting impact is for all of those different chemicals together. We've found that colonies on average have between three and four different chemicals in the colony anyone point and upwards of fourteen times, which can be really concerning, because we just can't account for all of the different effects that can have Gotcha Gotcha. So Okay Sammy if we as humans don't take actions to intervene. What. Do People that study? These think is going to happen. ooh, okay. We don't take action to intervene. I can tell you very clearly. There's going to be a dramatic economic impact without the bees. To produce those plants and native pollinators would take up some of the slack, but we would not be able to produce them nearly the large amounts that we produce them in. But I do want to say. Very clearly that this is being blown out of proportion by the magic of the Internet, people think that everyone will die if the B.'s disappear, but there are plenty of wind pollinated plants, corn <hes> rice, that cultures have lived off of for ages, and they've been fine. The problem is we will lose so much diversity in our diet and food would be a lot more expensive <hes> because there would be a massive drop in supply. Gotcha, so okay, what kind of solutions or things you know that we can do as a society would have the most impact <hes> in helping the Honeybee. Wonderful that Anyone can do. <hes> leave those dandelions alone. Don't mow the lawn in a way that is getting rid of all of the the difference <hes> Dandelions and things that we typically considered to be weeds, the wildflowers that spring up in your lawn. Bees love them. Leave them alone nowhere. We killer on those. And if you really want to be a huge help, plant tons of flowers and your front and backyard make a be sanctuary out of your living space. If more people did that, the issues that the bees deal with in terms of poor nutrition <hes> would be mitigated in a number of different ways, because bees are capable of self medicating if they can get a lot of resin and <hes> different kinds of nectar and pollen from flowers, able to medicate themselves, but they can't do that when they only have the offerings of that one plant. Okay Sammy I appreciate you and I appreciate the bees hall. That, warms my heart to hear I think. B.'s actually really love being appreciated. Well. Don't we? All I'm going to go home and not kill any dandelions implant some flowers. My Work here is done. Sammy Ramsey Aka Dr. Bucks and Tamala just with the US Department
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"All activities that have reportedly led to virus transmission. Okay so to wrap it up here. Paying people without symptoms do spread the virus. It probably happens more with people who eventually get sick and have symptoms, and we don't know how much spread is coming from people that never get symptoms because those people are hard to study. And this is important. We know for sure that people who don't currently have symptoms of coronavirus can spend it, and it's actually a major difference between the current is that we have now and the corona virus that causes the SARS epidemic, which seemed through Asia in two thousand and three with SARS people really didn't transmit the virus until they were visibly sick or even a few days after so we were able to contain that coronavirus by findings, people and keeping them isolated from everyone else. With this corona virus by the time, someone knows they're sick with it. It's possible they've already given it to other people, but the good news. If there is some is that we have some pretty good tools at our disposal for dealing with it. Yes, absolutely, tell them to me paying. Yes, so this might not be brand new to anyone who's been listening, but it's hand washing its mask wearing. It's keeping distance from other people and also definitely definitely staying home when you're feeling unwell. Those are tools that actually work whether we're talking about a symptomatic or symptomatic transmission. You know paying I love that advice it straightforward. You don't have to understand the tiny nuances between pre-symptomatic and. In order to know what to do. and. I think that's what's been so frustrating with this whole scenario is the W. H. O. put out some very confusing messaging totally Mattie it was confusing, and some of that was you know unclear messaging from WHO and I would also say that some of it was the media to be able picked up a message without adding context and nuances that would help the public understand what they meant, and the language of us around Corona virus is really important. I mean even right now. Everyone's talking about the second wave of corona virus in the. The fall, which makes it seem like the first wave of coronavirus infections is over, and it is certainly not yes I mean outside of a few states cases never really went down like we are still in this steady state of infection, and I'm worried that people aren't really getting that message. Absolutely yeah, and it's even more reason to stay constantly vigilant and you gotta socially distance. You've gotTA. Wash your hands. You've got to wear a mask especially indoors because we know that people who seem totally fine, can still get each other sick. All right pig I appreciate you coming on the show. Thank you Maddie. It's great to be here. This episode was produced by Brent. bachman edited by Viet Lay in fact checked by Rebecca Ramirez. I mattie Safai, thanks for listening to shortwave from NPR..
Science Movie Club: 'Contact'
"Summer. I just re watched contact last night and I feel like it held up. You know I feel like I was still really happy. With what is your. What are your thoughts? I was very pleased. Yeah and I feel like I need to watch it more. Regularly summer ash knows a thing or two about making contact if you will with space. She's a real life radio astronomer. Who Works at the. Va a telescope facility. In New Mexico. Be L. A. Stands for very large array basically a group of radio antennas working together to Observe Space. And it just happens to be where lots of the movie takes place so it is very large. That does not align the telescope itself is made up of twenty seven separate dishes there each roughly one hundred feet tall and eighty feet in diameter weigh two hundred thirty tonnes and they all act as one. So they're all pointing at the same thing and they are just a super powerful instrument could call it the most scientifically productive ground based telescope in the world. So it's pretty awesome as where your it's pretty frequent. Contact isn't just about the search for extraterrestrial life. It also touches on stuff like academic culture and scientific funding all stuff worth digging into so stick around. I'm Mattie Safai. And this is shortwave. The daily science podcast from NPR.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"Hey Mattie here hope you're doing all right out there while we're working on some new stuff. Here's an episode. From the early days of the show that you might have missed. I think you'll like it new episode tomorrow. Make sure you subscribe to or follow our show on your podcast. App Of choice in keep washing those pause. Okay onto the show you're listening to shortwave from NPR. Mattie Safai here with our very own shortwave reporter and sometimes host. Emily Kwong greetings. Emily Kwong Mattie. I Emily Lau. Why are we whispering? Today's episode is about. Hey I'm going to get out of whisper. It was scraping me up and explain. Metoo with a quick story from a scientist in the UK named Julia. My name is Julia Dario by my age. I'm thirty one Julia's lecturer at the University of Essex and she still remembers vividly being a little girl and occasionally she would get this very distinct feeling in certain situations really early. Examples would be things like watching. My mom brush her hair or makeup on getting my feet measured for school shoes. A teacher explaining something to me really carefully and Mattie in situations like these she would enter this trance like state of relaxation. Defending itself is a warm tingling sensation that starts at the. The crime of head is like a bubbles onto the scout that that's not where bubbles go and can spread throughout the rest of the body Saddam spine and three the limbs that brain tingling feeling experienced by some people is called. As Amar autonomous sensory Meridian response psycho physiological experience reliably triggered by certain things whispering personal attention. Soft voices a whole host of things so today on the show. Am researcher Julia. Puerto helps us explain the science behind the sensation. And we ask. Does this have anything to do with the slime trend losing across the Internet? I gets coming for you. Matty's Baya okay. So matty yes. Ma'am our tour guide through the world of is Julia Puerto. We're going to hear from her in a bit. She is a real life person who experiences. Asmar Real live one and researches it s Mars not exactly a big field of scientific study and it's only been a thing in public discussion for about a dozen years. That's about win. In two thousand seven people began to find each other and build communities online calling this feeling they had Asmar so these people just like get relief. Zenda out by whispering. There's a whole host of different triggers for different people. It could be whispering soft tapping rustling of paper. There seems to be a visual component to all of this not always things like slow movements delicate hand gestures can induce an. As Amar experience one of the most popular a s M artists on YouTube. That's what the people who make these. As videos on liner called is a darling here. She has quietly touching a little house. Housemate of Legos with her fingernails. Yeah here she is unwrapping a starburst is a starburst and mean unwrapped my personal favorite here. She is counting down slowly in a whisper from one thousand nine ninety these videos Vega millions of views on Youtube six. When you and I hear this we hear it but for some people they feel it. And that's what happens for Julia and those who experience asm art. It's a little bit like music juice chills or orange spot. Chill so sometimes you know if you haven amazing speech like Martin. Luther King's speech. You might get those kind of those goosebumps those shivers up your spine. Which is really kind of complex emotional aesthetic response to some people experience other people diners so this is young woman doing this in. You're like looking at her face and she's really close to the camera. It seems very intimate. Is this like? Is this a sex thing? On to be honest. That was my initial thought to. I don't experience I assume are Julius said based on studies she's done monitoring those who do not the feeling of getting turned on eight. I'll research we of course measured people's heart rates and on average heart rate decrease when people watched a small fires which is exactly the opposite of what you would expect. If it was somehow sexually arousing why but that makes me feel better about it it. Is it something else? So it's not like this sexual feeling what is it like in the brains of people who experience it. What's going on? We don't actually know what is happening. Truly in the brains of people who experience it nor how many people experience it at all the important thing to know here is. There isn't a ton of scientific research on this topic. There is one study though that really interested Julia. It's a two thousand sixteen paper by Canadian researchers that looked at the brains of people who experience Asmar when their brains run a restful state basically not doing anything and they looked at this specific network within the brain. Something called the default mode network which is associated with things like daydreaming in mind wandering and also self-referential thought and what they found was the essentially that they thought that the brain network activity at rest shows that the less able to inhibit sensory emotional responses. Basically they were less able to separate the link between what their senses are picking up and what they're feeling in their bodies sensory emotional experiences weren't as suppressed. Okay that makes sense to me. They experienced their sensors in a different way. Then like I experience my son says or something like that kind of like I said. This is one of many early studies. And what's also interesting is how people are experimenting with new. Asmar triggers on the Internet. Remember the using I mentioned earlier. Yeah I remember that it was unfortunate. I have with me in my hand Something that produces sound and I'm going to introduce it to you. Oh Nice little bit of flare. So what I'm holding in. My hand is slime Flown technically slime with little foam pieces inside to hear that. Yeah I can hear in the last few years. There's been booming videos of people manipulating slime. It'll have color or glitter or charms next into it. People gotten very creative with their slimes fun to play with and it also has a sound not doing it for you know. It's not doing something in. You are shrinking in your seat. I try and get as far away from me as possible. I don't I don't like it. You WanNA play with it. I mean you. Why don't you start one? I brought this in because if you search Hashtag. Mr Instagram right now. Guess how many posts come up. Six seven point six million. Oh my God I in the past not vast majority but a number of them are videos of people. Doing exactly what you're doing right now. Just manipulating slime making these satisfying squishy downs. Are there groups of people who experience an anti are like instead of feeling sued? Right now I feel very unsettled in my belly hurts. That would be called MS phony different episode. We wanted to ask our scientists Julia. If slime is a bona fide trigger for Asmar mean there are parallels. Probably people who experience `small would experience a small watching things like slime videos however one thing I would say is the actually. There's been quite a lot of interlocking between different trends. So s Marin slime and things buying have all kinds of mcbain started in South Korea broadcast people eating food while talking to their audience. With high quality microphones. What a nightmare. The Internet slime and things like Bon of MS piggybacked onto the small trend. So sure what under the sometimes category on the Internet of oddly satisfying. Yeah although hashtag asthma. Because I suspect it is piggybacking on us as kind of Tom to get people to watch videos so when you see a video of someone. Let's say cutting soap or cookie. Someone playing with really pretty slime. That may be oddly satisfying. But if you don't have the brain tangles it's not ASAMARA. That's talking to you at the same time. Julia said that the more Mars linked to things like slime videos. That could change what it means for people on the Internet. She's focused though on the world of science and has a lot of outstanding questions. Why do some people experience it and others? Don't why do some people experience it at a higher intensity than others and also and this is really interesting to me? What is the effect of? Asmar on sleep. So we know anecdotally that people who experience `small use these videos on Youtube to help go to sleep and I guess the question is will y y does is more help you go to sleep and another important question with regards to sleep is does it not only help you get to sleep but it does also improve the quality of your sleep so for some people. This might be like the Modern Day. Version of counting. Sheep Says County. One thousand nine hundred ninety thanks again Julia Berio in the UK and special thanks to Manual Johnston. Npr's Vanessa Castio for their help on this episode. And thank you emily. Reporter for shortwave here at MPR science desk. And sometimes host of shortwave. Thanks for listening to shortwave from. Npr face masks have become the new normal as we continue to grapple with the ongoing pandemic. But when did we start wearing masks for health and safety this week on through the origins of the n? Ninety five mask and how it became the life saving tool it is today through line from NPR. The podcast where we go back in time to understand the present..
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"Imagine you're floating over the earth. Say a couple billion years ago. What would you recognize large bodies of water? We don't know how much land there was back then but there was definitely some. If you ask Roger Fhu it might look surprisingly familiar. So you'll probably see the same hands. A mountain belts bally's and rift basins. You might see today. Rogers a professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Science at Harvard University. He says you'll also notice. Earth isn't covered in craters by other planets. Are that different stems from an effect. The Earth services constantly recycling itself through action plate tectonics plate tectonics. We all remember learning about it. Kind of Roger. I'm Mike Biologists and a half to be honest with you. I read your paper and I was like. Oh Buddy. You are not in biology anymore. The only reason I know of plate tectonics was because our high school. Did this. Nerdy Ocean Science Competition like Buzzer like jeopardy style. And we all kind of read textbooks in her spare time. That's what spare time is four eventually all that extra reading paid off because Roger Slam recently published a study showing that the earth's tectonic plates started shifting hundreds of millions of years earlier than we thought which is important because by knowing when though shifts happened we can say something more about the environment in which life evolved so today on the show. Roger Food tells us how we know what was happening with. Earth's tectonic plates billions of years ago and how the action of these plates set the stage for evolution of life. As we know it I'm Mattie Safai and this is short wave the daily science podcast from NPR.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"Mattie Safai here if you're like me maybe you're spending a lot of time lately. Reading the news scrolling through twitter. Maybe too much time which probably means you need a little break. So we're trying something. New here a shortwave. Movie Club where we talk about a movie and the science in them with someone who has a lot to say about both and personal host. Promise we will not be doing contagion. Okay here's the show. You're listening to shortwave from. Npr Alley. Burgos still remembers the first time she saw it. I mean we all do as about in fourth grade. It was maybe around midnight. Probably not that late because my parents probably wouldn't let me step that lay but Curtains drawn. I was knitting and I happened to come across admitted I happened to come across this movie on. Tv is just flipping channels. You know and I saw a tornado so I started watching it and I was just mesmerized. I remember my dad coming down and like yelling at me to go to bed. I was like just just wait. One more minute like I need to keep watching this Which she did and she saw the defining weather film of Nineteen Ninety. Six a movie. I love to hate twister starring Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt in the movie chase down tornadoes trying to find a way to study them up close and personal and eventually they end up finding each other like it is such a good kind of bad movie. Yeah absolutely it's one of those things that you just watch like. Oh it's so good but so bad at the same time. So today. Our first shortwave. Movie Club we're talking one of my personal favorites twister with Alli Burgos meteorologist in analyst for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. I- Madison via shortwave. The daily science podcast from NPR. Alright here's the plan. I'm GonNa talk about some scenes in the movie alleys going to tell us about the science. Here we go in pretty much any scene with a tornado. It makes the sound. It's so ridiculous because tornadoes don't sound like roaring lion. I'm pretty darn sure. I think when I was reading a little bit about the movie they really want to make the Tornados. Seem like you know. A person are like this thing with like character and soul and generally tornadoes actually sound more like this constant low rumble sound or more like a rushing train. All right all right next up something. They got Kinda right the whole movie. Scientists are trying to get this instrument called Dorothy into the path of a tornado. We put her up inside a tornado. So they don't get sucked up in send out readings from the inside radio back information about the internal structure wind velocities flow a symmetry. We learn more than thirty six and they have in the past thirty years profile. The tornado for the first time the cool thing is is that these instruments are real. Scientists actually tried a version of this in the eighties sprite. Yeah so they modeled Dorothy after a real instrument called toto from wizard of Oz. The little dog toto. That's why they named it. And so the basic idea was to put that in the path of a tornado and had I could measure temperature and pressure and winds because what they really needed was to be able to get measurements real time so they only had things from radar doppler. So that's all from faraway measuring all those things and they tried it a couple of times in. It's really dangerous. As as the movie shows of trying to put something into our tornadoes half but now they actually have a new program that Noah is starting to fund called Torres and this is taking really small weather balloons and putting instruments on that and flying them up in Tornado. Okay so the balloon kind of takes that instrument package with it versus having to put a big clunky metal thing right in the power. So we've come a long way from like dropping something off a pickup truck into the center of the Tornado so cool so so the instrumentation while it wasn't like trying to measure exactly the same things was actually based off of a real experiment yet. They exact concept behind it was was the same so the last big scene of the movie is perhaps in. This is saying the. Let's be honest. It's the best season so the main characters are trying to get as close to an f five tornado. Great idea as they possibly can. And they deliver this device into the tornado and they kind of like get stuck on this farm. They're trying to run away from the Tornado at the same time report. You couldn't do in real life. Okay okay this is good because this is going to ask you about. But they basically find their way into this tiny shed Phil. Paxton is like it's fine. We're going to tether ourselves to this pipe. That goes really deep in the ground. Do with these two leather straps and then f five tornado rolls over the shed. Horrifically over the rips. The shed out of the ground. They're like being pulled up into the center of the tornadoes. One it is the most fun scene of the movie. You feel like you're inside of that Tornado with them. You see lightning bolts going on. There are multiple mini tornadoes within the big tornado. Within the tornado passes and they're totally fine her fine. Yes the biggest issue with that scene. Is that if you did have supposedly an F five tornado which you wouldn't be able to tell just looking at it is that all of the debris flying on around them would most likely kill them an f five tornado has wins upwards of three hundred miles an hour so even if you have a small small screwdriver for example of rats flying at that speed hits you you're gone and if you saw in that scene there is a shed and it's like full of like farming equipment ause and they would probably get hit by something like that but it certainly makes it a fun scene so tell me when you're saying you can't tell just by looking at because they're like this is an f. five right yeah so you can actually determine the scale or the intensity of a tornado just by looking at it what scientists have to do is do a damage survey afterwards and see all of the damage that the tornado caused and then from that they can determine the intensity walked has now moved on to the northeast. I've just got Mordovia. That even stronger Hornet is now starting to form twenty five miles from one you know so at at no point. Can you predict that a tornado is going to be at five before it happened? Correct to do the damage report. And you say okay based on this system this right and they were just going by you. Know bigger means stronger more violent. And that's not always the case you can actually have tornadoes that are look pretty small but that are very very violent. Okay all right so we have hated on twister a little bit by now but I feel like a lot of times in science movies. Scientists seem like pretty buttoned up lay definitely predominantly male. Which they still are in this movie. But you know. The lead researcher in this movie is woman. She's got a personal stake in her science. She's really passionate about helping people in that kind of stuck with me for sure. Yeah I think that stuck with a lot of people and I think a lot of people don't realize that there are tons and tons of researchers out in the field and so it's really cool just seeing people like down getting their hands dirty and really putting their heart and soul especially into something that is so important to help people and you told me that. This movie played a big role in your life to. Oh definitely I was one of those weird kids that watch the weather channel. Every morning waking up from school normal kid and so- twister definitely kind of showed me that there's another side of science besides just being a TV broadcasting like you can go out and research these things and going to college to study meteorology. My parents actually bought me that movie as a parting gift on DVD. It's fair to say that this movie inspired you in some way to go into your. Oh definitely and I think it inspired a lot of people to I know all of my meteorology friends speak very fondly of this movie when they were kids. Allie Burgos meteorologist in analyst for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. If there's a movie or TV show that you've seen lately that features some interesting science to talk about email us at shortwave at NPR DOT bork. This episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez and breadth Bachman and edited by. Va Emily von. Check the facts. The real the real facts. Not The twister facts. I'm Maddie Safai back. Tomorrow with more shortwave from NPR..
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"You're listening to shortwave from NPR. The new corona virus is on the move from China to Europe here in Italy at this point the country has been divided into three different areas. There is the red zone the yellow zone and then the rest of Italy and the United States Washington state remains the center of attention as Karuna. Virus SPREADS QUICKLY RESEARCHERS. Say The virus may have been circulated in the area for weeks. Undetected and more cases are likely in New York. Experts warn the virus will spread their cases. Keep popping up and when they do. Some governments are responding with one of the most powerful tools they have quarantines doctor. He'd Padillia knows a thing or two about quarantine. You are a person not only under investigation for potentially developing a disease. But you are a person who's trustworthiness is. Now come into question you know. Will you follow the rules? And You keep them safe from you. She's an infectious disease. Specialist was quarantine twice after returning home from Sierra Leone during the Ebola outbreak there in two thousand fourteen sudden. Change that you see in people's faces it's like you are a human but all of a sudden you become a threat to them today in the show. We'll talk about what? Corentin actually gives why this virus is so good at reading it and what steps the United States might have to take to contain the novel Corona Virus. Dr Padillia is the medical director of Special Pathogens Unit at Boston University. And so she's been paying close attention to this latest outbreak of the novel. Corona virus and the efforts to stop it. I it's important to understand why this virus is hard to contain a lot of the symptoms. It causes are the same as what people experience when they get the cold or the flu on top of that. There's some evidence that people can transmit the virus before they have symptoms and perhaps even after they feel better and even if that doesn't happen often. It's still a problem when you're trying to track an outbreak. Because if you don't have symptoms you're not gonNA come to care and if not gonNA COME TO CARE. We won't know that you're sick and hence be able to do contact tracing which is basically looking for anybody else you may have been in contact with. We didn't really have a test for this virus until February and initially in the states. We were only testing people who had traveled to places with outbreaks or people who had been in contact with somebody who had the disease now. Public Health officials have expanded. Who can be tested? Which is why all these new cases are making the news. Yes I think that's playing a major role in the identification of some of the cases and I also think that's going to lead to new cases being diagnosed during this week in the United States though just to be clear Dr W. says that doesn't necessarily mean there's a big spike in the number of people who are sick. We're probably just identifying more people because we're testing more people. In when these cases appear local governments are taking action in King County Washington. The government is buying an entire motel to use for quarantines. But what is quarantine so quarantining Is the is the practice by which we separate those that we think may have had exposure to a disease of interest from the rest of the community and the reason to do that is because if they develop symptoms We want them to be separate at that point from other. So they don't transmit that disease to others. Gotcha Gotcha so individual quarantine obviously is a very different thing than mass quarantine which is trying to quarantine huge groups of people Tell me a little bit about that. There are temporizing measure rate. I mean if you have bleeding in your leg you can cut off your circulation to stop leading but that's just a temporizing measure Until you can figure out how to fix what's going on and it's the same thing with Corentin I think it works early on If you can sort of separate people in in a smaller outbreak becomes much more difficult as the outbreak of the epidemic becomes bigger. Because now you're talking about a bigger group of people. Can you talk to me about some of the costs of quarantine? Because you know. They're not all economic right. There are psychological and social tolls on a person were a community. Yeah I I'm glad you brought that up. But I mean I think even before I start with the sociological aspects in the psychological aspects. I mean let's just talk about the logistic aspects of it. The cost is a big thing because you now have a huge number of people. It's not just the direct cost of putting somebody in quarantine but you are taking them. If they are a working adult you are taking them out of the workforce. And if you do that for massive number of people you are basically halting entire economic sectors But then there is the logistics cost on the aspect of it. Which is if you quarantine people. There needs to be a plan to basically feed them. You know engineered to get medications that they need if they get sick. So there's that element and then then. There is the sociological and psychological aspects. In the stigma. 'cause what you're being told that you are potentially a threat to society and so there's the figuring out the logistics of how do you have you sort of survive you know within? Cro- close quarters alone for long periods of time and the second is the loneliness of it you know I remember for being. Thank you know I for both of my sense of quarantine. I was desperate for company NUMB. And so of course we recognize the importance of separating folks who may be at high risk of potentially developing disease. You know you have to take into account. What else is going on in their life. And what kind of support. They need psychological support that they need as they go through with it. What are some of the steps that we might see the? Us government take before or instead of quarantine so asides from having more information out there. I think some of the steps that you might see public health Officials do is cancelling delaying large events. Such as sports games or or concerts or conferences In areas where there is sustained number of cases The other steps that public health officials may take is is really encouraging if they have symptoms of their if they're worried about it to contact their healthcare providers or if they're in a state that has a dedicated hotline to really sort of go through whether or not they should come to care. Actually stay at home. You're healthy person has symptoms. I think the best strategies for you to stay at home until you get better rather than go to work or go to the hospital so I've also heard people talking about school closings which I think could be really tough especially on parents who may be can't take time off to stay home with their kids right. Yeah I think that for every step that we take the public health realm There's going to be consideration of how we can. We are going to mitigate the impact of those steps on people and that's what helps us ensure that there is adherence to recommendations right. An so school closings are are an excellent example. Because you're not only asking that student to stay home but you're asking that parents to stay home from work may or may not have the job security to be able to do that so thinking through how you support parents who are going through that in a district where we've closed. The school is GonNa Be Important. Right Right Okay. So as a person who works in infectious disease who works in hospitals has experienced quarantine themselves. Do you think the United States is prepared to quarantine large groups of people? I think we need a little bit of work on that. Whol actually has a wonderful guy that they released poor countries as they're thinking about mass quarantines and one of the things that I talk about this importance of community engagement and outreach to really explain to a wide as being done and the importance of it if it is being pursued and so if we are going to do it aside from the Logistics Readiness. I think one of the things to think about that the US may have to do is massive amounts of community outreach to ensure that people understand or sections of communities understand why this is being done. The other part of this is we have to see aside some quarantines if they are perceived we have to invest in behavior change and community engagement because that is more sustainable and probably in the end. What's going to help? Stop the epidemic. Yeah so I guess one of my questions is if we got to a point where we needed to do you know big quarantines in the United States would it really be effective here versus a place like China which obviously has a different government setup? I think whether or not The mask oranges United States. Work are it's dependent on a few different factors right. Anything can work if you throw enough. Resources added if you're not willing to put enough manpower to make sure that you know something goes. According to plan. Then the question becomes is that the most effective way of spending resources but regardless of whether or not we pursue quarantine. I think the important thing to know is what makes quarantine effective in certain communities I. It's not as the amount of effort you put into engagement without community and the people that you are quarantining education about why that's being done and ensuring people that there needs both economic logistic and ability to survive while in quarantine or Matt. Yeah so I know there's been some back and forth about whether or not Corentin has been successful or not in in this case whether or not global efforts have helped slow the virus at all or have been a waste of resources. How do you see that I think majority of the attention been on China on whether or not the very strict restrictions that they placed in travel and quarantining entire cities? Actually help As I mentioned earlier I think quarantine is always a balanced between individual taking away an individual's freedom versus the potential benefits. That you might get from taking such a step despite my own unease with with massive quarantines you know. I do think that there are people who would say that this roic efforts you really call it a sacrifice on on the part of the Chinese people because they didn't stick with that strict quarantine orders they were given by their government It did bias time. It didn't stop it nor do I think at that point would have been effective in stopping it Did it by as potentially more time to prepare here and everywhere else and I think it probably did but at what cost and did we more importantly did we take advantage of that time. Dr. He'd Padillia is an infectious disease. Physician and the medical director of the Special Pathogens Unit. At Boston University you've been listening to shortwave from NPR. Today's episode was produced by Rebecca Ramirez. With engineering. Help from Josephine Neo. Nai It was edited by Jeff. Brumfield in fact checked by Emily. Von I'm your host Mattie Safai Cenex.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"You're listening to shortwave from NPR. So if you're a scientist say a biologist or a chemist and you have to work in a lab. You're super familiar with the term p. p. e. personal protective equipment which is P P is outer garments goggles brutes and gloves. That's Joey Ramp. She works at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science Technology at the University of Illinois at her Bana on a champagne. And Yeah basically anybody who sets foot in a lab needs some form of even if you have four feet beat see. Joey has a service dog. Can you hear how little like Greg Sampson okay. He was getting up all right. Here we go Samson. A golden retriever is trained not to bark and he's a very good boy when he's in the lab With Joey he wears goggles worn military. Canine and buy police canine and law enforcement. He wears rubber boots on each paw and he also wears a lab coat underneath his harness and that keeps them safe. Samson intern keeps joey safe in the lab and out hoped years ago. Joey suffered traumatic brain injury. She also has. PTSD Samson senses when she's in a stressful situation that could trigger her PTSD. He picks things up. Because you can't over that well and he helps her balance embrace when she's moving around. It's it's a cliche to say that the dog saved my life but A service does that every single day but there was a time when Joey was told that she couldn't have her dog with her at least not if she also wanted to be in the warm they immediately said. Oh my gosh. You can't possibly bring a service dog into this environment. It's too dangerous so sadly there are a lot of science science faculty that are reluctant to allow anyone with a disability into stem or science and When you have a service dog UGH That that makes it an even bigger problem from the moment you walk in. You have a service dog. It's very visible. It's very different. And they have the power to say. No this episode. Why Joey is trying to change that? And why it's not just an uphill battle for her before a stem workforce force striving to be more inclusive I mattie Safai and this is shortwave the daily science podcast from NPR.
Service Animals In The Lab: Who Decides?
"If you're a scientist say a biologist or a chemist and you have to work in a lab. You're super familiar with the term p. p. e. personal protective equipment which is P P is outer garments goggles brutes and gloves. That's Joey Ramp. She works at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science Technology at the University of Illinois at her Bana on a champagne. And Yeah basically anybody who sets foot in a lab needs some form of even if you have four feet beat see. Joey has a service dog. Can you hear how little like Greg Sampson okay. He was getting up all right. Here we go Samson. A golden retriever is trained not to bark and he's a very good boy when he's in the lab With Joey he wears goggles worn military. Canine and buy police canine and law enforcement. He wears rubber boots on each paw and he also wears a lab coat underneath his harness and that keeps them safe. Samson intern keeps joey safe in the lab and out hoped years ago. Joey suffered traumatic brain injury. She also has. PTSD Samson senses when she's in a stressful situation that could trigger her PTSD. He picks things up. Because you can't over that well and he helps her balance embrace when she's moving around. It's it's a cliche to say that the dog saved my life but A service does that every single day but there was a time when Joey was told that she couldn't have her dog with her at least not if she also wanted to be in the warm they immediately said. Oh my gosh. You can't possibly bring a service dog into this environment. It's too dangerous so sadly there are a lot of science science faculty that are reluctant to allow anyone with a disability into stem or science and When you have a service dog UGH That that makes it an even bigger problem from the moment you walk in. You have a service dog. It's very visible. It's very different. And they have the power to say. No this episode. Why Joey is trying to change that? And why it's not just an uphill battle for her before a stem workforce force striving to be more inclusive I mattie Safai and this is shortwave the daily science podcast from NPR
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"You're listening to shortwave from NPR. Mattie Safai in the House with Richard Harris yet another one of my favorite science correspondence must be all your favorite special. That's what my mother always said. You're all my favorite Richard. You have some serious business to discuss today. Indeed indeed I do yes. I'm GonNa Talk to you about sepsis right so for anybody who might not know. Sepsis is actually caused by the body's reaction to an infection basically the immune system overreacts causing this huge inflammatory response. Blood vessels get a leaky which messes up. How blood flows throughout the body body? In severe cases. Septic shock can set in. And that's when your blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels sometimes leading to multiple organ failure and in death doctors treat that initial infection and they can try to manage the dangerous symptoms of Sepsis. But there's no cure for it that's right and as a result assault is the single most expensive condition in. US hospitals best estimate is that it strikes one point seven million people a year in the United States and kills more than a quarter million. Wow so it's a huge toll right and one of the reasons. It's so common is because a lot of different types of infections can result in sepsis many roads into sepsis but even though it's a huge deal we don't really talk about it that much in. That's kind of weird isn't it is such a common condition but it isn't even bigger problem. Globally thirty thousand people die of it every single day. That's why it's a huge number. It's truly under appreciated disease. And why I'm telling you the story today is because the results have been published important new study on the treatment of Sepsis with the transfusion of simple mixture really vitamin C.. And Fireman thion which is vitamin B. One that's right and also some corticosteroids. These are all cheap and readily available drugs so today in the show the journey to find a cure for sepsis. Yes we hear the latest on this wild claim about a potential cure of vitamin C drug cocktail. Okay Okay Richard. When you were first telling me about this you said you actually got to talk to somebody a few years ago? Who received this newfangled treatment right? I was interested in really following how this evolved volve this this audacious idea and seeing where it would go and actually a number of doctors immediately started picking up and started using it at least on their most desperately ill patients and talked to one of them. This guy with an incredible story in Christopher Kelly who had this horrid logging accident this is out in Seattle I was cutting for a logging outfit up on these rock cliffs and fell about one hundred and fifty foot for tree into these maple trees. They add a bunch of dead tops we call them widow makers mhm tree came down the butt of it bounce toward him crushing him. I heard the bones crunch when it got me. It was pretty precarity Yell for a minute. And then I'd pass out and I guess my ribs were ripping. My lungs is the reason I I was only you know in and out of consciousness. And Amazingly he was there for a couple of hours before a couple of other men working in the area found him and got him on a Medevac helicopter to harborview medical center in Seattle in the Wendy says he wound up with a shattered pelvis all of his ribs. Broken twenty two bones and Dane. The day I met him. He developed a very high fever along with shock. That's one of Kelly's doctors at David car-bomb who realized that Sepsis was beginning to set in so sepsis is one of the big risks and injuries like this because infections sometimes time start on the wounds on the skin or from inside the lungs or internal injuries or whatever and the infection of course can turn into septic shock which is the nastiest form of this condition. When Oregon's start to fail that often leads to death and as we mentioned earlier? There's no known cure for SEPSIS. That's right car-bomb could treat the underlying infection with antibiotics Roddick's but he was also one of a set of doctors who had actually started experimenting with his new treatment of vitamin C and firemen and steroids and discuss it with his son and his son and was very amenable. We talked about The fact that it's a new therapy that there really wasn't very strong evidence but I felt that it was not a ton of risk and that this could be beneficial. How did it work Richard? Well hold on how quickly to respond. Usually patients very sick for a few days before responding antibiotics and him it took about a day his fever head cleared and he was off the medicines to support his blood pressure and looked remarkably better. But this is not actually a totally new new idea at all. I mean vitamin CS. Curative Properties have been batted around for decades and decades. A lot of. It's kind of Kooky so that actually works against this argument people initially and understandably skeptical about it but that said it is true that people who have sepsis have surprisingly low levels of vitamin C in their blood. So there's some biological logical plausibility to doing this right. Carbon himself was still on the fence about whether this was really the real deal but other doctors had also also had similar stories to tell and in fact car-bomb decided to try the treatment after reading about it in a report by this well-known critical care. Doctor named Paul Merrick Acoust- eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk Virginia morning actually went down to visit him in his intensive care unit back in twenty eighteen so I could see for myself and learn more about outs. This anyone's really frustrating. Because you know I would round and see this and say this is really cool and I would submit it for publication and people would pooh-pooh amy so miracles. The guy who came up with this idea of combining vitamin C. and time and steroids along with a standard treatment for sepsis fortunately a new Richardo and kind of open minded person and chance and he said looking chest is the journal where this was published and the results republished. Her kind of unorthodoxy looked at forty seven patients. He treated one after another in this way and then he compared it to forty seven other patients. who had been treated before he came up with this idea idea and Of the forty seven patients were treated only four had died and none of them had died of sepsis and of the previous forty seven patients. Nineteen died in the hospital so so if he was thinking. Wow this is my day so the next says you know they say this. Is You know snake oil and ferry dust and all kinds of the things but if you actually see it I mean issues remarkable. This ended. The tragedy is that the people who should be interested in this. Even if you skeptical just keep an open mind because people have steps is every single day and you know we turn these people around and so he's pretty convinced at this point. Yes so it's working good for him so he believes that but he understands why there's a lot of skepticism about their because this is an unconventional way of trying to test. Whether something works or not right in theory you'd want like a clinical trial l.. With lots of control groups placebos all that good stuff right and there's another thing right people have said that they've come up with a cure for sepsis before release good treatment. Supposedly there was a drug that was actually approved to treat sepsis but then on further examination they decided that didn't work and actually pulled off the market so this has been an area of huge the frustration over the years. Okay so in order to know if it really could be a cure we need clinical trials right so tell me where we are with us so doctors around the world of actually launched dozens of studies to look at this. The designs vary a lot but some of them are actually pretty careful studies where they randomly selected patients to other get the treatment or to get a placebo. You you love to see it Richard. The gold standard is here here. We go keep going. That's it that's it and these studies have been done across multiple to some tests were coordinated out of Harvard. Some of emory university. Johns Hopkins Anyway A lot of these launched in two thousand eighteen and They're pretty much all still in progress or they finished collecting their data and they're still figuring it out and having published the results yet right but there was that one study that has recently published. Its results right. What did they find right so? This was an Australian study. It was based on two hundred patients and they were in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand and also in Brazil they announce their results a few weeks ago and for them. Vitamin C.. Treatment was a total bust. No yes alas. I talked to Dr Renaldo below in Melbourne Australia. He told me he understands why. There's enthusiasm for the vitamin C.. Treatment given the dismal history of trying to find an effective treatment for sepsis people latch onto promising interventions because because of that frustration. And it's understandable Bought you know the view from here is that we shouldn't substitute The hope for evidence he actually led the study and a colleague of his presented the results in mid-january in Belfast Northern Ireland in the Conference Center called the Titanic Hanoch honestly. Richard Titanic is a weird thing to name a conference center but fine. Yeah Paul Merrick. Thought it was a weird thing to and sort of an omen for him because he was actually at at the conference when things turned south for him. And that's the guy that came up with the original idea for the sepsis treatment that's right and his biggest complaint actually is that the study didn't treat people right away. It was an average of twelve hours after they checked into the ICU. I don't even know how long before that people are sick and suffering from sepsis so Merrick says you know as soon as my patient shop in the emergency room I treat them right away and he believes that if you wait more than even six hours It's too late so he thinks that's why had this trial failed. And he says he still uses it every day. He's treated fifteen hundred patients so far and he still says he believes he saving lives every day. So what does this mean for the future future of sepsis treatment. Is it just still a big question. Mark kind of unfortunately still a big question. Mark the ultimate lesson here for one thing. Is that no single. Study is definitive. In this case everyone agrees with cliche. That more research is needed science. Your has a way of making us. Wait how Richard. Unfortunately it does Yep but unfortunately these studies are quite far along and we should be getting results from them in the coming months or maybe by the end of the year. I hope at least by then so we'll just have to wait and see for now. I can say this vitamin C.. Infusion is not an accepted treatment but there are still some doctors who use it and say.
Sepsis Is A Global Killer. Can Vitamin C Be The Cure?
"Mattie Safai in the House with Richard Harris yet another one of my favorite science correspondence must be all your favorite special. That's what my mother always said. You're all my favorite Richard. You have some serious business to discuss today. Indeed indeed I do yes. I'm GonNa Talk to you about sepsis right so for anybody who might not know. Sepsis is actually caused by the body's reaction to an infection basically the immune system overreacts causing this huge inflammatory response. Blood vessels get a leaky which messes up. How blood flows throughout the body body? In severe cases. Septic shock can set in. And that's when your blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels sometimes leading to multiple organ failure and in death doctors treat that initial infection and they can try to manage the dangerous symptoms of Sepsis. But there's no cure for it that's right and as a result assault is the single most expensive condition in. US hospitals best estimate is that it strikes one point seven million people a year in the United States and kills more than a quarter million. Wow so it's a huge toll right and one of the reasons. It's so common is because a lot of different types of infections can result in sepsis many roads into sepsis but even though it's a huge deal we don't really talk about it that much in. That's kind of weird isn't it is such a common condition but it isn't even bigger problem. Globally thirty thousand people die of it every single day. That's why it's a huge number. It's truly under appreciated disease. And why I'm telling you the story today is because the results have been published important new study on the treatment of Sepsis with the transfusion of simple mixture really vitamin C.. And Fireman thion which is vitamin B. One that's right and also some corticosteroids. These are all cheap and readily available drugs so today in the show the journey to find a cure for sepsis. Yes we hear the latest on this wild claim about a potential cure of vitamin C drug cocktail. Okay Okay Richard. When you were first telling me about this you said you actually got to talk to somebody a few years ago? Who received this newfangled treatment right? I was interested in really following how this evolved volve this this audacious idea and seeing where it would go and actually a number of doctors immediately started picking up and started using it at least on their most desperately ill patients and talked to one of them. This guy with an incredible story in Christopher Kelly who had this horrid logging accident this is out in Seattle I was cutting for a logging outfit up on these rock cliffs and fell about one hundred and fifty foot for tree into these maple trees. They add a bunch of dead tops we call them widow makers mhm tree came down the butt of it bounce toward him crushing him. I heard the bones crunch when it got me. It was pretty precarity Yell for a minute. And then I'd pass out and I guess my ribs were ripping. My lungs is the reason I I was only you know in and out of consciousness. And Amazingly he was there for a couple of hours before a couple of other men working in the area found him and got him on a Medevac helicopter to harborview medical center in Seattle in the Wendy says he wound up with a shattered pelvis all of his ribs. Broken twenty two bones and Dane. The day I met him. He developed a very high fever along with shock. That's one of Kelly's doctors at David car-bomb who realized that Sepsis was beginning to set in so sepsis is one of the big risks and injuries like this because infections sometimes time start on the wounds on the skin or from inside the lungs or internal injuries or whatever and the infection of course can turn into septic shock which is the nastiest form of this condition. When Oregon's start to fail that often leads to death and as we mentioned earlier? There's no known cure for SEPSIS. That's right car-bomb could treat the underlying infection with antibiotics Roddick's but he was also one of a set of doctors who had actually started experimenting with his new treatment of vitamin C and firemen and steroids and discuss it with his son and his son and was very amenable. We talked about The fact that it's a new therapy that there really wasn't very strong evidence but I felt that it was not a ton of risk and that this could be beneficial. How did it work Richard? Well hold on how quickly to respond. Usually patients very sick for a few days before responding antibiotics and him it took about a day his fever head cleared and he was off the medicines to support his blood pressure and looked remarkably better. But this is not actually a totally new new idea at all. I mean vitamin CS. Curative Properties have been batted around for decades and decades. A lot of. It's kind of Kooky so that actually works against this argument people initially and understandably skeptical about it but that said it is true that people who have sepsis have surprisingly low levels of vitamin C in their blood. So there's some biological logical plausibility to doing this right.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"You're listening to shortwave from NPR. So for people. Who Don't know I totally know where is Mongolia? Mongolia is in Central Asia right between Russia and China. The landscape to me looks a little bit like a mixture between Montana and Mars if you can picture that delightful so this this time last year before you were short waves reporter. You don't like to think about that time. You went to Mongolia it's true. Why would one go to Mongolian winter all the travel guides discourage discourage it? I might discourage it but I purposely went there then because winter is at the heart of this whole story. So how cold are we talking here. It's super cold. uh-huh freeze your nose. Harris cold I actually had to tape. Hand warmers all over my microphone so it wouldn't freeze. Wow it is cold. Oh I found this piece of tape tape of me complaining about it minus eighteen degrees right now. This is really cool. I could tell me what you say. Cool coach it wasn't acting but some types of winters are so extreme matty that they actually have an official name so in Mongolian. It's called a zoo would that's when a winter tur- is so bad. It kills significant number of livestock in Mongolia or one out of four people make their living hurting. That has huge consequences. I mattie Safai and I'm Emily Kouanga today in the show. We had to Mongolia to learn about the brutal winters known as and how these natural disasters have changed enjoyed countries way of life okay so Mongolia is periodically affected by this extreme weather event. That happens in the winter called. What does this look like? Yeah so tender standard. I wanted to meet someone directly impacted. Divide it this man named Roy Eaton Gacek. He's a father of four super good bad Santa could do prates daughter's hair getting get somebody for school and everything. He was born a herder in eastern Mongolia and in January. Two Thousand Oilman as he tells it woke up at sunrise to check on his animals. Snow had fallen in the night about a foot. They were writing out a bad winter storm and he was really worried about is heard so how he cracked the door of his gear. Those are these circular felt cover tents that herders living and it was eerily quiet outside blindingly finding Lee white from all this snow. What did you see when he opens the door? Do not with this new household off. He's Carcass Saas new. Shut us a dozen of his sheep. Goats had died in the night. Those still alive yet about one hundred animals at the time. We're trying to find grassy but the land was literally locked in by snow. The hotel does ndas and it was really difficult to see this. He Sang. It was horrifying and it happened. Every few days boyens animals would succumb to starvation. Illness exposure and by the end of the winter he essentially lost his entire heard the type of food that came to his doorstep. It's called Saga which Mongolian means white death. While I think a loss at this level I imagine it's not purely financial absolutely I mean this. This isn't the same but there are dairy farmers in my family and you kind of like build relationship with your cows you literally like have them from birth to death so I have imagine it would be devastating like on multiple levels if you just slowly lose them over time right. They're not just economic assets and the loss of those animals is a social loss. It's spiritual loss experts. I spoke to in Mongolia. Described as a slow onset natural disaster different from a rapid rapid onset natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. So how many other herders were affected by the white death that year that year the two thousand six it claimed claimed about three and a half million livestock. Wow quite a bit law. It's eleven percent of the national hurt. And when you consider that at the time one out of every two households made their living hurting. It's significant begin. Animals represent wealth. So it would be as if your life savings were too slowly disintegrate. So what did the herders actually do in response Some rebuilt their heard those who could but others who lost everything they left gave up hurting fled the countryside seeking jobs in in urban areas uprooting. Their lives are good hurting Dad Johansen hair braided guy. He was one of those who left. Almost your short could the mother oh well many migrated. He's saying because it was impossible to make a living and it shows in the population and barter that's Mongolia's capital it has has tripled in the past thirty years exploded. Zid is one of the many migration drivers bringing people to the city. And I could see this when I lived there. I was reporting reporting and living in his apartment building and I looked off my balcony window. The hills were just covered in Gares. Those felt covered tents that herders live in. It was a picture. Sure of all of these people who had moved to the city and settled there and the city. Just couldn't contain all the new arrivals or does it still happening as it. On this scale that hits every corner of the country not that common prior to two thousand had happened about once a decade but was weird about two thousand is. It happened the next year and the next year and again again in two thousand ten so by the end of the decade there were forces and twenty one million livestock died in that period it totally overwhelmed Mongolian people that government tens of thousands of families packed up and left. That's that is horrifying of what is going on. Like what is causing US okay. So it's tempting to blame climate change and that is in fact the biggest culprit in this whole affair. Mongolia is indeed a warmer drier. Replace than it was eight years ago. But what I found is that zoot is actually caused by cocktail of other factors like over-grazing and deforestation. Basically quickly anything that destroys. The grassland is bad for animals. You need that grassland lending food it's a goat's buffet table and to not have it sets them up for good because this summer is a time when they fatten up. And if the grass is gone from drought or other things they're even more vulnerable when the winter is bad. Oh little bit of science here yes. The drought okay. Means less grassland and in Mongolia less grassland creates even more drought vicious cycle. Yeah because Mongolia. It's land locked all right. So the vast majority of precipitation rain snow. It comes from the land it comes from the grass. Water is transpired by plants into the atmosphere so so without grass Mongolia is even drier so given all of this is hurting still considered a good way to make a living in Mongolia. I think Mongolians are trying to figure that out. There's fewer herders but they're better prepared and trying to manage the Paschel and more sustainably local communities training herders to brace for a bad winter. Do things like make extra. Hey for their animals to eat. Purchase Livestock Insurance and pool there resources so the individual costs aren't so high all right so that that sounds great but are herders still kind of on edge. Are they like Shariq. Dowd anticipating the next. You know so I used to report in Rural Alaska inefficient community and herders. They kind of remind me of fishermen they know they're at the mercy of the weather but they're very tough and resourceful within their own lives and herders are doing the same. They're trying to make the most of what they have. They're kind of cultural heroes for practicing this way of life. That's become increasingly less common in the state. Broadcaster actually gives these awards to the best herders in in the nation. Please tell me you went to a best herder award ceremony absolutely went to a buzzer award ceremony. The championship herder. Who I met in the province was this man named near Goo Davidoff and I talked to him right after he got his award? Lord of host was also he was practical. Nature is unpredictable. It's harder there's less rain. Animals can't get fat but if we prepare extra hey. We can overcome such natural disasters. We don't have to be afraid this spring their animal's gave birth to hundreds of babies. I went back to visit during the birthing season in March. This pen is just full like a hundred lambs. Just these tiny little cotton balls near to make us feel better about this. Do you mind no. I just don't appreciate being manipulated. I wanted to show you the opposite right so not death life and what it signals for the next generation of herders. Who are continuing to do this? I'm picking up what you're putting down on. Thank you all right. I'm Lequan thank you for bringing us the story. Absolutely Mattie. This episode showed was produced by Rebecca Ramirez edited by yet lay and fact checked by emily. Von This shortwave from N._p._R.. We'll see you tomorrow..
A Decade of Dzud: Lessons From Mongolia's Deadly Winters
"So for people. Who Don't know I totally know where is Mongolia? Mongolia is in Central Asia right between Russia and China. The landscape to me looks a little bit like a mixture between Montana and Mars if you can picture that delightful so this this time last year before you were short waves reporter. You don't like to think about that time. You went to Mongolia it's true. Why would one go to Mongolian winter all the travel guides discourage discourage it? I might discourage it but I purposely went there then because winter is at the heart of this whole story. So how cold are we talking here. It's super cold. uh-huh freeze your nose. Harris cold I actually had to tape. Hand warmers all over my microphone so it wouldn't freeze. Wow it is cold. Oh I found this piece of tape tape of me complaining about it minus eighteen degrees right now. This is really cool. I could tell me what you say. Cool coach it wasn't acting but some types of winters are so extreme matty that they actually have an official name so in Mongolian. It's called a zoo would that's when a winter tur- is so bad. It kills significant number of livestock in Mongolia or one out of four people make their living hurting. That has huge consequences. I mattie Safai and I'm Emily Kouanga today in the show. We had to Mongolia to learn about the brutal winters known as and how these natural disasters have changed enjoyed countries way of life okay so Mongolia is periodically affected by this extreme weather event. That happens in the winter called. What does this look like? Yeah so tender standard. I wanted to meet someone directly impacted. Divide it this man named Roy Eaton Gacek. He's a father of four super good bad Santa could do prates daughter's hair getting get somebody for school and everything. He was born a herder in eastern Mongolia and in January. Two Thousand Oilman as he tells it woke up at sunrise to check on his animals. Snow had fallen in the night about a foot. They were writing out a bad winter storm and he was really worried about is heard so how he cracked the door of his gear. Those are these circular felt cover tents that herders living and it was eerily quiet outside blindingly finding Lee white from all this snow. What did you see when he opens the door? Do not with this new household off. He's Carcass Saas new. Shut us a dozen of his sheep. Goats had died in the night. Those still alive yet about one hundred animals at the time. We're trying to find grassy but the land was literally locked in by snow. The hotel does ndas and it was really difficult to see this. He Sang. It was horrifying and it happened. Every few days boyens animals would succumb to starvation. Illness exposure and by the end of the winter he essentially lost his entire heard the type of food that came to his doorstep. It's called Saga which Mongolian means white death. While I think a loss at this level I imagine it's not purely financial absolutely I mean this. This isn't the same but there are dairy farmers in my family and you kind of like build relationship with your cows you literally like have them from birth to death so I have imagine it would be devastating like on multiple levels if you just slowly lose them over time right. They're not just economic assets and the loss of those animals is a social loss. It's spiritual loss experts. I spoke to in Mongolia. Described as a slow onset natural disaster different from a rapid rapid onset natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake. So how many other herders were affected by the white death that year that year the two thousand six it claimed claimed about three and a half million livestock. Wow quite a bit law. It's eleven percent of the national hurt. And when you consider that at the time one out of every two households made their living hurting. It's significant begin. Animals represent wealth. So it would be as if your life savings were too slowly disintegrate. So what did the herders actually do in response Some rebuilt their heard those who could but others who lost everything they left gave up hurting fled the countryside seeking jobs in in urban areas uprooting. Their lives are good hurting Dad Johansen hair braided guy. He was one of those who left. Almost your short could the mother oh well many migrated. He's saying because it was impossible to make a living and it shows in the population and barter that's Mongolia's capital it has has tripled in the past thirty years exploded. Zid is one of the many migration drivers bringing people to the city. And I could see this when I lived there. I was reporting reporting and living in his apartment building and I looked off my balcony window. The hills were just covered in Gares. Those felt covered tents that herders live in. It was a picture. Sure of all of these people who had moved to the city and settled there and the city. Just couldn't contain all the new arrivals or does it still happening as it. On this scale that hits every corner of the country not that common prior to two thousand had happened about once a decade but was weird about two thousand is. It happened the next year and the next year and again again in two thousand ten so by the end of the decade there were forces and twenty one million livestock died in that period it totally overwhelmed Mongolian people that government tens of thousands of families packed up and left. That's that is horrifying of what is going on. Like what is causing US okay. So it's tempting to blame climate change and that is in fact the biggest culprit in this whole affair. Mongolia is indeed a warmer drier. Replace than it was eight years ago. But what I found is that zoot is actually caused by cocktail of other factors like over-grazing and deforestation. Basically quickly anything that destroys. The grassland is bad for animals. You need that grassland lending food it's a goat's buffet table and to not have it sets them up for good because this summer is a time when they fatten up. And if the grass is gone from drought or other things they're even more vulnerable when the winter is bad. Oh little bit of science here yes. The drought okay. Means less grassland and in Mongolia less grassland creates even more drought vicious cycle. Yeah because Mongolia. It's land locked all right. So the vast majority of precipitation rain snow. It comes from the land it comes from the grass. Water is transpired by plants into the atmosphere so so without grass Mongolia is even drier so given all of this is hurting still considered a good way to make a living in Mongolia. I think Mongolians are trying to figure that out. There's fewer herders but they're better prepared and trying to manage the Paschel and more sustainably local communities training herders to brace for a bad winter. Do things like make extra. Hey for their animals to eat. Purchase Livestock Insurance and pool there resources so the individual costs aren't so high all right so that that sounds great but are herders still kind of on edge. Are they like Shariq. Dowd anticipating the next. You know so I used to report in Rural Alaska inefficient community and herders. They kind of remind me of fishermen they know they're at the mercy of the weather but they're very tough and resourceful within their own lives and herders are doing the same. They're trying to make the most of what they have. They're kind of cultural heroes for practicing this way of life. That's become increasingly less common in the state. Broadcaster actually gives these awards to the best herders in in the nation. Please tell me you went to a best herder award ceremony absolutely went to a buzzer award ceremony. The championship herder. Who I met in the province was this man named near Goo Davidoff and I talked to him right after he got his award? Lord of host was also he was practical. Nature is unpredictable. It's harder there's less rain. Animals can't get fat but if we prepare extra hey. We can overcome such natural disasters. We don't have to be afraid this spring their animal's gave birth to hundreds of babies. I went back to visit during the birthing season in March. This pen is just full like a hundred lambs. Just these tiny little cotton balls near to make us feel better about this. Do you mind no. I just don't appreciate being manipulated. I wanted to show you the opposite right so not death life and what it signals for the next generation of herders. Who are continuing to do this? I'm picking up what you're putting down on. Thank you all right. I'm Lequan thank you for bringing us the story.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"This time we ask for your help to keep this podcast coming to you for free each and every weekday. Here's how you can help. Go Go to donate dot. NPR Dot org slash short to find your local public radio station. And give any amount. You can whatever you can give. Were super super grateful. Okay turning it over to Mattie Safai and Emily let's do this show. You're listening to shortwave from NPR. Hello 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 this episode was produced by Brit Hanson and edited by life. I managed to fire. I'm emily tomorrow. We'll have a little holiday message for you. And then we're back with normal episodes on the twenty six. Thanks for listening.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Short Wave
"You're listening to shortwave from NPR. Mattie Safai here today the second of our two part adventure are to the middle of the Arctic Ocean where scientists are freezing ship into the ice for a year to study how the region is changing on Friday. We talked about how the expedition Asian track down their hard to find piece of ice. And today we'll be talking about what happened once they found it. Reporter rededicate is our guide. Hey Ravenna Hey Mattie and would you just remind us. The mouthful name of this thing is sure. It's called the multidisciplinary drifting observatory for the study of Arctic climate. I met or mosaic. I guess Those AIC did not have the same ring I guess not. So you're back on land in Seattle now but you joined this expedition for five weeks as it left a port in Norway pro there's that whole and it sailed up north that's right and on board scientists from all kinds of fields of study all joining forces to undertake the most comprehensive look at Arctic Sea ice in twenty years. That's what it sounded like. His are plowed through the sea. Ice As we look for an ice floe that was thick enough to call home base ace for an entire year. That is of course is slowly shrinking as the Arctic. It's warmer and the primary question. Mosaic is trying to answer is what are the causes of that diminishing Arctic ice and what are the consequences so today a look at the physics chemistry and biology on the mosaic expedition.
"mattie safai" Discussed on NPR Politics Podcast
"Comes from NPR sponsor IBM problems it's human nature to hate problems but why is that after all problems inspire IBM to mend things Ben things make things better that's why so many people work with IBM on everything from city traffic to in plastic new schools to new energy flight delays to food safety smart loves problems IBM let's put smart to work visit IBM dot com slash smart learn more Mattie Safai here host of a new daily science podcasts from NPR cold shortwave this week the first all female spacewalk we got to talk to both of those astronauts in space we have you loud and clear NPR listen for that and subscribe to short way from NPR okay we are back sue one of the things we have repeatedly talked about is that this is a political process and even though Democrats would likely have the votes to impeach president trump in the house it's a real uphill climb in the Senate where twenty Republicans would have to change their minds on the president and that just seems really hard to to imagine how much does some clear cut evidence like this change that dynamic if at all it's a little too soon to say I would say that Taylor's testimony is hi impact in the course of this investigation it will make an impression will it test Republicans loyalty the President I'm hard pressed to say that it will because what we have seen consistently so far is republicans very willing to stand behind the president at virtually all turns it will be curious to see how they respond he's seen someone who would be in a position to know to say that the military assistance was indeed directly tied to Ukraine <hes> conducting these investigation they were waiting to hear those exact words right they they were and I think us again when it goes to the Senate question Taylor is a very credible witness he's a career official he someone that is respected in known across the political spectrum and it's very hard to deny that kind of testimony the thing that I think just from the a lot of Senate Republicans were bothered by the idea of a direct tie between military aid and political assistance and that's one
"mattie safai" Discussed on How I Built This
"Pay everyone just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors help make this podcast possible I two Ziprecrui order hiring can be a slow process cafe alterra Coo Dylan Moskowitz needed to hire a director of copy so he went to Ziprecruiter posted his Bob and found the right person in just a few days find out why four out of five employers who post on Ziprecruiter get a quality candidate within the first day you try ziprecruiter for free at Ziprecruiter Dot com slash built B U I l t thanks also to e-trade technology is making investing easier every day consider core portfolios from e-trade it's a simplified approach to investing that saves you time by building monitoring and managing the portfolio for you with access to support whenever you need it with core portfolios investing never feels like work for more information visit each ray dot com slash NPR e-trade capital management LLC Mattie Safai here host of a new daily science podcast from NPR cold shortwave this week the first all female spacewalk we got to talk to both of those astronauts in space we have you loud and clear NPR loosened for that and subscribe to short way from NPR. Hey welcome back to how I built this I'm Gyros so it's two thousand fourteen and Alex Bloomberg is going to walk away not from one but from to plum jobs in public radio is GonNa do this to start a podcast company the something that at this point was not entirely proven concept so he decides to lay out his case on a podcast which calls startup here's a clip of it I love podcasts seemed like someone should come up with money to invest in making new shows as and come up with a theory about how could be profitable I kept waiting for someone to do that and then came this thought thought that's gotten a lot of people a lot of trouble the thought well I could do did you think you're GonNa do this by yourself was it was it the plan the beginning yes thought that was what I was going to do basically I was on my own millions of people listen to this American life and planet money at NPR and I didn't have any personal brand and so my big fear was like I figured I'd be able to like get a podcast together I just didn't know how anybody was gonNA know about US yeah so I had to do something that was going to attract attention to what we're doing and I figured like okay a guy recording self trying to start a company that'll be that'll be good it was like a marketing ploy doing an audio diary of like making this company are you meeting someone with money this is my wife Nazanin early one morning a couple months ago stopping me as I was on my way out the door to do something I'd never done before meet a guy who works at a venture capital firm try to get Give me money did did you in your mind a sense of how much time you had before you could no longer just survive off Nazanin 's income no I didn't by that point she was working at MSNBC Societa she was making a lot more than you make in public radio but it wasn't law young like we didn't have a ton of savings and I didn't drop my head a couple maybe like I don't know three or four months it's five months that was it Max and and I mean you were like in your apartment you had two kids at this point right now and you just without talking into your microphone yeah started anything I was doing I would mike myself doing it any meetings had set up I would tell the people ahead of time and Sunni Pakistan coming in like funny thing also making a podcast about it ha- come out with microphone and for the most part they were into like it was like you know it got me in the door and the certain way it was like it was unusual yeah you know if you're a VC you've seen seventy five gasoline people pitch you a different kind of like food delivery APP or something you know but you probably haven't seen people come with a full head Garin booth Mike recording it so if nothing else it was a novel all right so you leave planet money in March two thousand fourteen and would you go like just have meetings with with people at money would you just try to set up meetings after meeting yeah I would set up after meeting would reach out to everybody that I knew had been involved and you just meet somebody in the introduce somebody else may introduce you to somebody else and it's all like you know but ultimately became very clear like nobody was going to invest I could only tell half the story I can only tell the story of like here's the kind of things that I've made and here's and I'm GonNa just keep doing that and that wasn't that wasn't a business that wasn't a business and your pitch was I wanna make like Hbo of Audio Yeah I WanNa make really high quality who's GonNa be ad-supported maybe we'll sell style custer here everyone yeah no I feel like I would I would go out and it'd be pumped up and it'd be practicing over my pitch and I'd go out and do it and fly out somewhere and then I was one of like I don't know three four meetings that day and I was just one idea out of a million ideas and other people were pitching ideas that had proprietary software or you know like scientific breakthrough news and they'd been like part of a lab at Stanford and I was pitching podcast and company and I hadn't worked in a for profit companies since I was a bag here at a grocery store school and high school and I remember calling my wife I think we actually recorded these conversations when I called my wife after one of these things I think it was actually ended up being in a startup episode oh I'm feeling I'm feeling the same way I felt the last was out here I'm sitting there talking to the due to this guy and I'm describing something that feels like the biggest thing I've ever done like a escape L. beyond my wildest imaginings two minute I can't even tell if I could pull off and is totally not big enough team smart even when I was at the depths of depression and feeling small and stupid like what the hell have I done the fact that I was able to talk about it on tape I knew it was good tape so the more I failed is a wannabe entrepreneur the Mara was succeeding as a as a radio documentary producer and so there was something weirdly comfortable at that like at least all this work for nothing at least I'll have some document I mean startup really was fascinating to listen to this these like now iconic moments like a lot of startup fans will remember that moment when you're trying to pitch Gimblett to the investor Chris Sokha making a network of digital podcasts that we will monitor that that will that will there's GonNa meet sorry so what's it GonNa take it to do it so it'll take a million and a half dollars I think and she got the yeah they'll take a million and it was like that meeting that really should me how naive I was all the questions he asked I had no idea how to answer what's what's what's the exit with the what does that even mean it was like you know I give you money you build the company that having a get my money back when's your exit I know like what percentage to give them how did you even know how to accept the terms on the term sheet did you were you consulting with a lawyer did you just because those things are complicated but nobody was offering me money until I literally nobody I don't think anybody offered money until Madison teamed up I think when I was here by myself I didn't even get to that point so you come to this conclusion that you need a partner probably somebody with some experience business or maybe at least an MBA hey when did you meet when did you meet Matt I met Matt over the summer of twenty fourteen I believe and we were introduced by mutual friend and public radio and the story that I heard was that sort of like there's another guy running it all around town with sort of the same story talking about like how there's a business to be built in audio and he was sort of often his world doing the same thing during and so we finally met what Matt when you met Alex what what were you doing in the summer of twenty fourteen I had done my a and then and then become a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group which meant that I would go and work inside of large companies and help them develop growth strategies or solve problems or things like that but then I began to think about digital audio and I was listening to a lot of cast the time I thought every time a new medium comes about new media companies get built Oh and like why not me and I told a lot of people about this not that I was starting a company because Alex was much further advanced than I was but just like that would be exciting I think.
"mattie safai" Discussed on Up First
"Episode we think is going to peak your interest it is from shortly save which is NPR's new daily science podcast host Mattie Safai explores new discoveries everyday mysteries science off the headlines All about ten you met recently Piper Johnson right so she's eighteen and when she was in high school her sophomore year she started vaping then last summer right around the red and then the day we left I was like I think I have bronchitis or something like I was running a fever my heart rate was like Super Super High I I was super like lethargic and stuff so instead of heading to the college campus she and her mom went to the hospital I to the ER and then into the ICU. My oxygen levels just kept going down like more and more I they put me on like one leader to leader and then I had to be before they realized this was vaping oh I was terrified I had no idea what was happening to me because I was like perfectly healthy a week ago Oh I think Piper story really brings into focus this wider epidemic vaping I mean yes there are more than thirteen hundred people like Piper who've become very very sick with lung disease after vaping these cases these very odd cases come on nowhere have really begun to shine spotlight on this habit of vaping that used to be talked about as an alternative to smoking so today on shortwave what we do know what we don't about why abors getting sick.
Introducing Short Wave
"Mattie Safai here the host of shortwave NPR's new daily science podcast. We're coming you Tuesday October fifteenth we'll explore groundbreaking discoveries is that are in the news some scientists brought back brain activity in some really dead pigs really picks I mean these pigs were dead for like four all right that all wait harder but like not that much harder