News & Information

Castros Step Back from Cuba, Rivers Are Getting Saltier, "Stone Man Disease"

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Apr 23, 2018 11:00 pm
  • 1:43:14

Castros Step Back from Cuba Guest: Evan Ward, PhD, Professor of History, Brigham Young University For nearly 60 years, one name has been synonymous with the Caribbean island – Castro. First, Fidel and then his brother, Raul. But this week, for the first time since Marxist revolutionaries swept to power in 1959, a non-Castro is in charge. His name is Miguel Diaz-Canel and his ascension in Cuba marks a turning point on several fronts. Archaeologists Turn to the FBI for Help with 4,000-year-old Mummy Guest: Odile Loreille, PhD, Research Biologist, FBI For nearly a century, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has had a 4,000-year-old Egyptian mummy head in its vaults. Archaeologists were pretty sure the head belonged to Governor Djehutynakht - or his wife - because it was found in their tomb in 1915. But by that point looters had done a number on the tomb, so the mummified head was jumbled in all the mess left behind. Once archaeologists had exhausted their methods of identification, they called the FBI – which does a lot of DNA analysis, as you can imagine, being a crime-solving agency. Sort of an Indiana Jones meets the X-Files crossover here. But could they extract enough DNA from a 4,000 mummified head to glean any information? FBI research biologist Odile Loreille wasn’t sure, but she gave it a shot. And what she discovered is pretty incredible. Rivers Are Getting Saltier Guest: Gene Likens, PhD, Founding Director and President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Distinguished Professor, University of Connecticut, Recipient of the National Medal of Science In the ‘70s, “acid rain” regularly made headlines as the US government wrestled with a pollution problem. Thanks to the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, pollution has declined dramatically. But one of the scientists who was first to identify acid rain in North America is now raising the alarm about salt pollution in our waters. Barbershop Books Guest: Alvin Irby, Social Entrepreneur, Educator, Author, Comedian There is a new feature popping up in barbershops around the country, and it has nothing to with hair. It’s a colorful little display against the wall called “Barbershop Books” and it’s meant to inspire young boys to read for fun.  To learn more, click here. Parent Previews: “I Feel Pretty” and “Truth or Dare” Guest: Rod Gustafson, Host, Parent Previews I Feel Pretty: Renee Bennett (Amy Schumer) is struggling with her less-than-perfect appearance until a head injury has her believing she is a beautiful, sexy woman. Although the rest of the world sees her the same way as before, Renee's new confidence makes her see the world completely differently. Truth or Dare: A group of young adults (Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sophia Ali) get stuck in a deadly game of Truth or Dare. If you try to quit -- you're dead. If you try to lie -- you're dead. And even if you tell the truth, there still no guarantee you'll live. Rod warns to stay clear of this movie. Deciphering “Stone Man” Disease Guest: David Goldhamer, PhD, Stem Cell Biologist, Associate Director, Stem Cell Institute, and Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut The skeleton of Harry Raymond Eastlack – who died in 1973 - is on display at the College of Physicians in Philadelphia. It stands up on its own, without all the wires and bolts a skeleton would normally need to keep its shape once all the muscles and ligaments are gone. That’s because Eastlack had an extremely rare disease that virtually encased his body in extra bone, fusing his joints in place. Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive or FOP is sometimes called “Stone Man Disease” and while it afflicts only one in 2 million people, scientists are actively working to understand what causes it. Since today is International FOP Awareness Day, we’ve got one of those scientists on the line.