World Events, Diabetes Genetic Test, P-Value War
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- May 2, 2019 10:00 pm
- 1:40:38 mins
Deposed Leaders and America's Confusing Policy Toward Democracy Guest: Quinn Mecham, Professor of Political Science, BYU An attempt to depose President Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela appears to have floundered, but opposition leader Juan Guaido is still working to secure the support he'll need from top military generals to try again. Political scientist Quinn Mecham says Guaido could look to the recent ouster of presidents in Algeria and Sudan for lessons on why military support is so important - and how the ouster of an autocrat is only the first step. Both Algeria and Sudan are now faced with big decisions about who will lead the country and what role the military should play. Mecham notes the United States is loudly supporting Guaido and the cause of democracy in Venezuela, but entirely silent on Sudan's transition. And in Libya, the US has come out in support of a military warlord who is trying to overthrow the UN-recognized government. Mecham also notes the unusual step taken by the Trump Administration to designate the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran's elite military force as terrorist groups. Predicting Diabetes with Genetic Testing: Fantasy or Fiction? Guest: Jason Vassy, MD, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School A third of all American adults have pre-diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So that’s 84 million people on track to develop full-blown Type 2 diabetes unless they make some serious lifestyle changes. For people who might want an even earlier indication of their risk, DNA testing company 23 and Me recently added Type 2 diabetes to the list of disease it will screen for if you send in a vial of your spit and $170. The Debate Over Statistical Significance Guest: William Christensen, Professor of Statistics, BYU If you heard about a scientific study that said, “Eating kale for breakfast everyday might help you lose weight, or, it might not,” would you rush out and stock up on kale? Not me. I want to see clear, confident results from a study before I take it seriously. And scientists feel the same way. So, over the years, they’ve developed a way to draw a bright line that says, “This is a result that’s “significant” and this one’s not.” The “statistically significant” results get funded and published and reported in the news. The rest don’t. But recently there’s been a schism in the scientific community –an uprising, if you will –of researchers saying –that bright line we’ve been using all this time? It’s bogus. It’s a crutch. Everybody should stop using it. And everybody’s taking sides! The Dangers of Eating Cookie Dough (Originally aired January 23, 2019) Guest: Brian Zikmund-Fisher, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, University of Michigan School Public Health Don’t eat raw dough. We’ve always kinda known it, right? But for the last several years, the Food and Drug Administration has made it an explicit public health recommendation. Is raw cookie dough really that dangerous, though? I eat it every time I make cookies and I’m still here. Weight Bias in the Doctor’s Office (Originally aired December 3, 2018) Guest: Kimberly Gudzune, Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University One of the consequences of labeling obesity an epidemic in America is pervasive stigma in our society. Overweight people are often judged as lazy or otherwise lacking character. Even their doctors are prone to unconsciously slip into biased thinking about their obese patients. Why Imagining Phobias May Help You Conquer Them (Originally aired January 8, 2019) Guest: Tor Wager, Professor of Cognitive Psychology and director of the Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Colorado Boulder My dad was a therapist and he had a Far Side comic stuck on the filing cabinet next to his desk that he just got such a kick out of. It shows a panicked guy dangling high above the street in a dark box full of snakes. The caption reads: “Professor Gallagher and his controversial technique of simultaneously confronting the fear of heights, snakes and the dark.” “Exposure therapy” is a real thing that’s been common since the 1950s where people confront the thing they’re afraid of until the fear goes away. But what, rather than experiencing the scary thing, you could just imagine it and still overcome the fear?