78 episodes

Spectrum was a program that aired on KALX from 2011 to 2014. Spectrum explored scientific research and technology development through interviews with leading practitioners at UC Berkeley and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Transcriptions of these programs are coming soon. If you are interested in a transcription of a particular episode, please contact us at mail at kalx dot berkeley dot edu.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Spectrum UC Berkeley

    • Arts

Spectrum was a program that aired on KALX from 2011 to 2014. Spectrum explored scientific research and technology development through interviews with leading practitioners at UC Berkeley and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Transcriptions of these programs are coming soon. If you are interested in a transcription of a particular episode, please contact us at mail at kalx dot berkeley dot edu.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    Bruce Ames and Rhonda Patrick, Part 2 of 2

    Bruce Ames and Rhonda Patrick, Part 2 of 2

    Bruce Ames Sr Scientist at CHORI, and Prof Emeritus of Biochem and Molecular Bio, at UC Berkeley. Rhonda Patrick Ph.D. biomedical science, postdoc at CHORI in Dr. Ames lab. The effects of micronutrients on metabolism, inflammation, DNA damage, and aging.
    Transcript
    Speaker 1:        Spectrum's next. 
    Speaker 2:        Okay. [inaudible] [inaudible]. 
    Speaker 1:        Welcome to spectrum the science and technology show [00:00:30] on k a l x Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program bringing you interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists as well as a calendar of local events and news. 
    Speaker 3:        Hi there. My name is Renee Rao and I'll be hosting today's show this week on spectrum. We present part two of our two interviews with Bruce Ames and Rhonda Patrick. Dr Ames is a senior scientist at Children's Hospital, Oakland Research Institute, director of their [00:01:00] nutrition and metabolism center and a professor emeritus of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California Berkeley. Rhonda Patrick has a phd in biomedical science. Dr. Patrick is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Children's Hospital, Oakland Research Institute and Dr Ames lab. She currently conducts clinical trials looking at the effects of nutrients on metabolism, inflammation, DNA damage and aging. In February of 2014 she published [00:01:30] a paper in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal on how vitamin D regulates serotonin synthesis and how this relates to autism. In part one Bruce and Rondo described his triage theory for micronutrients in humans and their importance in health and aging. In part two they discussed public health risk factors, research funding models, and the future work they wish to do. Here is part two of Brad Swift's interview with Dr Ames [00:02:00] and Patrick. 
    Speaker 4:        Is there a discussion going on in public health community about this sort of important that Rhonda, that one, 
    Speaker 5:        I think that people are becoming more aware of the importance of micronutrient deficiencies in the u s population. We've got now these national health and examination surveys that people are doing, examining the levels of these essential vitamins and minerals. 70% of the populations not getting enough vitamin D, 45% [00:02:30] population is not getting enough magnesium, 60% not getting enough vitamin K, 25% is not getting enough vitamin CS, 60% not getting enough vitamin E and on and on, 90% not getting enough calcium testing. It's very difficult to get. So I think that with these surveys that are really coming out with these striking numbers on these micronutrient deficiencies in the population, I'm in the really widespread and with triage, the numbers that tell you may be wrong because the thinking short term instead of long term, really what you want to know 
    Speaker 6:        [00:03:00] is what level [inaudible] indeed to keep a maximum lifespan. And our paper discussed all at and uh, but I must say the nutrition community hasn't embraced it yet, but they will because we're showing it's true and we may need even more of certain things. But again, you don't want to overdo it. Okay. 
    Speaker 4:        So talk a little bit about risk factors in general. In health, a lot of people, as you were saying, are very obsessed with chemicals or so maybe their risk assessment is [00:03:30] misdirected. What do you think are the big health issues, the big health risks? 
    Speaker 6:        I think obesity is like smoking. Smoking is eight or 10 years off your life. Each cigarette takes 10 minutes off your life. I mean, it's a disaster and smoking levels are going down and down because people understand. Finally, there's still a lot of people smoke, but obesity is just as bad years of expe

    • 30 min
    Bruce Ames and Rhonda Patrick, Part 1 of 2

    Bruce Ames and Rhonda Patrick, Part 1 of 2

    Dr. Ames is a Senior Scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, director of their Nutrition & Metabolism Center, and a Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, at the University of California, Berkeley. Rhonda Patrick has a Ph.D. in biomedical science. Dr. Patrick is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute with Dr. Ames. Bruce Ames Sr Scientist at CHORI, and Prof Emeritus of Biochem and Molecular Bio, at UC Berkeley. Rhonda Patrick Ph.D. biomedical science, postdoc at CHORI in Dr. Ames lab. The effects of micronutrients on metabolism, inflammation, DNA damage, and aging.
    Transcript
    Speaker 1:        Spectrum's next. 
    Speaker 2:        Mm mm mm 
    Speaker 3:        [inaudible].
    Speaker 1:        Welcome to spectrum the science and technology show on k a l x [00:00:30] Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program bringing you interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists as well as a calendar of local events and news [inaudible]. 
    Speaker 4:        Good afternoon. My name is Rick Karnofsky. I'm the host of today's show. This week on spectrum we present part one of a two part interview with our guests, Bruce Ames and Rhonda Patrick. Dr Ames is a senior scientist at Children's Hospital, [00:01:00] Oakland Research Institute, director of their nutrition and metabolism center and a professor Ameritas of biochemistry and molecular biology at UC Berkeley. Rhonda Patrick has a phd in biomedical science. Dr. Patrick is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Children's Hospital, Oakland Research Institute in Dr Ames. His lab, she currently conducts clinical trials looking at the effects of [00:01:30] micronutrients on metabolism, inflammation, DNA damage and aging. Here's Brad swift and interviewing doctors, aims and Patrick Bruce 
    Speaker 5:        Ames and Rhonda Patrick, welcome to spectrum. Thank you very much. Sue, can you help us understand the term micronutrient and briefly explain what they do? Sure. 
    Speaker 6:        About 40 substances you need in your diet and [00:02:00] you get it from eating a really well balanced style, get them more about eight or 10 of them are essential amino acids. So they're required for making your all your protein. And then there are about 30 vitamins and minerals, roughly 15 minerals in 15 five minutes. So you need the minerals, you need iron and zinc and calcium and magnesium and all these things, you know, and the vitamins [00:02:30] and minerals are coenzymes. So you have 20,000 genes in your body that make proteins, which are enzymes that do bio or Kimiko transformations. And some of them require coenzymes, maybe a quarter of them. So some require magnesium and they don't work unless there's a magnesium attached to the particular pace in the enzyme. And some of them require vitamin B six which is something called [00:03:00] paradoxal, goes through a coenzyme paradox of phosphate. 
    Speaker 6:        And that's an a few hundred and enzymes and they make your neurotransmitters and other things. And if you don't get any one of these 40 substances, you'd die. But how much we need is, I think there's a lot of guesswork in there and we have a new idea I can talk about later that shakes a lot up puppet. And so when your research, you're trying to measure these [00:03:30] micronutrients obviously, well people can measure them in various ways. Somebody can just measure in blood and say, ah, you have enough vitamin D or you don't have enough vitamin D. But some, for example, calcium and magnesium marine, your bones, but they're also used for all kinds of enzymes and if you get low, the tissue might get low, but you keep your plasma up because you're taking it out of the bone. So just measuring [00:04:00] plasma isn't useful in that case. 
    Speaker

    • 30 min
    Mathias Craig, Part 2 of 2

    Mathias Craig, Part 2 of 2

    Mathias Craig, Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. of Blue Energy. Blue Energy is a not for profit, NGO working in Caribbean coastal communities of Eastern Nicaragua to help connect them to energy, clean water, sanitation and other services. Blueenergygroup.org
    Transcript
    Speaker 1:        Spectrum's next. 
    Speaker 2:        Okay. [inaudible] [inaudible]. 
    Speaker 3:        Welcome to spectrum the science and technology show on k l x Berkeley, a biweekly [00:00:30] 30 minute program bringing you interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists as well as a calendar of loads 
    Speaker 1:        [inaudible] and news. 
    Speaker 4:        Hi listeners, my name is Brad Swift. I'm the host of today's show this week on spectrum. We present part two of two with our guests, Mathias Craig Co, founder and executive director of Blue Energy. Blue Energy is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization working among the Caribbean coastal communities of [00:01:00] eastern Nicaragua to help connect them to energy, clean water, sanitation, and other essential services. Monte has, Craig is an engineer by training from UC Berkeley and MIT. He talks about what he and blue energy have learned about adapting and localizing technology through projects they undertake with remote isolated communities. Monte has also talks about the future of applied technologies and blue energy in developing areas. Here is part two. [00:01:30] As you work with the technologies that you choose from, how much are you changing those technologies? Are you able to feed back to the people who are actually manufacturing and designing those things? 
    Speaker 1:        When we started the organization, we thought of ourselves as sort of a technology creator. When we started working with small scale wind power locally manufactured small scale wind turbines, you know, we were early pioneers in that working with the earliest pioneers like Hugh Pigott, as I had mentioned in another group up in [00:02:00] Colorado, went by the name other power. We really saw ourselves as the primary design. We spent a lot of time. We did design workshops, we did a lot of cad drawings and we were really deep into the technology when we thought that technology was going to be 80% of what we could contribute. What we learned a number of years later was that that's not where we can add the most value. There's a lot of people around the world that can work on technology that had better setups and more experience, more resources to throw at the problem, and we needed to leverage [00:02:30] that. 
    Speaker 1:        That was one key realization. Now, on the other end of the spectrum though, we know that just taking technology from around the world and plugging it in never works. It's a lot of romance about that, but the reality is there's tweaking. There's adaptation that has to take place generally not with a cell phone, not with a pencil against her self-contained units, but with systems. These are systems, not products generally and for that you need adaptation and so we started thinking ourselves as technology [00:03:00] tweakers or packers, hackers or we use the word localize a lot to mean not inventing, but how do you take something that is successful somewhere else in a completely different context or if you get lucky, you find something that's operating in a relatively similar context and you say, okay, what needs to change for that to be effective where we are? 
    Speaker 1:        We have a ton of examples of this and we found we're very good at this and it's a place where we can add a tremendous amount of value. One example is you have [00:03:30] the mayor's office in Bluefields, which is where we're, we're operationally headquartered there on the Caribbean coast has a lot of requests for latrines to be installed for the commu

    • 30 min
    Mathias Craig, Part 1 of 2

    Mathias Craig, Part 1 of 2

    Mathias Craig, Co-Founder and Exec. Dir. of Blue Energy. Blue Energy is a not for profit, NGO working in Caribbean coastal communities of Eastern Nicaragua to help connect them to energy, clean water, sanitation and other services. Blueenergygroup.org
    Transcript
    Speaker 1:        Spectrum's next. 
    Speaker 2:        Okay. Welcome to spectrum the science and technology show on k a l ex Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program bringing you interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists as well as a calendar [00:00:30] of local events and news. 
    Speaker 3:        Hi and good afternoon. My name is Brad Swift. I'm the host of today's show. This week on spectrum. We present part one of two with our guest Monte as Craig Co founder and executive director of Blue Energy. Blue Energy is a nonprofit nongovernmental organization working among the Caribbean coastal communities of eastern Nicaragua to help connect them to energy, clean water, sanitation, and other essential services. Matiaz Craig is an engineer by training right here at UC Berkeley. [00:01:00] He talks about what he and blue energy have learned about applying and localizing technology through projects that they undertake with remote isolated communities. Give a listen to part one. Monte has. Craig, welcome to spectrum. Thank you for having me. How were you initially drawn to technology? 
    Speaker 1:        It started really early for me. I was a tinkerer. I always thought that I would be an inventor when I was young. So I think the, the attraction came, came super early and [00:01:30] then when I studied here at UC Berkeley in civil and environmental engineering, I started getting exposed to technology. Just sort of took it from there. 
    Speaker 3:        When was it that you started down this path of connecting technology with sustainability and equitable development? 
    Speaker 1:        So I started thinking about that again while I was here at UC Berkeley, I had the opportunity to take a number of classes in the energy and resource group with Professor Richard Norgaard and Dan Cayman, which was really inspirational [00:02:00] for me. And I started to see renewable energy in particular as an opportunity to use technology in a green, sustainable way. And also I liked the international element of it, but this is a global issue around the environment and also around issues of energy and water. And it was easy to see how they could fit together. I think it really started here. And then in graduate school I was at MIT and I had the opportunity to take a class called entrepreneurship in the developing world with Professor Alex Pentland [00:02:30] over in the media lab and that was my first sort of insight into how I might combine those things. Practically speaking in an organization, 
    Speaker 3:        when you first started trying to couple those things, energy generation, sustainability, what was the status quo of things? 
    Speaker 1:        What was the landscape like? What year was it? I started thinking about renewable energy and wind power back in 1999 when I was a student here at Berkeley. It [00:03:00] was a class project in 2002 at MIT and we launched in Nicaragua in 2004 I think the landscape for small wind in particular, which was what drew my interest initially, it was pretty sparse out there. There weren't many organizations doing small scale wind for development. There have been some small scale wind turbine manufacturers in Europe and in the United States for a number of decades on a commercial scale, but they weren't really thinking about emerging markets and how wind [00:03:30] might contribute to rural electrification in those places. And we formed some nice partnerships, one with Hugh Pigott from Scotland who was the original inventor of the wind turbine design that we were u

    • 30 min
    Diana Pickworth

    Diana Pickworth

    Archaeologist Dr Diana Pickworth. She is presently a Visiting Scholar in the UC Berkeley Near Eastern Studies Department. Formerly Assoc Prof of Mesopotamian Art and Archaeology and Museum Studies at the University of ‘Aden in the Republic of Yemen.
    Transcript
    Speaker 1:        Spectrum's next. 
    Speaker 2:        Okay. [inaudible]. 
    Speaker 1:        Welcome to spectrum the science and technology show on k [00:00:30] a l x Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program bringing you interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists as well as a calendar of local events and news. 
    Speaker 3:        Hey, good afternoon. My name is Brad Swift. I'm the host of today's show this week on spectrum. Our guest is archaeologist Dr Diana. Pick worth. She is presently a visiting scholar in the UC Berkeley Near Eastern studies department. Dr Pick worth is completing the work related to the publication of two volumes [00:01:00] on excavations carried out by a university of California team at the site of Nineveh in northern Iraq. Formerly she was an associate professor of Mesopotamian art and archeology and museum studies at the University of a sudden in the Republic of Yemen. Diana pick worth is an elected fellow of the explorers club and a member of the American School of Oriental Research. Here is that interview. Hi, this is Brad Swift. In today's spectrum interview, Rick Karnofsky [00:01:30] joins me, Rick [inaudible] and today's guest is Diana. Pick worth Diana, welcome to spectrum. 
    Speaker 1:        I'm honored and delighted to be here. 
    Speaker 3:        Diana would you begin by talking about archeology and how it got started and how it's blossomed into its multifaceted current state. 
    Speaker 1:        There's no doubt that the enlightenment in the 19th century sparked a huge interest [00:02:00] in the eastern part of the Ottoman Empire. And so during this period, the European countries, England, France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, we're sending consoles and ambassadors to visit the Parshah and Istanbul. What happened was these countries became competitive in their desire, both the land and knowledge. And this was fueled somewhat by [00:02:30] Darwin's research and in 1830 his work on the Beagle and subsequently his publication of origin of species spoked enormous questions about the Bible. And it was this desire to understand the truth about the Bible. It had been viewed up until that point is a given that it was correct [00:03:00] and it challenged the world view at the time. And avast and I think changing Manoj and so layered from England, Botha from foams moved east of Istanbul into northern Iraq. And what we see is these two men really pitching at each other to stake a claim for that country to excavate in there tells that they [00:03:30] both discovered in the appetite risk space on and is that how the Fertile Crescent got started? 
    Speaker 1:        That whole idea of Fertile Crescent, that was a little later, but the Fertile Crescent represents an area where settlement could first begin and so the ice Asya hat is really a points on a map. It's a way of looking at how [00:04:00] geography, rainfall, and natural geographic circumstances create a circumstance where humankind can prosper and it can farm in what is called dry farming. And so what we find, it's an all running up from about the middle of their Dead Sea on the Palestinian literal all the way up in a circle across the top of what [00:04:30] is today, northern Syria and northern Iraq. Those sites date from as early as 9,000 BC and there's no doubt that's where we are. We all finding humankind's first farming and settlement currently. Then what's notable about the transition from the 19th or the 20th century in terms of archeology? I think on the one hand a tremendous continuity so [00:0

    • 30 min
    Cathryn Carson & Fernando Perez, Part 2 of 2

    Cathryn Carson & Fernando Perez, Part 2 of 2

    Cathryn Carson is an Assoc Prof of History, and the Ops Lead of the Social Sciences D- Lab at UC Berkeley. Fernando Perez is a research scientist at the Henry H. Wheeler Jr. Brain Imaging Center at U.C. Berkeley. Berkeley Institute for Data Science.
    Transcript
    Speaker 1:        Spectrum's next. 
    Speaker 2:        Mm MM. 
    Speaker 3:        Uh Huh [inaudible]. 
    Speaker 4:        [00:00:30] We'll come to spectrum the science and technology show on Katie l x Berkeley, a biweekly 30 minute program bringing you interviews featuring bay area scientists and technologists as well as a calendar of local events. 
    Speaker 3:        [inaudible].
    Speaker 1:        Hello and good afternoon. My name is Renee Rao and I'll be hosting today's show this week [00:01:00] on spectrum present part two of our two part series on big data at cal. The Berkeley Institute for data science bids is only four months old. Two people involved with shaping the institute are Catherine Carson and Fernando Perez. They are today's guest Catherine Carson is an associate professor of history and associate dean of social sciences and the operational lead of the social sciences data lab at UC Berkeley for Nana Perez is a research scientist at the Henry H. Wheeler [00:01:30] Jr Brain imaging center at UC Berkeley. He created the iPod iPhone project while he was a graduate student in 2001 and continues to lead the project today. In part two they talk about teaching data science. Brad Swift conducts the interview 
    Speaker 5:        on the teaching side of things. Does data science just fold into the domains in the fields and some faculty embrace it, others don't. How does the teaching of data science move [00:02:00] forward at an undergraduate level? Yeah, there there've been some really interesting institutional experiments in the last year or two here at Berkeley. Thinking about last semester, fall of 2013 stat one 57 which was reproducible collaborative data science pitched at statistics majors simply because you have to start with the size that can fit in a classroom [00:02:30] and training students in the practices of scientific collaboration around open source production of software tools or to look at what was Josh Bloom's course, so that's astro four 50 it's listed as special topics in astrophysics just because Josh happens to be a professor in the astronomy department and so you have to list it somewhere. The course is actually called Python for science 
    Speaker 6:        [00:03:00] and it's a course that Josh has run for the last, I think this is, this was its fourth iteration and that course is a completely interdisciplinary course that it's open to students in any field. The examples really do not privilege and the homework sets do not privilege astronomy in any way and we see students. I liked her a fair bit in that course as a guest lecture and we see students from all departments participating. This last semester it was packed to the gills. We actually had problems because we couldn't find a room large enough to accommodate. So word of mouth is working. In terms of students finding these [00:03:30] courses, 
    Speaker 5:        it's happening. I wouldn't say it's working in part because it's very difficult to get visibility across this campus landscape. I am sure there are innovations going on that even the pis and bids aren't aware of and one of the things we want to do is stimulate more innovation in places like the the professional schools. We'll be training students who need to be able to use these tools as well. What do they have in mind or there [00:04:00] are other formats of instruction beyond traditional semester courses. What would intensive training stretched out over a much shorter time look like? What gaps are there in the undergraduate or graduate curriculum

    • 30 min

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