68 episodes

On each episode of Critically Speaking, your host, Dr. Therese Markow, interviews foremost experts in a range of fields. We discuss, in everyday language that we all can understand, fundamental issues that impact our health, our society, and our planet. Join our weekly journey where we separate fact from fantasy for topics both current and controversial.

Critically Speaking Therese Markow

    • Science
    • 4.7, 23 Ratings

On each episode of Critically Speaking, your host, Dr. Therese Markow, interviews foremost experts in a range of fields. We discuss, in everyday language that we all can understand, fundamental issues that impact our health, our society, and our planet. Join our weekly journey where we separate fact from fantasy for topics both current and controversial.

    Dr. Glenn Morrison: Safety of air indoors?

    Dr. Glenn Morrison: Safety of air indoors?

    Glenn Morrison is a professor in Environmental Science and Engineering with a primary interest in chemical and transport phenomena in building environments. These phenomena help us understand, but also control, human exposure to chemicals and particles that are released or transformed indoors. Dr. Morrison has directed research projects and field studies of dermal uptake of indoor pollutants, ozone surface chemistry, building forensics, sensor development, pollutant movement in buildings, aerosol transport of SVOCs, exposure implications of smog reactions with human surfaces and hair and related projects. 
      
    In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Glenn Morrison discuss the change in how society has viewed and handled indoor air pollutants and how that view continues to change as technologies change. They go into more detail about what we know about air pollutants, their sources, and their abilities to damage human health. In addition, Therese and Dr. Morrison continue on to talk about steps, both easy and difficult, that you can do to avoid pollutants in your home and ways to make your life safer and healthier from air pollutants. 
      
     Key Takeaways:  
    There are thousands of pollutants present in buildings, most are specific chemicals from building materials.  Buildings breathe – even if your house seems “closed up” there is still minor airflow from tiny cracks and window edges. You are always breathing outdoor air, even if it has been inside for several hours.  Keeping buildings dry is really important for good air quality.     
    "Never burn anything in your home. Anything that produces these fine particles from combustion is potentially a problem and you’re just adding to the amount of pollution you’re breathing in." —  Dr. Glenn Morrison 
       
    Connect with Dr. Glenn Morrison:    
    UNC Profile: Glenn Morrison, PhD    
    Video Presentation: Indoor Chemistry Applications and Solutions, Dr. G. Morrison 
      
       
    Connect with Therese:  
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net 
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak  
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net 
      
       
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  
     

    • 37 min
    Dr. Vikram Misra: Bats as Virus Reservoirs

    Dr. Vikram Misra: Bats as Virus Reservoirs

    Bats, bats everywhere...except in the arctic and antarctic. Bats are about ⅕ of the total species of mammals in the world, and yet, we don’t know a lot about them and we cannot pinpoint how many species of bats there are in the world. Bats have been in the media more and more in recent years in regards to diseases and virus transfer between species. This has been especially common in the news and media in regards to the novel COVID-19 Virus currently causing a worldwide pandemic. In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Vikram Misra discuss Dr. Misra’s research in bats and bat borne viruses. They talk about the life span (and health for that life span) of the bats, what we have observed in regards to the bat health, how they avoid getting ill, and how they shed the virus. The evolution of viruses also plays a roll in the transmission between species of these viruses and potential epidemics. In order to solve these epidemic questions, this is a problem for One Health - everyone, in all fields, must work together to solve the problems and questions of world wide health. 
     
     
     Key Takeaways:
    What we know about one species of bats may not apply to others due to the number of species of bats.  Evolution is a pretty powerful tool. If you have thousands and thousands of viruses and one mutation, one mutant that just has this small selective advantage, and very soon you start selection for it. We do not currently have a lot of data on the COVID-19 virus. Without more data, it is dangerous to speculate on this viruhout more good data to back it up.  
    "[Bat’s have] a lot to teach us. Longevity itself is not important. If you live to be 150 years old, and you have to spend the last 60 years in bed because you were bedridden, that isn't any good, right? It would be very nice if you were healthy for your entire lifespan. They can, hopefully, teach us how to do that. And also, if we can figure out how they deal with viral infections without getting really ill, then that might help us as well." —  Dr. Vikram Misra
     
    Connect with Dr. Vikram Misra:
    Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan: Vikram Misra  
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 43 min
    Dr. Hanna Stevens: Inflammation and immune system

    Dr. Hanna Stevens: Inflammation and immune system

    Evidence is emerging that inflammation during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for disorders such as autism and schizophrenia in the developing fetus, disorders that sometimes appear much later in the individual's life. Dr. Hanna Stevens, Child Psychiatrist, Division Director of Child Psychiatry and Head of the Psychiatry and Early Neurobiological Development Lab (PENDL) at the Carver College of Medicine University of Iowa, discusses the relationship between material inflammation and later psychiatric outcomes.  
      
    There’s evidence that preeclampsia increases the risk of autism in offspring by about 50% more than it would be otherwise.  Microglial cells found in the fetal brain act as immune cells, but when chemical signals of inflammation are present, the cells behave differently and may impact brain development.   It is essential to receive prenatal care, and if you are experiencing problems linked to maternal inflammation, such as contagious diseases or preeclampsia, seek medical attention.        
    "The reason for looking at this research and studying these processes is not to suggest individual women are supposed to figure out how to solve the problem.  It is at a much higher level of figuring out how, as a society, we protect healthy brain development.." —  Hanna Stevens 
       
    Connect with Dr. Hanna Stevens:    
    Website:  medicine.uiowa.edu/psychiatry/hanna-stevens 
      
    Connect with Therese:  
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
       
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

    • 40 min
    Dr. Ed Vargo: Termites Eating Your House? 

    Dr. Ed Vargo: Termites Eating Your House? 

    In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Ed Vargo discuss all things termite - what termites are, the different types of termites, and how and why they are destroying homes. Termites are wood-eating insects and, in their natural environments, they are key aspects of the ecosystem. However, when they get into homes, they cannot determine that the beams used to build our homes are any different than the logs they eat in their ecosystems. Termites are colony insects like bees and ants, however, they are different in their social structure and organizational aspects. Because of this, there can be differences in how they are treated and eradicated. The biggest problem with this, is new species are being introduced all the time due to the infestation of these termites in imported cargo, particularly from parts of Asia. They wrap up their conversation discussing what we have learned from research done at universities and by scientists and how that has affected the way in which we now treat these termite infestations. 



     Key Takeaways:
    Termites play a valuable role in their natural ecosystem, but they cannot determine the difference between the wood in a forest and the beams of your house.  In one year, one termite won’t do a significant amount of damage, but a colony of 100,000 can do much more damage. If you have a contract with someone to check yearly, damage can usually be caught before it is too bad.  New species could be introduced at any time. Due to the millions of cargo containers that come into the United States every day, there is no way to inspect every single cargo hold.   
    "The subterranean termites that I mentioned are the most widespread termites, all the way from Florida on the East Coast up into southern New England - Massachusetts, all across the country to the west coast, up and down the west coast from California to Washington. So just the very northern parts in the Midwest and very northern parts in the east, don't have these termites. The further you go south and the more of these termites you find and so the more likely you are to have an infestation. The dry wood termites occur along the Gulf Coast states and also coastal California." —  Dr. Ed Vargo
     
    Connect with Dr. Ed Vargo:
    Texas A&M University: Urban and Structural Entomology Program at Texas A&M University
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 31 min
    Dr. James Alcock: Near Death Experiences

    Dr. James Alcock: Near Death Experiences

    In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. James Alcock discuss what near death experiences are and the increase of them in recent years due to improvements in medical technology. While near death experiences (NDEs) have been known about for a long time, we, as a scientific community, are starting to understand more about what they mean for neurological processes. However, despite knowing the science of what is happening, NDEs and how they are experienced are subject to one’s own beliefs, context, and even religious framework. Dr. Alcock and Therese also discuss the the relationship between near death experiences, hallucinations, and even reactions to various drugs and how they create powerful subjective experiences. 
     
     
     Key Takeaways:
    In surveys taken in the United States, about 3% of people have reported having near death experiences. This number can be difficult to assess as they are based on memory and the surveys are taken, sometimes, years after the incident in question. It is difficult to prove the near death experiences in research studies due to the subjectiveness of what is being perceived.  Even with the science that we do know, those who have near death experiences (including neurologists who have studied the brain) report the reality of the feelings and perceptions that are felt in these experiences.   
    "Context is important. Our interpretation is important. And it's very difficult, if not impossible, for any individual to distinguish between reality and subjective fantasies in those situations." —  Dr. James Alcock
     
    Connect with Dr. James Alcock:
    Wikipedia Page: James Alcock  
    Book: Belief: What it Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions are so Compelling 
    Magazine: Skeptical Inquirer
     
     
    Connect with Therese:
    Website:   www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.  

    • 38 min
    Leigh Turner: Stem Cells for COVID19?

    Leigh Turner: Stem Cells for COVID19?

    In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Leigh Turner discuss direct-to-consumer marketing of unproven and unlicensed cell-based interventions. Dr. Turner’s research addresses ethical, legal, and regulator issues associated with clinics engaged in direct-to-consumer marketing and shares his knowledge with us in this first of a two-part interview. Also discussed in this episode are the questions to ask when thinking about these cell-based treatments and therapies, not only about the administration of the cells, but also regarding the individuals who are advertising and performing these interventions, as well as those processing and marketing the product for use. There are many inadequacies and a lack of safe-research in many of these facilities, even when they appear to be run by a qualified and trusted provider.
     
     Key Takeaways:
    Even if someone is a board-certified clinician, that doesn’t mean that what they are offering is evidence based and has been approved for the US marketplace in any way. Advertising claims are not always evidence based, trustworthy, credible, and reliable. Registered with the FDA doesn’t mean that the FDA has gone on site, done a careful inspection, and provided approval. It just means they’ve uploaded a form on the FDA site.  
    "It’s important to ask challenging questions about individuals who are advertising these interventions and performing these procedures." —  Dr. Leigh Turner
     
    Connect with Dr. Leigh Turner: 
    University of Minnesota – Center for Bioethics: Leigh Turner, PhD  
      
    Connect with Therese:
    Website: www.criticallyspeaking.net
    Twitter: @CritiSpeak
    Email: theresemarkow@criticallyspeaking.net
     
     
    Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You're the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

FukCar2Go ,

Very informative and easy to digest

Therese is an absolute pleasure to listen to and I love her passion for educating the world without any alterior motives. Shout out to UCSD for finding an excellent professor!

ntvaz ,

Great topics and concise, informative discussions

I’m so pleased to have been introduced to this podcast! I originally listened to an episode looking for information on one very specific topic, but I knew right away I’d be a returning listener. The topics are widely varied and the discussions are very informative. I’m really enjoying catching up on all the earliest interviews.

JRRavenscroft ,

Captivating

I really appreciate the variety of topics and the great questions Teri asks. I’ve learned so much already and look forward to future episodes!

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