News & Information

A Year in Space, Dementia, Cancer and Virtual Reality

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Mar 7, 2016 10:00 pm
  • 1:41:40

A Year in Space (1:03) Guests: Scott Kelly, NASA Astronaut, Engineer and a Retired U.S. Navy Captain; Mark Kelly, Brother to Scott Kelly, Twins Study participant and Former NASA Astronaut; Julie Robinson, International Space Station Program Chief Scientist; John Charles, Human Research Program Associate Manager for International Space  An astronaut named Scott Kelly just returned from the International Space Station where he broke the record for the most consecutive days spent in space by an American. He was there for nearly an entire year – 340 days –acting, essentially, as a human guinea pig. NASA hopes in the next decade or two that astronauts will be going to Mars, which will be a round trip of up to three years. We have no idea what being in zero gravity and confined to close quarters with the same few people for such a long time will do to humans – psychologically or physically. Scott Kelly’s year in space was a step toward answering those questions.  Dementia (18:40) Guest: Kenneth M. Langa, MD, PhD, Professor at the University of Michigan in the Center on the Demography of Aging  Here’s a little brain teaser to start of this next conversation. What do the following have in common: an educated mother, a vibrant social life, and delayed retirement? All three are factors that can lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia in old age. Research suggests your own education level and the amount of exercise you get are also influential in preventing or delaying dementia.  Drop-in Centers (36:58) Guest: Natasha Slesnick, PhD, Professor of Human Sciences at Ohio State University  There are anywhere from half a million to two million homeless youth in America today. The estimates range widely because young people are notoriously difficult to track on the streets. They tend to steer clear of the traditional shelters and service centers set up to help the homeless community. Youth feel so unsafe in those settings, they’ll opt to stay in cars, on benches or in abandoned buildings.  Cancer and Virtual Reality (51:17) Guest: Olivier Elemento, PhD, Specialist in Precision Medicine at the Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell  Virtual reality—seeing electronic images in an immersive 3D experience—is changing how we view movies and play video games, but cancer researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College think its uses go far beyond entertainment. They’ve developed a software that allows them to examine and manipulate 3-D models of DNA proteins to help pinpoint the exact location of cancer-causing mutations.  Parent Previews: Zootopia and Eddie the Eagle (1:05:36) Guest: Rod Gustafson, Film Reviewer at  We discuss the films “Zootopia,” Disney’s latest, and “Eddie the Eagle.” Tech Transfer: College of Engineering (1:20:22) Guests: Spencer Rogers, BYU Tech Transfer Office; Alan Parkinson, Dean of BYU’s Fulton College of Engineering and Technology  Demand for young people with engineering and technology degrees is on the rise. So, too, is the scrutiny of college engineering programs for how well they serve women and minority students.