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Tumult in Asia, African Healthcare, Healthy Diets and Depression

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Mar 14, 2017
  • 01:41:54

Tumult in Asia Guest: Kirk Larsen, PhD, History Professor, BYU; Mark Peterson, PhD, Professor of Korean Language and Culture, BYU Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is headed to China, South Korea and Japan for his first official trip to the region. It’ll take extra diplomacy on his part, coming at a time when South Korea’s president has just been ousted and the likely replacement doesn’t agree with many US policies in the region. Add to that North Korea’s escalating provocation, including numerous recent missile tests that have other countries in the region on edge. And China is particularly peeved right now that the US has begun installing an anti-missile system in South Korea, which is supposed to prevent against a North Korean nuclear attack, but which China sees as a threat to its dominance in the region.  Experiments in African Healthcare Guest: Dan Posner, PhD, Professor of International Development, UCLA About 10 years ago, a study of health clinics in Uganda caused a big stir in the global development world. The researchers claimed that without spending any additional money on supplies or staff, they were able to cause dramatic – really dramatic – improvement in health outcomes. All they did was organize meetings between the health clinic workers and residents of the rural communities where they operated. So basically, people talked and held each other to account and maternal health improved, babies lived longer – the list goes on.  Development experts were thrilled at the possibilities. And governments in developing countries were excited, too, because if they could get much better health outcomes without spending any extra money – well that’s brilliant, right? Healthy Diet Helps with Depression Guest: Felice Jacka, PhD, Professor of Nutritional and Epidemiological Psychiatry, Deakin University When we’re feeling anxious or sad, we feel it in our gut – we say, “I have butterflies in my stomach” or “I’m feeling sick to my stomach.” But the relationship between your brain and your belly goes both ways. A growing body of research suggests the health of your gut – especially the bacteria in your gut – affects your mental health.  Virtual Reality for Engineers Guest: John Salmon, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, BYU Virtual reality has become so accessible – and so advanced – that it’s not just for gamers anymore. Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is using it to train technicians more efficiently and effectively. BYU received a grant to help develop the system. Predicting Who Will Sing or Swim in College Guest: Charles Thornburgh, Founder and CEO of Civitas Learning Less than half of the nation’s college students graduate in four years, and even adding two more years to get the job done only increases the graduation rate to about 60%. So, colleges try to predict which students are going to struggle and funnel them into extra coaching and support services. Except that crystal balls don’t come standard in the offices of college advisement counselors, and it turns out that just looking at a student’s GPA (as many colleges do) is not a good predictor of who will make it to graduation and who won’t.  Using Facebook to Discover the Real You Guest: Michal Kosinski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University When you’re scrolling your Facebook feed and casually clicking “like” on posts, you’re leaving digital tracks – footprints, as our next guest calls them. And while you may think you’re not revealing anything intimate about yourself, researchers have found that with the right computer algorithm, they can paint a picture of your personality, interests and political views that’s more accurate than your close friends could paint – and in some cases even more accurate than you could describe yourself. Show More...

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