News & Information

Shigella, Recession College Attendance, Sympathy, Drones

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Apr 13, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 1:42:35

Shigella Outbreak (1:06) Guest: Anna Bowen, medical officer in the CDC’s Waterborne Diseases Prevention Branch Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are warning that infections of a drug-resistant strain of shigella are on the rise in the U.S. They say the spike is linked to people traveling internationally and bringing the bacteria back to the US, where it spreads quickly through contaminated food and recreational water. The Recession and College Attendance (12:19) Guest: Caroline Hoxby, Economics Professor at Stanford University and co-editor of the book "How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education" At 5.5 percent, the national unemployment rate is nearly back to where it was just before the Great Recession hit. Which is not to say that all Americans feel as though they’ve recovered from the shock to their earnings, their retirement funds, or the value of their homes. A new book co-edited by Stanford economist Caroline Hoxby finds universities managed pretty well during the recession, due in no small part to the fact that more people enrolled in college when the job market tanked. Sympathy (38:47) Guest: Birgit Koopmann-Holm, lecturer at Santa Clara University. Co-author of a series of studies on the differences between American expressions of sympathy and German expressions of sympathy. When someone passes, we often hear typical responses like: "So sorry for your loss." "My prayers are with you and your family." "Be strong." Pretty standard stuff as far as sympathy goes. But maybe it’s not so standard from a global perspective. Apparently, sympathy is culturally-specific. Santa Clara University researcher Birgit Koopman-Holm has found Americans sympathize differently than other cultures—specifically Germany, where Dr. Koopmann-Holm comes from. Drones and Targeted Killing (50:39) Guest: Marjorie Cohn, professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, a former president of the National Lawyers Guild and author of the book, “Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral and Geopolitical Issues.” The War on Terror itself has evolved a lot in the last decade. Since President Barack Obama took office in 2008, it has increasingly been fought by soldiers sitting in secret command sites in the U.S. remotely controlling unmanned aircraft that hover and fire on suspected terrorists 7,000 miles away in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. The use of drones has become intensely controversial among politicians, lawyers and academics of all partisan stripes. Thomas Jefferson School of Law professor Marjorie Cohn parses the legal, moral and geopolitical issues of America’s drone program in her book, “Drones and Targeted Killing.” Parent Previews: Longest Ride, Freetown (1:13:23) Guests: Rod Gustafson and Kerry Bennett of Grab your hankies and you girlfriends, because Nicholas Sparks is out with another of stories featuring not one, but two couples in love and trying to beat the odds. This one introduces Clint Eastwood’s son Scott as a bull rider. The movie “Freetown” is set in Liberia, filmed in Ghana, and is produced by the director of previous faith-based films “The Saratov Approach” and “Saints and Soldiers.” Tech Transfer (1:24:06) Guests: Steve Castle is a professor of chemistry and associate director of the Simmons Center for Cancer Research at BYU Mike Alder, director of BYU’s Technology Transfer segment Many of the drugs approved by the FDA to treat various conditions work, but only to a certain extent. For example, there is a certain medication used to treat people with HIV/AIDS that has only a very short “shelf-life” in the body. As a result, it has to be injected twice daily in very large amounts. Needless to say, many patients prefer another treatment, if it’s available, and generally it’s used only on patients who don’t respond well to other HIV/AIDS drugs. The question is, why does the drug degrade so quickly in the body? Well that, has to do with the fact that the drug is a peptide and peptides are rapidly chewed up by enzymes in the body. BYU chemistry professor Steve Castle has come up with a new way to slow down that process and potentially create more effective drugs for lots of diseases.