• Apr 23, 2018 11:00 pm
  • 14:06 mins

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.

Other Segments

Archaeologists Turn to the FBI for Help with 4,000-year-old Mummy

16 MINS

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.

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.

Deciphering "Stone Man" Disease

21 MINS

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.

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.