Canada v. Saudi Arabia, Going Gray, Youth Voting & Diet Soda

Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 876

  • Aug 13, 2018 9:00 pm
  • 1:42:39 mins

Smart, informative conversations and interviews that go beyond mere headlines and sound bites. Canada and Saudi Arabia Battle Over Human Rights Guest: Oonagh Fitzgerald, a former Canadian government official who worked on international law and human rights, directs the International Law Research Program at the Center for International Governance Innovation.  About ten days ago, Canada’s foreign minister Tweeted a call for some human rights activists to be released from jail in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis responded by kicking Canada’s ambassador out, bringing the Saudi ambassador home and cutting off all future business with Canada. Saudi Airways flights to Toronto have been suspended and thousands of state-funded Saudi students attending Canadian universities have been told by the Saudi government to find somewhere else to continue their studies.  Are 16-year Olds Mature Enought to Vote Guests: Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart & Takoma Park Youth Council Chairman Kiran Kochar McCabe A handful of cities around the country let 16 and 17 year olds vote in local elections and there’s a push to get more on board. Takoma Park, Maryland, which is a suburb of Washington, DC, was the first to do it five years ago. But are 16-year-olds really mature enough to cast an informed vote? On the other hand, if we trust them to drive a car and pay taxes on their after-school earnings, don’t they deserve a say in local issues that affect them, like education?  Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Diet? Eunice Zhang, MD, Clinical Fellow, preventive medicine, University of Michigan School of Public Health When I drink soda, it’s always diet, because that way I get a sweet treat without the caloric consequences. Scientists, though, are discovering that calorie-free sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose aren’t harmless freebies in the body. They have consequences, which Dr. Eunice Zhang flagged in a recent article she wrote for The Conversation. Would You Eat Lab-Grown Meat? Guest: Ali Bouzari, PhD, Food Scientist and author of “Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food” Meat grown in a test-tube is currently possible, in small amounts. But a bunch of companies say they’re on the verge of being able to sell you a whole filet of fish, nugget of chicken or slice of foie gras made in the laboratory. PETA – the animal rights group - supports the idea because it doesn’t require force-feeding or slaughtering animals. The beef, pork and poultry industries would prefer these mad scientists not call their stuff meat, at all. But what does it actually taste like? Will it ever do for the palate and the chef what meat does? Ancient Egyptian Discovery Guest: Dr. John Darnell, Professor of Egyptology at Yale University Five-thousand-year-old graffiti has turned up in a remote part of the Sahara Desert between the Nile River and the Red Sea. It dates to a time just before Egyptians developed their hieroglyphic writing system, so these pictures scratched into stone are a window into what seems like a basic human urge to express ourselves and leave a mark on the world. These ancient Egyptians weren’t so different from people carving their initials in a tree or spray painting them on walls, really.  Students Study Their Own Microrganisms  Guests:  Steve Johnson, PhD, Associate Professor of Micro and Molecular Biology at Brigham Young University and Scott Weber, PhD, Associate Professor of Micro and Molecular Biology at Brigham Young University. A lot of big breakthroughs in science have been the result of people experimenting on themselves. A couple of scientists around the turn of the century helped discover that cancer is not contagious by injecting themselves with cancerous cells and waiting to see what would happen. Around that same time, US Army doctors infected themselves with yellow fever to prove that it was transmitted by mosquitoes. One of the doctors died in the process. Another doctor in the 1930s named Werner Forssmann couldn’t get permission to try his idea for treating heart conditions on a living patient, so he did it on himself – inserting a tube into a vein in his arm and threading it all the way to his heart. Cardiac catheterization is now routine in heart surgery. On a less dramatic scale, a couple of BYU microbiology professors recently discovered that if they had students study their own gut bacteria, the students were more in to what they were learning.

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