News & Information

World Events, Coconut Oil, Understanding the Teenage Mind

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jul 17, 2017 11:00 pm
  • 1:42:57

Three World Events—Macron’s France, New Saudi Prince, Cholera in Yemen Guest: Quinn Mecham, Professor of Political Science, BYU World Events are Top of Mind today as we welcome regular contributor Quinn Mecham back into the studio. He’s a professor of political science here at BYU and joins us monthly with a look at three international events worth closer consideration. Coconut Oil: The New No-No? Guest: Vasanti Malik, Research Scientist, T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard  Americans have been coo-coo for coconut oil lately: cooking with it, slathering it on their bodies and hair. Some healthy nuts swear that eating a spoonful a day helps them lose weight and ward off disease. No wonder people got pretty fired up when the American Heart Association came out recently and said coconut oil’s health-food status is bogus. The AHA report analyzed years of data on the link between saturated fat and heart disease and concluded that yes, saturated fat increases your risk of heart attack. But then they came straight for coconut oil, noting it’s higher in saturated fat that even butter or lard. “We advise against the use of coconut oil,” says the AHA. Unemployed White Men: So Much to Lose Guest: Shervin Assari, MD, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Public Health, University of Michigan When you’re dragging yourself out of bed for work in the morning, you may not realize it, but having a job is good for your health and life expectancy. That’s especially true if you’re a white man. Women and black men don’t get nearly the same boost to their health from being employed. On the flip side, white men tend to suffer worse health consequences when they lose a job. Health disparities researcher Shervin Assari refers to this phenomenon as “the vulnerability that comes with privilege.” Understanding the Teen Mind Guest: Marie Banich, PhD, Executive Director of CU Boulder's Intermountain Neuroimaging Center, Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Let’s take an expedition now into the weird and wild world of the teenage mind. We all remember being there. If you’ve got a teenager at home, you’ve got a front-row seat to the mystery of it. Is the brain of an adolescent different from that of a fully-grown adult? What do drugs, sleep and stress do to the brain’s development? Not to mention hormones. Parent Previews—Planet of the Apes Guests: Rod and Donna Gustafson, Film Reviewers at  A science experiment gone-wrong created highly intelligent primates that now pose too great a threat to the human race. “War for the Planet of the Apes” picks up the story. New Kidney Cancer Drug Guests: Merritt Andrus, PhD, Professor of Chemistry, BYU; Mike Alder, Director, BYU Technology Transfer Office Several years ago the National Cancer Institute put out a call for researchers to find new treatments for kidney cancer. While overall cancer death rates continue to decline in the U.S, the Institute notes that death rates for certain cancers, including kidney, are on the rise. One result of that call to action was the discovery of a natural compound from a plant in Africa that is particularly toxic to kidney cancer cells. Click here for more information about technology developed at BYU.