Money and Politics, Iran, Diabetes Prevention, Cinderella
Top of Mind with Julie Rose
- Mar 16, 2015 9:00 pm
- 1:42:21 mins
Money and Politics (1:08) Guest: Michael Barber, Political Science at BYU Americans are more politically polarized than at any other point in the last 20 years, according to Pew Research. So it stands to reason that our elected leaders in Congress – and even in statehouses around the country – are also polarized in their views, votes and rhetoric, right? Well, what if it isn’t as simple as that? What if money has a lot more to do with the polarized picture of politics in America? Money is “definitely an important part of the electoral process,” says Barber. “The one that has more money to spend in advertising or get out the vote candidates is likely to fare better on Election Day.” “Legislators are nervous about losing money they could miss out on in the future. They behave in a way so that they can please those who contribute to their campaign,” says Barber. Iran Sanctions (18:38) Guest: Raj Bhala, a leading expert on international trade and Rice Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law Iranian leaders have famously called America the “Great Satan.” So why now, are they willing to come to the table with Western nations, including the United States, and consider making a deal to limit its ability to develop a nuclear weapon? What does Iran stand to gain from such concessions? The answer lies in Iran’s desire to get out from under trade sanctions imposed by the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations on various sectors of Iran’s economy. As the nuclear negotiations face an interim deadline of March 24th, we’re taking some time to better understand the nature of these sanctions Iran is so eager to be rid of. “When you look at the conventional measures of the performance of a domestic economy, Iran performs poorly during the sanctions period. Unemployment is very high, and that of course is dangerous in any society for the rulers because if there are a number of smart educated people that aspire to a better future, they can’t find employment. Inflation is very high partly because of the supply constraints—goods are not available in ready supply. There is cost-push inflation but also demand-pull inflation. Iran has not been able to get the investment it needs from abroad because of the sanctions. The performance of the banking system has also been poor,” explains Bhala. “There’s a large, fragile middle class in Iran that has suffered a lot from the sanctions,” says Bhala. Hormones and Exercise (51:52) Guest: David Lee, assistant professor at USC Davis and lead author of the "MOTS-c Hormone" study, which appears in the current issue of the journal "Cell Metabolism." Diet and exercise are generally considered the best approach to dealing with type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity. Drugs like metformin are also known to help. But a team of scientists at the University of South California have identified a naturally-occurring hormone that might also be used to tackle type 2 diabetes – and could have the added benefit of letting you eat a high-fat diet while not gaining weight. “Exercise is a very complex thing and it changes many factors in your body. We do believe that this hormone mediates exercise,” says Lee. Parent Previews: Cinderella (1:08:03) Guests: Kerry Bennett and Rod Gustafson of ParentPreviews.com “This film was just refreshing. It was nice to see something different,” says Bennett on Cinderella. Tech Transfer: Tremor Measurement (1:20:52) Guests: Nathan Stanford, CEO and co-founder of Vykon Technologies Dave Brown, BYU Technology Transfer office Matt Durrant, CTO of Vykon Technologies Cameron Hadley, CTO of Vykon Technologies For the millions of Americans who suffer from movement disorders – like tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease – a simple smile or sipping from a glass can be a challenge. To date the tools for accurately diagnosing movement disorders and tracking their progression over time have been limited – and costly. A research assistant in BYU’s Neuromechanics Lab has a different solution. “Movement disorders are very complicated and difficult to diagnose,” says Stanford. “We work a lot with people who have a central tremor. It’s a type of tremor that’s diagnosed by what’s called exclusion. It’s a relatively fast tremor, predominant in older populations. It’s not going to really hamper someone’s life where they will die but it really messes with quality of life,” explains Stanford. “We are tracking and monitoring the tremor. You will be able to use this device on a daily basis and receive accurate data to take back to your neurologist and track your tremor,” says Stanford on his company called Vykon Technologies.