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Free Forum Q&A - (1) THOMAS HOMER DIXON, THE UPSIDE OF DOWN: Catastrophe, Creativity, and Renewal (originally aired March 2009) (2) JOE STIGLITZ, $3 TRILLION WAR (originally aired April 2008)
January 29, 2016 04:16 PM PST
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This week as the stock market falls and we're sending more troops to Iraq, you'll hear two previously recorded interviews. First, my March 2009 interview with THOMAS HOMER DIXON, author of THE UPSIDE OF DOWN: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization about how it may take hitting bottom for societies to change. And, in the second half of the show you'll hear my April 2008 conversation with Nobel prize winning economist JOE STIGLITZ about his book, THE $3 TRILLION WAR, on the enormous costs of our tragic adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Free Forum Q&A - RICK HANSON - best-selling author of BUDDHA'S BRAIN - HARDWIRING HAPPINESS: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence
January 22, 2016 05:50 PM PST
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Originally Aired: December 2013

In HARDWIRING HAPPINESS, Hanson brings mindfulness and neuroscience together and offers pro-active practices to actually shift the brain's neural structure. I'll talk with him about how you can use science's newest lessons to overcome the brain's negativity bias - it's tendency to hardwire negative and threatening experiences more easily and more quickly than positive ones.

RICK HANSON, Ph.D., is a neuropsychologist, a founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, and on the Advisory Board of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. he's been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide. His books include Buddha's Brain, Just One Thing, and his latest, HARDWIRING HAPPINESS: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence.

Free Forum Q&A - STEWART BRAND editor, 1968, WHOLE EARTH CATALOG author, 2009, WHOLE EARTH DISCIPLINE An EcoPragmatist Manifesto
January 22, 2016 04:03 PM PST
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Originally Aired November 2009

STEWART BRAND's Whole Earth Catalog introduced millions to new ways of thinking and doing and probably contributed to the birth of environmentalism in the US. Confronting today's challenges to global civilization, Brand questions conventional environmental positions against GMO foods, Geo-engineering, and nuclear power.

In 1968 a totally original cultural item appeared. It owed something to old time catalogs perhaps akin to the Farmers almanac. Its style was funkily low fi while its content had one foot in a simpler past and the other in a high tech sci fi future. It was called the Whole Earth Catalog and subtitled "Access to Tools."

STEWART BRAND was its founder, editor and publisher, and Brand has been at the founding of several other cultural entities, events, and movements. Today, in his '70s, Brand is no less curious, no less purposeful, and no less forward looking. His new book, WHOLE EARTH DISCIPLINE: An EcoPragmatist Manifesto, confronts the challenges we face as a global civilization - population, urbanization, resource depletion, peak oil, and most profoundly climate change, by issuing challenges of his own to what has passed for years as environmental orthodoxy. Brand characterizes many in a movement he helped to create and inspire as being anti-science, and anti-intellectual in their opposition to GMO foods, Geo-engineering, and nuclear power.

Free Forum Q&A - ED HUMES, author, FORCE OF NATURE: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart's Green Revolution
January 16, 2016 10:02 PM PST
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Originally aired: June 2011

Pulitzer-prize winning author Ed Humes starts with skepticism, asks tough questions, and ends up delivering good news. Wal-Mart embraced an unprecedented green makeover, leveraging the power of 200 million weekly customers to reduce waste, toxics, and carbon emissions. Neither an act of charity nor an empty greenwash, Wal-Mart's move reflects a simple philosophy: that the most sustainable, clean, energy-efficient, and waste-free company will beat its competitors every time.
EDWARD HUMES received the Pulitzer Prize for his journalism and numerous awards for his books. He's written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Esquire. His books include Monkey Girl, Mississippi Mud, Garbology, Eco Barons, and Force of Nature.

Free Forum Q&A- JAY HARMAN, THE SHARK'S PAINTBRUSH: How Nature is Inspiring Innovation
January 16, 2016 09:56 PM PST
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Originally Aired: November 2013

After 3.8 billion years of R&D on this planet, failures are fossils. What surrounds us in the natural world has succeeded and survived. So why not learn as much as we can from what works? JAY HARMON translates nature's lessons into technologies that solve problems and perform tasks more elegantly, efficiently, and economically.

JAY HARMAN has founded and grown multi-million-dollar research and manufacturing companies that develop, patent, and license innovative products, ranging from prize-winning watercraft to interlocking building bricks, afterburners for aircraft engines, and non-invasive technology for measuring blood glucose and other electrolytes. His latest ventures - PAX Scientific, PAX Water Technologies, PAX Mixer, and PAX Streamline - design more efficient industrial equipment including turbines, fans, and pumps. He's the author of THE SHARK'S PAINTBRUSH: Biomimicry and How Nature is Inspiring Innovation.

Disruptive: Cancer Vaccine & Hydrogel Drug Delivery
December 04, 2015 07:23 PM PST
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Welcome to DISRUPTIVE the podcast from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
In this episode of DISRUPTIVE, we will focus on a cancer vaccine and hydrogel drug depots – both being developed by Wyss Founding Core Faculty Member, DAVE MOONEY.

Mooney says the human immune system is the most efficient weapon on the planet to fight disease. Cancer, however, resists treatment and cure by evading the immune system. Unlike bacterial cells or viruses, cancer cells belong in the body, but are simply mutated and misplaced.

Scientists have been trying to develop vaccines that provoke the immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign and attack them. The approach developed by Mooney’s group, in which they reprogram immune cells from inside the body using implantable biomaterials, appears simpler and more effective than other cancer vaccines currently in clinical trials. In one study, 50% of mice treated with two doses of the vaccine -- mice that would have otherwise died from melanoma within about 25 days -- showed complete tumor regression.

On a second front, when it comes to delivering drugs or protein-based therapeutics, doctors often give patients pills or inject the drug into their bloodstream. Both are inefficient methods for delivering effective doses to targeted tissues.

Mooney and his team at Wyss are taking a new approach using biocompatible and biodegradable hydrogels. They’ve developed a gel-based sponge that can be molded to any shape, loaded with drugs or stem cells, compressed to a fraction of its size, and delivered via injection. Once inside the body, it pops back to its original shape, gradually releases its payload, and safely degrades.

After we explore both of these exciting projects with Mooney, we take a closer look at the process of translation of hydrogel technology into products and therapies with Chris Gemmiti, a business development lead at Wyss.


Free Forum Q&A - (1) ROB MANNING, Chief-engineer, Mars Rover Curiosity (2) DREW WESTEN, THE POLITICAL BRAIN
October 30, 2015 08:25 PM PDT

With the US recently bombing a hospital in Afghanistan and Russia intervening in Syria, you'll hear two relevant previously recorded interviews. First, with MATTHEW HOH, a former Marine who resigned from the foreign service over the war in Afghanistan. We spoke in November 2009. In the second half of the show, you'll hear my September 2008 conversation with retired Army colonel, Andrew Bacevich, about his wise and unsettling book, THE LIMITS OF POWER: The End of American Exceptionalism.

MATTHEW HOH, former Marine captain with combat experience in Iraq, also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. He was the senior US civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed. In September 2009 Hoh became the first US official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war.

ANDREW BACEVICH, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, served twenty-three years in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of colonel. He also lost his son in Iraq. A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy, he received his Ph. D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. He is the author of several books, including The New American Militarism; The Limits Of Power; Washington Rules: America's Path To Permanent War; and Breach Of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers And Their Country.

October 30, 2015 08:08 PM PDT
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On November 15, InsightLA, the leading Los Angeles-based Mindfulness Meditation organization, will host LIVING WITH A JOYFUL SPIRIT AND A WISE HEART, a day of deep teachings and timeless wisdom that will feature Trudy Goodman and Jack Cornfield in dialogue via video with a "who's who" of the pioneers of mindfulness meditation in the West - Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are), Ram Dass (Be Here Now), Tara Brach (Radical Acceptance), Joseph Goldstein (Insight Meditatino), and Congressman Tim Ryan (A Mindful Nation). Both Trudy and Jack turn 70 this year. In the course of the conversation, we talk about their personal paths, what each of their guests means to them, and we tell the story of mindfulness in America over the last forty-five years.

Trudy Goodman has trained and practiced in two fields for over 25 years: meditation and psychotherapy. She studied developmental psychology with Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Carol Gilligan, and for 20 years worked in a full psychotherapy practice. Since 1974, Trudy has devoted much of her life to practicing Buddhist meditation and teaching mindfulness. In 2002, Trudy founded InsightLA.

Jack Kornfield is a co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, and founding teacher of the Spirit Rock Center in Woodacre, California. His books have been translated into 20 languages and sold more than a million copies. They include, A Path with Heart; After the Ecstasy, the Laundry; Buddha's Little Instruction Book; and A Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology.

October 13, 2015 08:44 PM PDT
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Hello, I’m Terrence McNally and you’re listening to DISRUPTIVE the podcast from Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

The mission of the Wyss is to: Transform healthcare, industry, and the environment by emulating the way nature builds.

Our bodies — and all living systems — accomplish tasks far more sophisticated and dynamic than any entity yet designed by humans. By emulating nature's principles for self-organizing and self-regulating, Wyss researchers develop innovative engineering solutions for healthcare, energy, architecture, robotics, and manufacturing.

They focus on technology development and its translation into products and therapies that will have an impact on the world in which we live. So the Wyss is not interested in making incremental improvements to existing materials and devices, but in shifting paradigms. In this episode of DISRUPTIVE, we will focus on: CONFRONTING SEPSIS.

Sepsis is a bloodstream infection in which the body's organs become inflamed and susceptible to failure. The leading cause of hospital deaths, sepsis kills at least eight million people worldwide each year.

It can be caused by 6 species of fungi and 1400 species of bacteria. Diagnosis takes two to five days, and every hour you wait can increase the risk of death by 5-9%. The treatment challenge grows more complex as the prevalence of drug-resistant bacteria increases while the development of new antibiotics lags.

“Even with the best current treatments, sepsis patients are dying in intensive care units at least 30% of the time,” says one of today’s guests, Wyss Senior Staff Scientist Mike Super.

A new device developed by a team at Wyss and inspired by the human spleen may radically transform the way we treat sepsis. Their blood-cleansing approach can be administered quickly, even without identifying the infectious agent. In animal studies, treatment with this device reduced the number of targeted pathogens and toxins circulating in the bloodstream by more than 99%.
Although we focus here on treatment of sepsis, the same technology could in the future be used for other applications, including removing microbial contaminants from circulating water, food or pharmaceutical products.

Free Forum Q&A - MICHAEL LIND, LAND OF PROMISE: Economic History of the US
October 07, 2015 11:31 PM PDT
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Originally aired March 2013

In his new book, LAND OF PROMISE, MICHAEL LIND lays out a pattern in which the US has reinvented itself economically and politically a number of times based on the emergence of new technologies. From wind and water, to steam, to electricity and internal combustion, and finally the computer.

Each new dominant technology overwhelms the existing political and regulatory system and American government lags a generation or two behind technology-induced economic change. It takes a crisis or a war or both to overthrow the old regime and usher in the new. LIND argues that the US economy flourishes when government, business, labor and universities work together as partners in economic nation building. Today, as we struggle to recover from the Great Recession, he points out that Americans have repeatedly reinvented the American economy - and have the power to do so again.

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