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It’s time for another Ask Me Anything episode where STEM-Talk cohost Dawn Kernagis asks Ken questions submitted by listeners. In this episode, Ken and Dawn weigh in on: --  Whether AI is becoming sentient. -- How women in midlife might protect their bodies from the negative effects of a slowing metabolism. -- A Stanford study that compared a low-carbohydrate diet with a Mediterranean diet. -- Whether fasting helps optimize cognitive performance. -- The future of hypersonic technology. -- And a lot more. If you have a question after listening to today’s episode or any episode of STEM-Talk, email your question to STEM-Talk Producer Randy Hammer at rhammer@ihmc.org. Show notes [00:02:45] Dawn begins the AMA with a question for Ken that was inspired by the Mark Mattson interview, episode 133. Mark talked about skipping breakfast and in his recent book,  “The Intermittent Fasting Revolution,” Mark points out that bodybuilders often skip breakfast and do their weight training in a fasted state, which has the effect of optimizing both muscle building and cognitive performance. The listener mentions that they feel more cognitively sharp in a fasted state but as soon as they break their fast, they don’t feel as sharp. The listener asks Ken if this is normal. [00:04:35] A listener asks Ken about a recent news story in which a Russian robot broke a boy’s finger during a chess match. The listener goes on to state that several of their friends have jumped to the conclusion that this is proof robots are becoming sentient beings and asks Ken for his take is on this given Ken’s AI background. [00:06:02] A listener asks another AI question, this one regarding the Washington Post’s reporting on a Google engineer who was fired over claims he made while at the company that an AI chatbot he had been testing had become sentient. The engineer claimed in an interview with The Guardian that the chatbot, LaMDA, was afraid of being turned off, had read “Les Miserables” and that it had emotions. Google maintains that LaMDA is merely responding to prompts designed for it. The listener asks Ken what would be an appropriate test for gauging AI sentience and what other thoughts Ken has about this story. [00:08:32] A listener mentions that they have been following the ketogenic diet for 18 months and have lost 40 pounds. Recently they checked their liver enzymes GGT, AST, TSH and found they were elevated above “normal” and their Alpha fetoprotein marker was measured at 10.3. The listener asks Ken what he has learned about the ketogenic diet’s impact on the liver. [00:09:48] A listener asks about a recent paper regarding a Stanford study that compared low-carbohydrate diets with a Mediterranean diet. The listener mentions that in the Stanford study the diets had three similarities – no non-starchy vegetables, no added sugars and no refined grains. The key difference in the diets was that the low-carb diet avoided legumes, fruits, and whole grains while the Mediterranean diet included them. The study measured glucose control and cardiometabolic risk in people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. The study found that comparative outcomes did not support a sufficient benefit to justify people avoiding legumes, whole fruits, and whole grains to achieve the metabolic state of ketosis. The listener asks Ken for his thoughts on the study. [00:14:57] A listener mentions in their question that they found the Mike Griffin and Mark Lewis interviews both fascinating and worrying. The listener’s key concern is that China and Russia are ahead of the U.S. in terms of hypersonic capabilities. The listener goes on to mention that they recently saw “Top Gun Maverick” and asks if it is reasonable that someday we will see jets with human pilots that are capable of flying 10-to-20 times the speed of sound, as depicted in the film; or will these sorts of aircrafts need to be operated by AI or humanoids.
Our guest today is Dr. Jason Fung, a Toronto-based nephrologist, and the best-selling author of “The Obesity Code,” “The Diabetes Code,” and “The Cancer Code.” Jason is best known for his success in combining a low-carb diet with intermittent fasting to help thousands of overweight patients reverse their type 2 diabetes, lose weight, and improve their metabolic health. Jason is the author of the blog “The Fasting Method” and the co-founder of the Intensive Dietary Management program, an initiative that provides low-carb dietary guidance and counseling on various fasting regimes. Jason is also the co-author with Jimmy Moore of “The Complete Guide to Fasting,” which looks at the history and culture of fasting and how it helps people improve their metabolic health. In today’s episode, Ken is joined by Visiting IHMC research scientist Dr. Tommy Wood and together, they and Jason discuss: How in the beginning of his practice, Jason prescribed insulin for type 2 diabetes patients. How a series of landmark studies starting in 2008 changed Jason’s mind about using glucose-lowering medication for type 2 diabetes. Jason’s realization that type 2 diabetes is largely a dietary disease and therefore requires a dietary solution rather than a pharmaceutical one. The origins of Jason’s Dietary Management program, which counsels overweight and obese patients to follow a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet to reduce insulin. A critique of the “eat less, move more” strategy acclaimed by many obesity experts. Mark Mattson’s research into the powerful impact of intermittent fasting on metabolic health and a recent paper that questioned the effectiveness of time-restricted eating when compared to daily calorie restriction. Recent research and evidence that fasting during chemotherapy may reduce the side effects of the treatment. Show notes: [00:02:25] Tommy opens the interview mentioning that Jason was born and raised in Toronto and asks what drew Jason to science as a kid. [00:03:43] Tommy mentions the irony that Jason has written several best-selling books, yet Jason was not fond of English or writing when he was in school. [00:04:53] Ken mentions that after graduating from high school, Jason stayed close to home and attended the University of Toronto, entering into medical school just after turning 19 to study internal medicine, eventually specializing in nephrology. Ken asks Jason what intrigued him about becoming a kidney specialist. [00:06:36] Tommy asks Jason what led him to go to UCLA after medical school for his specialty training in kidney disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. [00:07:37] Tommy mentions that Jason has been practicing clinical nephrology in Toronto since 2001, and that in those early years of his practice, Jason saw patients with type 2 diabetes and prescribed medications to keep their blood glucose low. When that didn’t work, he would prescribe insulin, which is the standard medical practice. Tommy asks what Jason observed during these early years of his practice. [00:09:28] Ken mentions that in 2008, two landmark studies were published, the ACCORD study and the ADVANCE study (a summary of ADVANCE). These studies were followed by two more studies, the ORIGIN and VADT studies, all four of which demonstrated that using blood glucose-lowering medication for type 2 diabetes didn’t necessarily have the expected benefits. Ken asks Jason to talk about how these studies were eye-opening for him and confirmed his own experience in treating patients. [00:16:27] Tommy explains that in 1972 Robert Atkins published the “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution,” which shared his findings on the effectiveness of low-carb, high-fat dieting. Tommy goes on to mention that in the late 1990s, a string of Atkins-styled diet books surged in popularity, with most physicians being opposed due to the conventional wisdom that these high-fat diets would cause heart disease. As a result,
Today’s episode features the author of “Why We Get Sick,” Dr. Ben Bikman, a biomedical scientist at Brigham Young University. Ben is known for his research into the contrasting roles of insulin and ketones as key drivers of metabolic function. In “Why We Get Sick,” Ben takes a deep dive into insulin resistance and metabolic health. The book particularly focuses on the role that insulin resistance plays in many of today’s most common diseases: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. Ben and his colleagues at the Bikman Lab investigate the molecular mechanisms behind the increased risks of disease that accompany obesity and excess visceral fat. Much of the research at the Bikman Lab particularly focuses on the etiology of insulin resistance and how it disrupts mitochondrial function. In today’s interview, STEM-Talk cohosts Drs. Ken Ford and Dawn Kernagis talk to Ben about: How insulin resistance is tied to multiple chronic diseases. The relevance of ketones in mitochondrial function. How so many of our modern chronic diseases are self-inflicted and driven by insulin resistance. How many of the hallmarks of aging are a consequence of insulin resistance. The theory that the longest-lived people are likely the most insulin sensitive. The benefits that occur with carbohydrate reduction as a result of increasing insulin sensitivity. Ben’s thoughts about the degree of intermittent fasting needed to induce autophagy in humans. Show notes: [00:02:32] Dawn begins the interview asking Ben about his early life growing up in a small farm town in southern Alberta, Canada, as one of 13 children. [00:02:48] Dawn asks Ben what he was like as a kid and what made him stand out from his 12 brothers and sisters. [00:06:01] Dawn asks about Ben’s mother’s influence and how she wanted her sons to be Renaissance men. [00:08:29] Ken asks about Ben’s experience as a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Missionary in Samara, Russia. [00:15:18] Dawn mentions that while Ben went into his undergrad majoring in exercise science, he wasn’t that interested in science at the time. It wasn’t until he began working on his master’s degree at BYU with Dr. Will Winder that he developed a true interest in science. [00:19:49] Dawn asks Ben how he ended up at East Carolina University for his Ph.D. in bioenergetics. [00:21:42] Ken mentions that Ben, after completing his Ph.D. moved to Singapore for his postdoc work at the Duke National University of Singapore. Ken asks how that came about. [00:25:49] Dawn mentions that Ben is well-known for his work on insulin resistance, stemming from his time at East Carolina when he realized that insulin resistance is tied to many different chronic diseases. Dawn asks what was Ben’s ah-ha moment that led him to focus his research on insulin resistance. [00:27:49] Dawn mentions that much of Ben’s work is focused on the role of elevated insulin in regulating obesity and diabetes, as well as the relevance of ketones in mitochondrial function. Dawn asks if it is correct that Ben has been on a sort of mission as a professor to teach a new generation of doctors and nurses how insulin resistance works, and why it is so relevant in terms of chronic disease. [00:29:56] Ken mentions that Ben began to take his message about insulin resistance beyond the classroom, appearing on podcasts and making YouTube videos, and also giving a speech to the student body at BYU, titled “The Plagues of Prosperity” making the case that the human race is currently eating itself into metabolic disarray. [00:32:31] Ben’s book “Why We Get Sick” points out that historicall, people got sic because of infectious diseases. In modern times, due to sanitation, vaccines, and antivirals, that is less of an issue. Today more people are afflicted by chronic illnesses, many of which are related to metabolism. Dawn explains that the overarching message of the book is that these diseases a...
Our interview today is with Dr. Vyvyane Loh, a board-certified physician in obesity and internal medicine. She is the founder and leader of Transform Alliance for Health, a Boston preventive-care practice that  specializes in weight management and the treatment of chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. She and her staff are known for helping people lose 50 pounds or more and getting their type-2 diabetic patients off their many medications. Vyvyane has spent her medical career developing expertise in immunology, metabolic syndrome, fat metabolism, clinical nutrition, and preventive medicine. In today’s interview, we discuss how abdominal, or visceral, fat is linked to a wide range of metabolic disorders. Vyvyane goes on to explain how there’s a clearcut association between obesity and decreased brain volume that rarely gets discussed. When her overweight patients complain about their behavior around food and how they consistently give in to snacks that patients know are bad for them, Vyvyane explains how the challenges they are facing is often a result of the brain struggling with decreased blood flow and the shrinkage of neurons. Vyvyane also shares how a patient asked Vyvyane if she knew anything about the Atkins diet, and although she didn’t, Vyvyane ended up doing the diet along with her patient. This led Vyvyane to start seriously researching whether a ketogenic diet could help people not only lose weight, but also reverse chronic disease. Toward the end of today’s interview, we explore Vyvyane’s interest in macrophages, which are specialized cells involved in the detection and destruction of bacteria and other harmful organisms. We also have a nice discussion about how Vyvyane took some time off from practicing medicine to enroll in the writing program at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina in 1999. She spent the next two years writing a novel, “Breaking the Tongue.”  Set in Singapore during World War II, her book was nominated for the prestigious International IMPAC Award in fiction and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of its top 25 books of 2004. If you are interested in finding out more about Vyvyane, check out her website, vyvyanelohmd.com. Also, Vyvyane launched a podcast this week, which you also can find on her website. Episode one looks at “Metabolism: What It Is, And How It Affects Your Health.” If you enjoy today’s interview with Vyvyane and the many other interviews we’ve had on STEM-Talk discussing the treatment and prevention of chronic metabolic diseases, you may want to check out the upcoming virtual conference on Targeting Metabesity. Our cohost Dr. Ken Ford will be one of nearly 70 speakers, including many former guests on STEM-Talk, talking about the growing evidence that the major chronic diseases of the day share common metabolic roots and as a result may also share common solutions. To find out more about the conference, follow this link to the Targeting Metabestiy home page where you find a program guide and list of speakers. If you would like a free ticket to the conference, click on this link where you will find instructions on how to receive a code for complimentary admission that is being offered to STEM-Talk listeners. Ken will be moderating a session on emerging research related to endogenous and exogenous ketosis in health and disease as well as the role of ketones in mild traumatic brain injury and the prevention and treatment of cancer. If you have enjoyed the interviews we’ve had on STEM-Talk with Drs Steven Austad, Colin Champ, James Kirkland, John Newman, Brianna Stubbs, Jeff Volek and Morley Stone, who are all speaking at the conference as well, you should find the talks by the over 70 speakers quite interesting and beneficial. So, click here to request a free registration and we will make sure to send a you a code for a complimentary ticket. Show notes [00:04:45] Dawn mentions that,
Our guest today is Dr. Jeffery Iliff, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences in the Department of Neurology at the University of Washington. Much of Jeff’s research focuses on neurodegeneration and traumatic brain injury. He is the associate director of research at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System and a co-leader for research at the University of Washington’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. In this episode, we talk about Jeff’s investigations into the glymphatic system, which is a newly discovered brain-wide network of perivascular spaces that facilitates the clearance of waste products from the brain during sleep. Jeff goes on to describe how he is exploring how the glymphatic system fails in the aging brain as well as in younger brains after traumatic brain injury. Jeff and Dawn also have a conversation about their collaboration on a research project  that’s focused on how extreme stressors impact the glymphatic system. Together they are investigating a potential approach to optimizing glymphatic clearance for individuals with acute or chronic sleep deprivation. Show notes: [00:02:55] Dawn opens the interview asking Jeff where he grew up. [00:03:21] Dawn asks what Jeff what he was like as a kid. [00:04:01] Ken mentions that it wasn’t until Jeff was working as a lifeguard at a boy scout camp that he first became interested in science. Ken asks Jeff what it was about his lifeguard experience that triggered the interest. [00:05:06] Dawn asks what led Jeff to the University of Washington as an undergrad. [00:06:02] Ken mentions that Jeff originally intended on going into pre-med. Ken explains that Jeff changed his mind and asks about a suggestion from a girlfriend that caused Jeff to have a change of heart. [00:07:39] Dawn points out that in addition to working in the lab as an undergrad, Jeff also worked a 48-hour shift as an EMT over the weekends. Dawn asks Jeff why he kept such a busy schedule. [00:09:35] Ken asks what led Jeff to the Oregon Health & Science University for his Ph.D. [00:10:53] Dawn asks if it’s true that Jeff’s wife played a big role in his decision to travel across the country to New York for his post-doc at the University of Rochester. [00:13:06] Dawn mentions that after the second year of Jeff’s post-doc, he was promoted to a junior faculty position because he was part of the team that discovered a brain cleaning system known as the glymphatic system. The team published a paper in 2012 in science translational medicine that was the first of about ten papers that later became known as the “glymphatic papers.” After a follow-up paper in 2013, Science Magazine cited the discovery that the glymphatic system cleans the brain during sleep as one of the “Top 10 Breakthroughs of 2013.” Dawn asks what this experience was like for Jeff as a young post-doc and junior faculty member. [00:15:55] Dawn explains that the lymphatic system is a network of vessels extending throughout most of the body that transport excess fluid and waste from the interstitial spaces between cells to the blood. She goes on to explain that these vessels are notably not found in the brain leading to the question of how interstitial fluid is cleared in the brain. Jeff’s team discovered the glymphatic system, which serves the same function in the brain as the lymphatic system in the rest of the body. This discovery turned out to be a paradigm shift and led to numerous subsequent studies. Dawn asks Jeff how the initial 2012 study came about and how they identified a distinct clearing system in the brain that serves a lymphatic function. [00:19:59] Dawn mentions that after Jeff’s initial work in the glymphatic system, he went on to write what has become known as his sleep paper. Dawn goes on to say that for this study, Jeff used two-photon microscopy to visualize fluid moving in and out of the brain, and at some point, saw his tracer leaving the brain.
Today we would like to introduce you to one of our newest colleagues here at IHMC,  Dr. Kaleen Lavin, a research scientist who investigates the molecular mechanisms by which the body adapts and reacts to stressors such as exercise, training and aging. Kaleen came onboard at IHMC last year and is known for her use of computational biology techniques as a means to understand and improve human health, performance and resilience. She also is interested in the use of exercise as a countermeasure for a range of disease conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease. Today we will talk to her about some of her most recent work that examined the molecular effects of exercise training in skeletal muscle and in people with Parkinson’s. We also talk to Kaleen about her recent paper that took a comprehensive look at the current literature surrounding the molecular and cellular processes underlying the molecular benefits that exercise induces in humans. The paper appeared earlier this year in Comprehensive Physiology and was titled, “State of Knowledge on Molecular Adaptations to Exercise in Humans.” Kaleen is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in biology. She also earned a master’s in sports nutrition and exercise science from Marywood University in Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in human bioenergetics from  Ball State University in Indiana. Show notes: [00:03:02] Dawn opens the interview mentioning that Kaleen grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and asks Kaleen about her passion for music as a youth. [00:03:25] Ken asks Kaleen about her high school years and how she became  a competitive swimmer. [00:04:26] Dawn mentions that Kaleen was an excellent student growing up, but that it wasn’t until her junior year of high school that she became interested in science. Dawn asks if it were a teacher who inspired Kaleen. [00:05:21] Dawn asks what led Kaleen to attend Georgetown University after graduating from high school. [00:05:57] Dawn asks if Kaleen knew she wanted to major in biology when she first arrived on campus at Georgetown. [00:06:45] Ken asks about Kaleen’s experience of becoming a part of the Howard Hughes Program at Georgetown, which led to her gaining experience working in lab. [00:08:47] Dawn mentions that Kaleen transitioned from competitive swimming to running during her undergraduate years, running a marathon and half marathon. Dawn asks if  Kaleen’s father, who is an avid marathoner, gave her the incentive to start signing up for marathons. [00:13:19] Dawn asks Kaleen about a faculty advisor who noticed her passion for running and exercise and helped her decide what to pursue for her master’s degree. [00:15:23] Ken asks Kaleen what led her to pursue her master’s at Marywood University, a small Catholic University in Scranton. [00:16:56] Ken asks Kaleen what prompted her to pursue a Ph.D. in exercise science at Ball State University, which has one of the longest-standing human performance programs in the country. [00:17:57] Dawn mentions Kaleen’s experience with no-breath laps as part of her training when she was in high school on the swim team. Dawn asks Kaleen to explain what no-breath laps are. [00:19:00] Dawn asks Kaleen about a study she conducted for her master’s thesis at Marywood that examined the effects of controlled frequency breath swimming on pulmonary function. [00:22:13] Ken asks about how Kaleen’s time at Ball State set her up for her post-doc work at Center for Exercise Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. [00:24:31] Ken asks what it was about UAB that attracted Kaleen to do her post-doc work there. [00:26:08] Dawn asks about a study published in 2017 by a group at UAB led by Marcas Bamman where researchers took people with Parkinson’s disease and ran them through a high-intensity exercise program, finding that you could not only help people preserve some function but al...
In response to several requests from listeners, we have as our guest today, Dr. Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the University of Washington. Matt is well-known for his investigations into the basic mechanisms of aging. Much of his research in this area is focused on identifying interventions that promote healthspan and lifespan. In today’s interview, we talk to Matt about the biology of aging and what he has learned about slowing the aging process.  In 1999, Matt and his colleague Mitch McVey discovered that overexpression of the SIR2 gene is sufficient to extend lifespan in yeast. SIR stands for silent information regulator, and we have an interesting discussion about how Matt’s research and 1999 discovery have elevated SIR2 to the forefront of aging research. Also, some of Matt’s most recent and fascinating investigations have been into rapamycin, the only known pharmacological agent to extend lifespan.  His research has shed new light on the role rapamycin plays in delaying age-related dysfunction in rodents, dogs, and humans. We also have a fun discussion with Matt about his research showing that rapamycin may have the potential to reduce the mortality of companion dogs. The paper that came out of this research landed Matt on the front page of the New York Times and received prominent play in the national and overseas media. Other topics we cover include: Matt’s attempts to uncover the molecular mechanism behind lifespan extension via calorie restriction. His research into mTOR, which is a protein in every cell, and how inhibiting mTOR has been shown to extend the lifespan of insects, rodents, and animals. Matt’s 2006 study that showed fasting extends lifespan in worms more than caloric restriction. And an article Matt published last year that summarized several of the most popular anti-aging diets, comparing them with classical caloric restriction. In addition to his work in his Kaeberlein Lab, Matt is the co-director of the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging and the founding director of the Healthy Aging and Longevity Research Institute at the University of Washington. He also is the founder and co-director of the Dog Aging Project. Show notes: [00:02:53] Dawn asks Matt and his youth and where he grew up. [00:03:06] Ken asks if it is true that Matt spent a good deal of his youth “up to no good.” [00:04:20] Dawn mentions that while Matt got decent grades in school, it wasn’t until he went to college that he became studious. Dawn asks Matt if it true that he had originally decided to skip college. [00:05:42] Dawn asks how Matt ended up in Bellingham at Western Washington. [00:06:41] Dawn asks how in the world, despite not liking high school and working a morning shift at UPS for two years after graduating, Matt decided to head off for college and major in biochemistry of all things. [00:08:01] Ken asks what led Matt to travel across the country to Boston and MIT’s biology program. [00:09:57] Ken asks why Matt decided to focus his research on the biology of aging. [00:11:57] Matt talks about what he did following his Ph.D. [00:13:15] Dawn asks Matt what kind of research he did at the University of Washington Department of Genome Sciences for his post-doc, and how this research related to aging. [00:15:10] Ken mentions that it was during Matt’s undergrad that he decided to focus on the question, “To what extent are the mechanisms of aging evolutionarily conserved?” Ken asks Matt what caused him to arrive at that for his central focus. [00:19:36] Dawn mentions that the discovery by Matt, and Mitch McVey, that overexpression of SIR2 (Silent Information Regulator) is sufficient to extend life span in yeast is credited with promoting SIR2 to the forefront of aging research. Dawn goes on to mention that SIR genes are determinants of life span in yeast mother cells. Dawn asks Matt to give a quick primer on the SIR genes a...
Today’s guest is Dr. Mark Lewis, executive director of NDIA’s Emerging Technologies Institute (NDIA ETI), a non-partisan think tank focused on technologies that are critical to the future of national defense. ETI provides research and analyses to inform the development and integration of emerging technologies into the defense industrial base.   We will discuss the Emerging Technologies Institute’s Vital Signs report, which is an evaluation of the readiness and health of the defense industrial base. Prior to his role at the Emerging Technologies Institute, Mark was the Director of Defense Research & Engineering in the Department of Defense, overseeing technology modernization for all military services and DoD Agencies, as well as the acting Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering.  In this role he was the Pentagon’s senior-most scientist, providing management oversight and leadership for DARPA, the Missile Defense Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency, Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, and the DoD’s basic and applied research portfolio. At the Department of Defense, Mark worked closely with Mike Griffin, who appeared on episodes 23 and 134 of STEM-Talk. In today’s interview with Mark, we will again discuss hypersonics and other emerging technologies and modernization priorities that are critical to our national defense. Mark is also the former longest-serving and is perhaps best known for his work in hypersonics. In addition to these important defense-related roles, Mark is also a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. He spent 25 years as a faculty member at Maryland, conducting basic and applied research in hypersonic aerodynamics, advanced propulsion, and space-vehicle design. Show notes: [00:03:27] Dawn opens the interview asking where Mark grew up and what he was like as a kid. [00:04:29] When Dawn asks Mark when he first became interested in science, Mark tells a funny story form his time as president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics? [00:06:21] Ken asks Mark how he ended up at MIT after high school. [00:07:46] Mark talks about taking a job as an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland after earning his Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics at MIT. [00:09:34] Dawn mentions that from 2002 to 2004, Mark was the director of the Space Vehicle Technology Institute. She asks Mark to give an overview of the Institute and the kind of work that goes on there. [00:12:45] Ken mentions that in 2004, Mark became Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force, going on to become the longest-serving Chief Scientist in Air Force history. Ken asks Mark to explain the role of the chief scientist, and what he focused on during his time in the position. [00:17:37] Dawn explains that in 2012, Mark became the director of the Science and Technology Policy Institute, which worked with the executive office of the President and other Executive Branch agencies. Mark talks about the kind of work the Science and Technology Policy Institute does. [00:20:23] Dawn mentions that during Mark’s 25 years as a faculty member at the University of Maryland, he conducted basic and applied research in a variety of fields, such as hypersonic aerodynamics, space vehicle design, and advanced propulsion.  She point out that Mark, however, is best known for his work in hypersonics. She asks Mark what led him to focus on hypersonics. [00:22:46] Ken asks Mark to explain why he decided to work under Mike Griffin (episodes 23 and 134) in the Pentagon as the Director of Defense Research and Engineering, and what that experience was like. [00:28:19] Dawn mentions that during Mike Griffin’s time as Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, he made hypersonics the department’s number one priority. Dawn asks Mark to explain the importance of hypersonics in terms of our national defense.
Today we return with the second half of our two-part interview with Dr. Greg Potter, a British researcher who specializes in circadian biology, sleep, diet, and metabolism. In this second part of our interview, host Ken Ford and Greg continue their conversation about circadian biology and cover topics ranging from insomnia, sleep apnea, time-restricted eating, exercise, nutrition, and supplementation. In part one of our interview, episode 136, Ken talked to Greg about how he became interested in circadian biology and the importance of synchronizing our lifestyles to be in tune with our circadian rhythms. Greg also explains why he decided to specialize in sleep and what his research has taught him about the role and importance of melatonin, a hormone that helps control the body’s sleep cycle. Dawn Kernagis was traveling during our talk with Greg and couldn’t join Ken to co-host the interview.  Greg gained attention in the U.S. and Europe for his research into the importance of biological rhythms and sleep and how they affect people’s lives. His work has been featured in the BBC World Service, the Washington Post, Reuters and other scientific journals and news outlets. In addition to being a science writer and sleep consultant, Greg also is an entrepreneur who co-founded Resilient Nutrition in 2020, a company that leverages science to produce foods and supplements geared toward helping people feel and perform better. Greg earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in exercise science from Loughborough University in England a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds. Show notes: [00:03:12] Ken opens part two of our interview with Greg by asking him about continuous positive airway pressure machines, known as CPAPs, that are used for sleep apnea and related disorders, and how these devices relate to circadian rhythms and quality of sleep. [00:05:47] Ken brings up chronotypes, the concept that some people are better suited to an earlier or later sleep schedule. Ken goes on to say that during our interview with Satchin Panda, he argued that chronotypes are largely a myth. Ken asks Greg how much he thinks chronotypes are the product of environment as opposed to evolutionary biology and genetics. [00:10:27] Ken asks what an example would be of an advanced chronotype. [00:11:54] Ken asks Greg about chrononutrition, which is the relationship between a person’s nutrition and their body clock. [00:20:46] Ken mentions that muscle protein synthesis comes up as a problem for people getting older who begin a fasting diet which is generally good for their health but prevents them from maintaining or gaining substantial muscle mass, as their protein demands are higher than they were in youth. Ken asks Greg his thoughts on a pulsatile approach to fasting and protein intake for this cohort. [00:23:39] Ken asks Greg about chronopharmacology, what it is and how it might tie into nutrition. [00:25:21] Ken asks Greg to explain his stance that we should re-engineer our lifestyles to better mimic certain aspects of our distant ancestors to protect ourselves from chronic diseases and revive the kinds of energy we had as children. Greg explains what aspects of our ancient ancestors we ought to emulate. [00:29:07] Ken mentions a paper Greg published on sleep and bodyweight, and asks Greg to expound on the relationship between sleep and weight regulation. [00:33:54] Ken asks if Greg thinks it is true that there is now an “epidemic” of sleep loss. [00:36:57] Greg gives a list of advice for people to optimize their sleep. [00:40:57] Ken mentions that many people enjoy a little wine or other drink before bed because they feel as if it helps them fall asleep. Ken asks Greg to talk about how this can damage a person’s sleep. [00:43:52] Ken asks when people should go to bed, and how much sleep is needed for a person on average, and how much variation there is in the quantity of sleep needed between people.
Today we have part one of a two-part interview with Dr. Greg Potter, a British researcher who specializes in circadian biology, sleep, diet, and metabolism. Greg gained attention in the U.S. and Europe for his research into the importance of biological rhythms and sleep and how they affect people’s lives. His work has been featured in the BBC World Service, the Washington Post, Reuters and other scientific journals and news outlets. In addition to being a science writer and sleep consultant, Greg also is an entrepreneur who co-founded Resilient Nutrition in 2020, a company that leverages science to produce foods and supplements geared toward helping people feel and perform better. Greg earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in exercise science from Loughborough University in England before heading off to the University of Leeds for his Ph.D. Ken Ford’s STEM-Talk co-host Dawn Kernagis is traveling and was not able to join him for today’s interview with Greg.  In this first part of the interview, Ken talks to Greg about his youth and academic background and how he became interested in circadian biology. Greg also goes into detail about why he decided to specialize in sleep and what his research has taught him about the role and importance of melatonin, a hormone that helps control the body’s sleep cycle. Be on the lookout for part two of Ken’s interview with Greg, which covers a number of topics ranging from insomnia, sleep apnea, time-restricted eating, exercise, and nutrition. Show notes: [00:05:03] Ken opens the interview asking if it’s true that Greg’s curiosity and fascination with building things as a child led him to tell his uncle he wanted to be an engineer when he grew up. [00:06:22] Greg talks about how he and his older siblings lived on the campus of the school where their parents taught. [00:07:35] Ken asks Greg why he abandoned the idea of being an engineer and instead applied for an art scholarship to senior school. [00:08:28] Ken asks what kind of art Greg liked to make. [00:09:17} Ken asks how a rugby injury in Greg’s childhood sparked his initial interest in science. [00:10:33] Ken asks why Greg took a year off before attending university, and what he did during that time. [00:11:04] Greg talks about his first experience with research, which came during a physiological society studentship in his second year of university, where he worked under Dr. Johnathan Folland. [00:12:59] Ken asks about Greg’s experiences as an undergrad when he coached sprinters and worked as a personal trainer and massage therapist. [00:14:18] Ken mentions that Greg must have been a good coach because in addition to training sprinters, he also helped two men break the Atlantic Rowing World Record. [00:16:01] Ken mentions that Greg finished his undergraduate degree in exercise science at Loughborough around the same time as the 2012 London Olympic games. The Great Britain Olympic Team used Loughborough as its base. Greg talks about what a great experience that was for him as a recent graduate who had an interest in elite athletic performance. [00:16:42] Ken asks about Greg’s experience in between his undergraduate and graduate studies, where he took an internship in the sports science and sports medicine department of the Rugby Football Union. [00:17:36] Ken mentions that while at Loughborough pursing a master’s degree, Greg began to pay more attention to the role of biological rhythms and sleep in people’s lives. That prompted him to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Leeds, researching circadian rhythms, sleep, nutrition, and metabolism. Ken asks why Greg developed an interest in these research topics and what led him to the University of Leeds. [00:19:58] Ken mentions that Greg has become best-known for his work on sleep, asking about a paper Greg published in Endocrine Reviews in 2016 on circadian rhythm and sleep disruption. Ken goes on to ask Greg to explain how circadian rhythm...
Our guest today is Dr. Elaine Choung-Hee Lee, an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut. Much of Elaine’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of resilience and investigating ways to help humans improve their stress resistance, adaptation and healthspan. Elaine’s research is focused not only on understanding fundamental biology, but also on what can be done to manipulate our biology to optimize health and performance as well as preventing disease. At her UConn research center, called the EC Lee Laboratory, she and her colleagues use genomic and other technologies to ask questions about what makes high-performing athletes and warfighters so elite. In today’s interview, you’ll hear how an early passion for Marvel comics and superheroes helped nudge Elaine into a science career. You’ll also learn about some of her lab’s projects that range from improving warfighter resilience to studying the effects of exercise and supplementation on our immune functions. Show notes: [00:03:07] Dawn asks Elaine about when she became interested in superheroes. [00:04:02] Elaine shares who her favorite Marvel hero is. [00:05:20] Dawn asks Elaine what her favorite Marvel movie is. [00:05:42] Ken asks when Elaine first became interested in science. [00:06:50] Dawn mentions that Elaine had many obsessions growing up, including running and rowing, and goes on to mention that Elaine even became a rower at the University of Connecticut, asking what drew her to these sports. [00:09:09] Ken asks what Elaine’s experience on the rowing team was like. [00:11:43] Dawn mentions that Elaine graduated with her bachelors in nutritional sciences in 2002 and asks if that was her original intent when she first arrived at college. [00:13:38] Dawn asks Elaine to talk about her passion for research and how the focus of her work grew from her experiences as an athlete and coach. [00:16:14] Dawn comments that Elaine’s early experiences in genetics and nutritional sciences played a role in her career and asks what some of those early experiences were. [00:17:49] Dawn asks Elaine if it’s fair to say that she is not merely interested in biology, but in what people and researchers can do to manipulate biology in a way that can result in functional changes for broader populations. [00:19:13] Ken mentions that Elaine stayed at the University of Connecticut for her masters and doctorate degrees in kinesiology, asking why decided on that specialization. [00:21:34] Dawn mentions that Elaine went for a post-doc fellowship at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine, and asks how that opportunity came about. [00:23:59] Dawn mentions that during Elaine’s post-doc, she and Dr. Kevin Strange co-authored a paper in the journal of Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, titled “Osmosensitive gene expression in C elegans is regulated by conserved signaling mechanisms that control protein translation initiation.” Dawn goes on to mention that this paper was selected in 2012 by the Cellular and Molecular Physiology Section of the American Physiological Society as one of six finalists for its annual research recognition award. Dawn asks why this paper attracted such attention. [00:28:56] Ken mentions that Elaine was also selected as the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory’s “Outstanding Mentor of the Year” in 2012. [00:32:18] Dawn mentions that Elaine’s research over the years has focused on understanding the mechanisms of stress resiliency, and ways to improve stress resistance, adaptation and healthspan, asking how Elaine became interested in this angle of research. [00:34:00] Dawn asks Elaine to talk about her use of C elegans and why they are so useful for her research into stress and resilience. [00:38:21] Dawn mentions that Elaine’s work on the mechanisms of osmosensing and adaptation in response to osmotic st...
Our guest today is Dr. Michael Griffin, the Pentagon’s former Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. During his two and a half years as undersecretary, Mike made hypersonic weapons and defense against them his number one priority. In today’s episode, Mike talks about the history of hypersonic technology; why he made it his number one priority at the Department of Defense; and why Russia’s and China’s growing hypersonic capability represents a serious threat to America’s national security. Our interview with Mike was conducted on March 23, one month following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The weekend prior to our interview with Mike, Russia reported that it used a hypersonic missile to strike a Ukrainian military facility. This is Mike’s second appearance on STEM-Talk. He was our guest on episode 23 back in 2016 when we talked to him about his tenure as NASA Administrator from April of 2005 to January of 2009. Mike holds numerous academic degrees, including a BS in physics from Johns Hopkins, five master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland. In addition to serving as NASA Administrator and Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, his long career has included numerous other academic and corporate positions. Show notes [00:04:33] Dawn welcomes Mike back to the podcast, mentioning that when Mike was last on STEM-Talk in 2016, he talked about space exploration and his tenure as NASA administrator. Dawn goes on to mention that since then, Mike served a two-and-a-half-year stint as the Pentagon’s first research and engineering undersecretary, a position Congress created in 2018. Mike talks briefly about his perspectives on hypersonics research and development in the U.S. as well as in China and Russia. [00:05:36] Ken asks Mike to give a brief definition of hypersonics, given that during his time as undersecretary, he made hypersonics his top priority. [00:09:59] Ken mentions that last weekend, Russia reportedly used hypersonic weapons in Ukraine. Ken asks if Mike has any thoughts as to why the Russians are using hypersonic weapons in Ukraine as opposed to other less expensive weapons that would have sufficed from a military perspective.  Ken wonders whether the use of hypersonics was primarily for strategic messaging. [00:12:26] Ken asks Mike about his op-ed in Breaking Defense that he recently co-authored and was titled, “Rethinking the hypersonic debate for relevancy in the Pacific.” [00:15:17] Ken points out that many U.S. leaders view China as primarily a trading partner and a source of inexpensive goods rather than a power that regards the U.S. as an adversary. [00:16:49] Mike describes hypersonics in more detail and explains the implications for national security. [00:18:28] Dawn mentions that hypersonic technologies are often thought of as relatively new. Mike talks about how the first hypersonic systems were actually used during World War II by the Germans. [00:19:34] Ken explains that the aerodynamic heating that occurs at hypersonic speeds is very intense. As a result, the propulsion technology, airframe materials and thermal management involved in hypersonics is very demanding. Ken goes on to say that in the mid-1950s, this was an issue the Air Force had to overcome during its development of the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Ken asks Mike to discuss aerodynamic heating caused by hypersonic speeds and how it was handled with respect to the Atlas missile. [00:23:12] Ken asks about the challenges NASA faced in overcoming aerodynamic heating on the Command Module for the Apollo missions during reentry, which would reach speeds up to Mach 35. [00:23:49] Dawn explains that hypersonic weapon systems fall primarily into two classifications: air-breathing cruise missiles and hypersonic boost-glide systems. She asks Mike to give an overview of these two systems and asks if as a country we should inve...
Our guest today is Dr. Mark Mattson, who is affectionally known as the godfather of intermittent fasting. The National Institute of Health describes Mark as “one of the world’s top experts on the potential cognitive and physical health benefits of intermittent fasting.”  He is considered a leader in the area of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity and neurodegenerative disorders and has made major contributions to understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and stroke, and to their prevention and treatment. After spending nearly 30 years researching calorie restriction and intermittent fasting, Mark has written a book on the topic, “The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance.” Our interview with Mark came the day after MIT Press released his book. This is the second time Mark has appeared on STEM-Talk. When we interviewed him back in 2016, intermittent fasting didn’t register on Google’s list of top-10 searches related to diet and eating plans. By 2019, however, intermittent fasting was more widely searched on Google than any other diet. Today, intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet jockey for Google’s top spot for diet searches. We talk to Mark in this interview about how, as the title of his book suggests, we are indeed in the midst of an intermittent fasting revolution. In today’s episode, Mark walks us through our evolutionary history and how it has sculpted our brains and bodies to function optimally in a fasted state. We talk about ways our overindulgent sedentary lifestyles have negatively impacted not only our waistlines, but also the size of our brains. After describing the various ways to go about intermittent fasting, Mark dives into the science behind fasting. This leads to a fascinating discussion about the metabolic switch that transitions a person from the utilization of glucose to the utilization of fat-derived ketones and how research is showing that this switch becomes an important factor in the treatment of not only cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s, but also a range of other diseases and disorders like cancer, diabetes, inflammation, kidney, and heart disease. Mark is on the neuroscience faculty at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He recently retired from the National Institute of Aging where he led its neuroscience laboratory for the past 20 years. Show notes: [00:04:16] Dawn opens the interview congratulating Mark on his new book and asks how long it took him to write it. [00:05:09] Dawn mentions that when Mark was last on STEM-Tall in 2016, intermittent fasting was just beginning to come to the public’s attention, and that today it is almost impossible to pass a grocery store checkout counter without seeing a rack of magazine covers touting intermittent fasting. Dawn asks Mark for his thoughts about what happened in the past decade to suddenly spark so much public interest in fasting. [00:08:20] Ken mentions the title of Mark’s new book, “The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance.” Ken asks Mark to expound on the idea that we are witnessing a revolution of interest in intermittent fasting. [00:10:39] Dawn explains that the first chapter of Mark’s book begins with an overview of how evolution sculpted humans and animals to function best in a fasted state. Mark, in this section of his book, makes the point that fasting is not a diet, but an eating pattern that puts a person into a fat-burning state. Dawn asks Mark to briefly walk through this evolutionary history. [00:13:06] Ken mentions that Yuval Noah Harari, author of, “Sapiens: A Grief History of Human Kind,” has said that ancient foragers were the most knowledgeable and skillful people in history. Ken asks Mark to weigh in on Harari’s point that the size of the average brain in Homo Sapiens has actually de...
Our guest today describes the global response to COVID-19 as one of the biggest public-health fiascos in history. As you would expect, he gained quite a bit of notoriety for this contrarian view. Dr. Martin Kulldorff is an epidemiologist and biostatistician who has spent the past 30 years researching infectious diseases as well as the efficacy and safety of vaccines. He is internationally known for his statistical and epidemiological methods for the early detection and monitoring of infectious diseases. A former Harvard Medical School professor who today is the Senior Scientific Officer at the Brownstone Institute, Martin worked with the Centers for Disease Control on its current system for monitoring potential vaccine risks. Today, the U.S. and other countries around the world use Martin’s detection methods to monitor COVID-19. Martin made national headlines in October of 2020 when he and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford and Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford published the Great Barrington Declaration, a paper that questions school closings, lockdowns, travel restrictions and other governmental responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The three authors recommended “focused protection” instead, a policy of protecting senior citizens and others who are most at risk of dying from COVID while allowing young people and others who face minimal risk of death to resume their normal lives. The three authors were immediately skewered for what critics called a radically dangerous approach for pandemic management. At STEM-Talk, however, we appreciate that a curious, open, and even skeptical mind is at the heart of the scientific method. Because of that, we have invited Martin to sit down with us to discuss the Great Barrington Declaration as well as his views about pandemics and the best ways to safeguard the public. We also review with Martin the age-adjusted mortality rates of states like Florida, New York and California which had quite different responses to COVID-19. Ironically, co-host Dawn Kernagis learned on the morning of our interview with Martin that she had contacted COVID. So, she has to skip today’s discussion. (Note to listeners: It was just a mild case and Dawn is already back on her feet.) But in today’s fascinating episode, Martin and host Ken Ford discuss: -- The safety of vaccines, including the coronavirus vaccines. -- Martin’s thoughts about the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children. -- The Great Barrington Declaration and the concerns it raised about the physical, mental-health and economic impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 responses. -- The effectiveness of natural immunity compared to vaccine-induced immunity. -- Whether hospitals should be hiring caregivers with natural immunity rather than firing them. -- Martin’s thoughts about Sweden, which was the only Western nation that did not impose lockdowns or close its schools and daycare centers in response to COVID-19. -- What age-adjusted COVID mortality rates for the U.S. have to say about the different approaches states used in response to the pandemic. Show notes: [00:05:20] Ken opens the interview mentioning that Martin was born in Lund in 1962 in southern Sweden, but grew up in Umea, a university town in northeast Sweden. Ken asks what prompted Martin’s family to move to Umea when he was two years old. [00:05:47] Ken mentions as an aside that he once spent an enjoyable week at the University of Umea visiting Lars-Erick Janlert.  Ken served as the external expert for a PhD dissertation. [00:07:00] Ken asks Martin what he was like as a child. [00:07:32] Ken asks what drew Martin to math, and if it came naturally to him. [00:08:15] Martin talks about his decision to attend Umea University and major in mathematical statistics. [00:09:09] Ken asks why Martin moved to the United States and to attend Cornell University as a Fullbright Fellow for his postgraduate studies, and why he decided to earn his Ph.D.
Our guest today is Dr. Christopher Logothetis, one of the nation’s foremost experts on prostate cancer. Chris has spent nearly five decades at MD Anderson in Houston developing therapies for prostate cancer as well as conducting research into the underlying biology of the disease. Aside from skin cancers, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, claiming a man’s life every 15 minutes in the United States, according to the Prostrate Cancer Foundation. Since the 1970s when Chris joined the staff at MD Andersen, which is the nation’s top-ranked hospital for cancer care, he has been dedicated to the treatment, research, and prevention of genitourinary cancers such bladder, kidney, testes and penis cancer. For the past 25 years, he has focused primarily on prostate cancer and the development of effective chemotherapy treatments. Today, Chris is the director of MD Anderson’s Genitourinary Cancer Center and the director of the Prostate Cancer Research Program. Show notes: [00:03:23] Dawn opens the interview mentioning that Chris went to medical school in Greece and asks if he grew up there as well. [00:03:43] Ken asks Chris when he first became interested in science. [00:04:09] Dawn asks if there were a particular teacher or class that prompted Chris’ decision to pursue medicine. [00:04:39] Dawn asks what led Chris to attend the University of Athens School of Medicine. [00:05:10] Dawn mentions that in the ‘60s and ‘70s, talking about cancer was almost taboo and asks Chris to talk about the stigma that surrounded cancer for quite some time. [00:05:57] Ken asks if Chris knew he wanted to specialize in cancers when he first started medical school in Athens or if that interest developed later. [00:07:06] Dawn mentions that Chris graduated from medical school in 1974 and then took off for Chicago where he had an internship at Cook County Hospital. Dawn asks about the experience, and if it were a culture shock to go from Athens, Greece to Chicago in the 1970s. [00:08:54] Dawn asks what took Chris to Texas and MD Anderson after his time in Chicago. [00:09:36] Dawn mentions that after Chris finished his fellowship, he joined the faculty at MD Anderson, and is now coming upon his 50th anniversary there. [00:09:51] Chris explains his view that we need to better understand the drivers of cancer and goes on to talk about what we currently know about these drivers. [00:12:06] Ken asks about the significance of the Human Genome Project on cancer research. [00:13:49] Dawn mentions that along with new technologies, there evolved a strategy of what is called co-clinical investigation where researchers study the mouse, but in parallel look at the difference and similarities with humans. She asks him about how that integrated data required a new language to bring it all together, which is now known as Prometheus. Dawn asks Chris to talk about Prometheus and how this has led to an accelerated understanding of cancer biology. [00:20:47] Dawn mentions that Chris has studied a range of genitourinary cancers throughout his career, such as germ cell tumors, bladder, and renal cancers, but that his interest in prostate cancer is a more recent development. Dawn asks what led to this specific interest. [00:23:12] Dawn explains that metastatic cancer was first cured in 1956 when methotrexate was used to treat a rare tumor called choriocarcinoma. She goes on to say that since then, chemotherapy drugs have been used to treat mixed germ-cell tumors and has led to dramatically improved survivorship among patients with metastatic germ-cell tumors. She also mentions that in 1982 Chris published a paper in the journal Cancer titled, “The growing teratoma syndrome,” at which time, tumor growth following chemotherapy for mixed germ-cell tumors had been considered a reliable indicator of a persistent active carcinoma, with the rule being that if the cancer didn’t respond to treatment that operations were fu...
Our guest today is Dr. Josh Turknett, the author of “The Migraine Miracle” and “Keto for Migraine,” two books that have helped thousands of people use a holistic approach to end their chronic migraines. Josh is often referred to as “public enemy number one to migraines” everywhere. He is a neurologist, musician, author, and entrepreneur. He has more than two decades of experience in the field of cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. Josh practices medicine in Atlanta at the Turknett Center for Neurology and Cognitive Enhancement. In today’s episode, we talk to Josh about his own history with migraines and how migraine is a common and complex neurological disorder that includes a genetic component. Josh earned a bachelor’s degree in cognitive neuroscience from Wesleyan University, an M.D. from Emory University, and completed his residency training at the University of Florida. In addition to his medical practice, Josh also is the founder of Brainjo, a company that creates educational resources that utilize a system of instruction based on the science of learning and neuroplasticity. He’s a musician who plays in the band The Georgia Jays and teaches people to play the clawhammer banjo, fingerstyle banjo, fiddle and ukulele. As if he didn’t have enough to do, Josh also is the president of Physicians for Ancestral Health and the chief medical officer for humanOS, which was recently acquired by Restore Hyper Wellness. Josh also is the host of the Intelligence Unshackled podcast, which explores the many ways that human potential is constrained and how people can go about optimizing it. Show notes: [00:03:22] Dawn opens the interview asking Josh about his mother’s struggles with migraines. [00:04:59] Dawn asks Josh how old he was when he first started having migraines. [00:06:15] Ken asks Josh how he first became interested in science. [00:08:24] Dawn asks Josh how he ended up in the Connecticut at Wesleyan University for his undergraduate degree. [00:09:35] Ken asks if Josh knew he wanted to major in neuroscience when he first arrived at Wesleyan or if that was a later decision. [00:10:49] Dawn asks if it is true that Josh’s girlfriend at the time played a role in his decision to move back to Atlanta to go to medical school at Emory after his undergrad. [00:11:55] Dawn asks what motivated Josh to attend the University of Florida for his residency after being a lifelong Gator-hater. [00:14:39] Ken mentions that despite all the hype around neuroscience when the field was emerging, the last major breakthrough in neurology was in the ‘90s with the discovery of triptan drugs for migraines. Ken asks if we have made any major neurological advances since then, and if not, why? [00:17:41] Ken asks Josh what he would suggest to today’s neurology residents and neuroscience graduate students who might want to avoid the recent failures of the modern approaches to treating neurological disease. [00:19:57] Dawn explains that a migraine is a complex neurological disorder affecting 15 to 20 percent of the population, with many subtypes including a genetic component. Dawn asks Josh what is currently understood about the genetic component of migraines. [00:21:28] Ken asks Josh at what point in his career did he decide to specialize in migraines. [00:23:17] Dawn asks Josh to explain to people who have not suffered from migraines what it feels like to experience a cascade of symptoms such as numbness, tingling, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, and blinding headaches. [00:25:15] Ken asks Josh what the difference is between cluster headaches and migraines. [00:26:49] Dawn mentions that people can start to feel the onset of a migraine 48 hours before the pain sets in, a phase called the prodrome. Josh explains what the prodrome is and what its symptoms are. [00:28:03] Dawn mentions the fact that the pain of a migraine is preceded by an aura,
Our guest today is Dr. Morley Stone, the former Chief Technology Officer for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and former Senior Vice President for Research at Ohio State University, who is now IHMC’s Chief Strategic Partnership Officer. Morley is recognized as an international leader in biomimetics and human performance. In today’s interview, we talk to Morley about his time as AFRL’s chief technology officer as well as his stint as the chief scientist for the Air Force’s 711th Human Performance Wing, which is responsible for providing technical oversight of projects geared to optimize human performance for the nation’s air, space, and cyberspace forces. We also have a fascinating conversation with Morley about his early career and research into biomimetics, which is the study of using biological structures, materials and principles as models for the development of new materials, structures, and devices. In his new role at IHMC, Morley will become the institute’s point person for public- and private-sector partnerships. He also will work with IHMC’s scientists and research staff to help coordinate and implement the multitude of scientific projects the institute has in its pipeline. Show notes: [00:03:07] Dawn mentions that Morley grew up in a small steel producing town in Pennsylvania and asks him what he was like as a kid. [00:03:56] Ken asks Morley about his days as wrestler growing up and why he still today views wrestling as a special sport. [00:05:00] Dawn asks about Morley’s move to Dayton, Ohio, when he was 17. [00:05:36] Dawn asks how Morley decided upon Wright State as opposed to the University of Dayton. [00:05:57] Morley tells the story of how a girl in college pointed out an ad for an internship and how that helped him decide to become a biochemistry major. [00:06:43] Dawn asks what happened to the girl who pointed out the aforementioned ad. [00:08:28] Ken asks Morley to talk about the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the role of the lab’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. [00:09:53] Dawn mentions that after earning his bachelor’s degree, Morley had a short stint as a materials research engineer at the directorate before heading off to Carnegie Mellon University to work on a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Dawn asks why Morley chose to attend Carnegie Mellon. [00:11:08] Dawn mentions that in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Morley had the good fortune to work with scientists who had the foresight to know that there was going to be a radical change in material science, which up until that point had been dominated by metals and ceramics. Morley talks about the most important lessons he learned from these colleagues and mentors. [00:12:41] Dawn asks about Morley’s time as a research biologist, and eventually principal research biologist, at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate after his Ph.D. [00:14:41] Ken asks Morley to explain biomimetics and discuss the systems that Morley and his colleagues looked at during his time at the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, ranging from infrared sensing to instances of biological camouflage. [00:18:01] Dawn mentions that the creation of nanoscale materials for advanced structures has led to a growing interest in the area of biomineralization, she goes on to say that during Morley’s time at the directorate, he especially researched the process of biomineralization and the assembly of nanostructured inorganic components into hierarchical structures, which led to the development of a variety of approaches that mimic the recognition and nucleation capabilities found in biomolecules for inorganic material synthesis. Morley discusses his 2002 paper in Nature Materials where he described the in vitro biosynthesis of silver nanoparticles using silver-binding peptides. [00:21:20] Dawn asks about Morley’s 2004 paper in Advanced Materials where he and his colleagues had taken a protein that was responsible for thermal sensi...
In today’s episode, Dr. Tommy Wood returns for his fifth appearance on STEM-Talk. Tommy is a UK-trained physician and an assistant research professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington. He also is a visiting research scientist and a valued colleague of ours here at IHMC. Today’s interview focuses on a new paper that Tommy just had published by the American Society for Microbiology. It’s titled, “Reframing Nutritional Microbiota Studies To Reflect an Inherent Metabolic Flexibility of the Human Gut: A Narrative Review Focusing on High-Fat Diets.” We discuss the paper and follow up on some research Tommy has done since his last appearance on STEM-Talk, a two-part interview that took place a little more than a year ago. In that two-part interview, episodes 110 and 111, we touched on Tommy’s research into the importance of metabolic health and how only one in eight Americans is considered metabolically healthy. We also talk to Tommy about a new grant he just received to examine the effects of azithromycin on premature brain injury in a ferret model. As part of this grant, Tommy will be collaborating with his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Nance, who also is an assistant professor at the University of Washington and was our guest on episode 71 of STEM-Talk. Show notes: [00:03:15] Dawn opens the interview mentioning Tommy’s new paper published by the American Society for Microbiology titled “Reframing Nutritional Microbiota Studies to Reflect an Inherent Metabolic Flexibility of the Human Gut: A Narrative Review Focusing on High-Fat Diets.” Dawn mentions that in our last interview with Tommy, he talked about the importance of insulin sensitivity and metabolic health, yet as Tommy has pointed out, more than 80 percent of Americans have some kind of metabolic disease or dysfunction. Given that, Dawn asks Tommy to revisit key points regarding insulin resistance; the importance of metabolic health; and why so many Americans struggle with this issue. [00:06:18] Ken points out that the common view held in much of the nutritional-microbiota research is that high-fat diets are harmful to human health, at least in part through their modulation of the gut microbiota. Ken goes on to say that there are a number of studies that support the inherent flexibility of the human gut and our microbiota’s ability to adapt to a variety of food sources, suggesting a more nuanced picture than the commonly held view. Ken asks Tommy to give an overview of the gut microbiome and how research in the past decade has explored the effects of the gut microbiome on our metabolism, immune systems, our sleep, and our moods and cognition. [00:09:50] Dawn asks Tommy to explain the history of how fat, and high-fat diets, became public enemy number one in many circles, including gut microbiome research. [00:12:46] Ken mentions that there are many limitations when it comes to preclinical nutritional research, with many studies on the role of fat in the diet being based on animal models, particularly rat models, which presents several problems since the natural diet of a mouse is low in fat and high in carbohydrates. [00:15:50] Ken asks Tommy about the need for a more nuanced view of fat and our microbiota’s ability to adapt to different food sources. [00:17:33] Ken points out that while people might throw around the term “healthy gut microbiota,” the research into the gut microbiota is so new that we don’t yet know for sure what a healthy gut microbiota should look like. [00:21:22] Ken asks Tommy how we should go about reframing the debate about fat and high-fat diets to better reflect the overall evidence. [00:23:48] Dawn mentions that in the past decade, researchers have significantly improved our understanding of the gut microbiome. She asks about Tommy’s belief that there is a need to understand the gut microbiome in an evolutionary context as well. [00:25:18] Tommy gives an overview of the gut-barrier function and its role in ...
It’s time for another Ask Me Anything episode. In today’s show, Ken and Dawn tackle a wide range of listener questions about: -- Protein intake on a ketogenic diet. -- A new study on the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted therapy. -- The Pentagon’s new report about UFOs. -- Virta Health’s two-year pilot study that demonstrated people diagnosed with prediabetes had normalized their glucose through carbohydrate restriction. -- The FDA’s controversial approval of the Biogen Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm. -- The deepest man-made pool and diving research facility that just opened in Dubai. -- Strategies to deal with the so-called “keto flu.” -- And a lot more. Enjoy. 00:02:49 A listener asks Ken about protein intake on a ketogenic diet. The listener says they have heard some experts say that protein intake should be fairly low on a ketogenic diet while other experts suggest protein needs might actually be higher than what is generally recommended. The listener, who is physically active and on a ketogenic diet but isn’t seeing much muscle growth, asks Ken what the research says about what proper levels of protein on a ketogenic diet. 00:05:05 A listener asks Ken about STEM-Talk’s interview with Gordon Lithgow, episode 120 of STEM-Talk, mentioning that Ken and Gordon referenced arginine AKG, a supplement often used by athletes and bodybuilders to improve their performance and reduce muscle fatigue. The listener asks if arginine AKG, or calcium AKG, or something else can help them recover from exercise as they get older. In his response, Ken discusses a 2017 meta-analysis by Robert Wolfe. Ken also mentions two essential amino acid blends, MAP Master Amino Acid Pattern. The other blend is called Mass Pro Synthagen. 00:12:09 A listener mentions in their question that there is a new study that just came out in Nature Medicine looking at the efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted therapy for people diagnosed with severe PTSD. Nearly 70 percent of the participants who received MDMA therapy no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD after two months of treatment. The listener asks Ken and Dawn if they have read this study and what their thoughts are. Ken in his response mentions two STEM-Talk episodes that touched on MDMA-assisted therapy, David Rabin in Episode 99 and Rachel Yehuda in episode 101. 00:14:37]A listener asks Ken what the justification for spending almost $3 billion on the Perseverance Mars mission is, going on to ask with all the needs here on Earth, how does NASA and Congress justify the billions that will be needed for a manned mission to Mars. 00:19:06 A listener asks how Dawn’s research on glymphatic function in extreme environments is going. 00:22:31 A listener asks Kens for his thoughts on the recent media coverage of the Pentagon’s new report on more 100 UFOs, or “unidentified aerial phenomena,” that the Pentagon cannot explain. 00:25:49 A listener mentions that Virta Health is wrapping up its data collection of a five-year trial that looks at nutritional ketosis as a treatment for type-2 diabetes and prediabetes. Virta recently published the results of its two-year pilot study that demonstrated people diagnosed with prediabetes had normalized their glucose in the blood through carbohydrate restriction. The listener asks Ken to comment on this two-year pilot study since Ken is affiliated with Virta. In his response, Ken mentions Amy McKenzie’s 2021 paper. 00:27:17 A listener asks Ken about the controversial FDA approval of the Biogen Alzheimer’s disease drug Aduhelm. Despite murky clinical trial results, the drug was fast-tracked, even though it will cost a person $56,000 annually. 00:30:57 A listener asks Dawn, given her diving background, about the deepest man-made pool and diving research facility that just opened in Dubai. 00:33:44 A listener asks Ken about a study that ran in JAMA that found that fasting for 12 hours or more led to minimal weight loss and significant ...
Our guest today is Dr. Christoffer Clemmensen, an associate professor and lead researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research. Christoffer’s lab at the university explores pharmacological and therapeutic treatments for obesity and its related diseases and disorders. He and his colleagues focus on dissecting the neuroendocrine signals involved in coordinating appetite, food-motivated behavior, energy expenditure, glycemic control, and lipid metabolism. We have a fascinating discussion with Christoffer about his lab’s efforts to turn molecular and physiological insights into innovative therapeutic strategies that Christoffer hopes someday can reduce obesity and its associated metabolic disorders. Christoffer is a native of Denmark who earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Copenhagen in 2013. Joining Ken for today’s interview is IHMC colleague and senior research scientist Dr. Marcas Bamman, who was our guest on episode 116. Marcas is the founder and former director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Exercise Medicine.  Marcas joined IHMC last year as a Senior Research Scientist. Show notes: [00:03:24] Marcas asks Christoffer about growing up in a small rural town in Denmark in the 1980s and ‘90s. [00:04:05] Christoffer’s talks about his days as an elite tennis player when he was a youth. [00:04:41] Ken asks Christoffer when he first became interested in science. [00:05:48] Marcas asks Christoffer what changed his mind about wanting to study computer science at university. [00:07:04] Christoffer explains how he decided to attend University of Copenhagen. [00:08:19] Marcas mentions that Christoffer’s original focus at university was on exercise biology, but that he became fascinated by the mechanisms of obesity and that interest took him in a new direction. Marcas asks how that shift in interest came about. [00:10:01] Marcas follows up on the previous question and asks if there were a particular instance that persuaded Christoffer to switch from focusing on exercise to focusing more on weight control and obesity. [00:10:40] Ken asks what led Christopher to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology after attaining a bachelor’s degree in exercise biology and a master’s degree in human biology. [00:12:11] Marcas asks Christoffer why he went to Munich, Germany, as a postdoctoral fellow at the Helmholtz Diabetes Center after completing his post-doc at the University of Copenhagen. [00:14:00] After mentioning that Christoffer eventually became the group leader at Helmholtz, Ken asks Christoffer why he then transitioned back to the University of Copenhagen. [00:14:52] Marcas asks Christopher to talk about the big questions that get to the heart of his research. [00:16:20] Ken mentions that Christoffer is now an associate professor at the Nova Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research at the University of Copenhagen, where he is the head of the Clemmensen Group. Ken goes on to mention that the Clemmensen Group’s website says the lab focuses on dissecting the neuroendocrine signals that coordinate appetite regulation, food-motivated behavior, energy expenditure, glycemic control, and lipid metabolism. Ken asks if Christoffer could give an overview of what all these research focuses entail. [00:18:17] Marcas mentions that obesity and its related diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, have become serious problems affecting the world’s public health and global economy. Marcas goes on to say that Christoffer’s 2019 paper titled “Emerging hormonal-based combination pharmacotherapies for the treatment of metabolic diseases” makes the observation that the treatments we have been using to deal with this problem have not been able to effectively reverse the staggering rates of obesity we’re witnessing around the world.
Comments (17)

Махмудхон Мансуров

Today I discovered STEM-Talk. Very informative podcasts.

Nov 13th
Reply

Even J

benefit a lot

Nov 1st
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PlusCH3

This is the first episode of @ihmc_stemtalk I've heard and I found the interview with @ecleelab to be very interesting. She is exactly the sort of #professor I've long dreamt of becoming: someone who is passionate about #mentoring, #teaching, and #research. It is super exciting to hear from someone like that because it give me hope that even with all the detours my life has taken, I might actually one day succeed.

Apr 20th
Reply (1)

farzaneh ef

This talk was so useful and amazing👍

Apr 8th
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Karluigi Marie

when did this interview take place? now we know people are being infected more than once. People who live in multigeneraion house holds runs significant risk of catching. we are finding now there are limited teachers to teach the kids because the teachers get sick.

Jan 26th
Reply (1)

Old man

why does everyone have to Salt their speech with the absolutely meaningless phrase "sort of"?

Oct 3rd
Reply

John Grundstrom

Can peolpe strawman any subject and get away with it on this show? What a complete echo-chamber. Was hoping for alternative views and got nothing.

Aug 29th
Reply

Todavia No

This interview is Gold

Jun 21st
Reply

Niclas Daniels

#nicotinamideriboside

Apr 16th
Reply

Benyamin Asgari

great podcast

Feb 5th
Reply

Benyamin Asgari

great podcast

Feb 5th
Reply

Benyamin Asgari

great podcast

Feb 5th
Reply

Rhonda Galasso

I was diagnosed 2 years ago at age 63. Symptoms were tremor in right leg, loss of handwriting ability, and soft voice. I also have difficulty rising from a seated position and have balance issues. I started out taking only Azilect, then Mirapex, and 6 months ago Sinemet. Several months ago I started falling frequently, hence the reason for Sinemet. I tried every shots available but nothing worked. In June 2018, my neurologist and I decided to go with natural treatment and was introduced to Natural Herbal Gardens natural organic Parkinson’s Herbal formula, i had a total decline of symptoms with this treatment, the Tremor, falling frequently, stiffness, body weakness, balance issues, depression and others has subsided. Visit Natural Herbal Gardens official website ww w. naturalherbalgardens. com. This treatment is a breakthrough for all suffering from Parkinson’s, don’t give up Hope. Keep Sharing the Awareness, herbs are truly gift from God.

Oct 10th
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Nick

This is such an incredible podcast. This episode is brilliant. Thanks guys. I would add, how I can get SPM's ???

Oct 9th
Reply

Nick

Brilliant show. I'd never heard of PRM's etc to treat chronic and general inflammation

Sep 13th
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