Science Podcasts: NIH Scientist Loan Repayment Conflicts, Undersea Cables As Seismic Sensors

The National Instituscimag_pc_logo_120_120 (2)tes of Health’s largest loan repayment program was conceived to help scientists pay off school debts without relying on industry funding. But a close examination of the program by investigative correspondent Charles Piller has revealed that many participants are taking money from the government to repay their loans, while at the same time taking payments from pharmaceutical companies. Piller joins Host Sarah Crespi to talk about the steps he took to uncover this double dipping and why ethicists say this a conflict of interest.

Sarah also talks with Nate Lindsey, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, about turning a 50-meter undersea fiber optic cable designed to move data into a sensor for activity in the ocean and the land underneath. During a 4-day test in Monterey Bay, California, the cable detected earthquakes, faults, waves, and even ocean-going storms.

For this month’s books segment, Kiki Sandford talks with Dan Hooper about his book At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds.

Housing Trends: “Timberlake Denali 39′ Park Model” Tiny Home

2019 Timbercraft Denali 39ft Custom Tiny Home by Timbercraft Tiny Homes.

  • GENERALLY 320-399 SQ FT


Technology Podcasts: “The Digitisation Of Healthcare” (Economist)

The Economist Intelligence Unit Digital EconomyThere can be few applications of digital technology more worthwhile than saving lives, but integrating digital technology into healthcare systems is uniquely complex. This episode provides an introduction to some of the challenges that healthcare providers face in their pursuit of digital innovation, and explores some of the paths forward.

Host Pete Swabey is joined by Professor Ann Blandford, deputy director for digital health at the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering; by Jackie Hunter, chief executive, clinical programmes & strategic relationships at AI-powered drug development firm Benevolent.AI; and by Elizabeth Sukkar, managing editor and global editorial lead for healthcare at The EIU. Sponsored by DXC Technology.

Top New Travel Books: “Wanderlust USA” Edited By Gestalten (2019)

Wanderlust USA 2019Experienced outdoor enthusiasts and those lacing-up their boots for their first time: prepare to hike the diverse American landscape. Whether aiming to conquer epic expeditions, or simply complete a day hike to recharge, paths of every size await the intrepid wayfarer in Wanderlust USA, a book that serves as a blueprint for adventurous souls in search of new summits.

Stunning photography and insightful tips from veteran long-distance hiker Cam Honan bring many bucolic treks to life, including the unmissable California ancient redwoods and misty waterfalls of Yosemite Park, as well as Utah’s dramatic canyons, and the Atlantic cliffs of Maine.


Top New Remodel Books: “The Home Upgrade” Edited By Gestalten (2019)

The Home Upgrade GestaltenThe Home Upgrade looks beyond big budget projects and explores homes where the seemingly impossible has been achieved. For architects striking out on their own, such projects offer the opportunity to flex their muscles and lead a project for the first time. A home in Brooklyn, featured in the book, was refurbished after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Eastern Seaboard in 2012. The living space was raised above the high-water line, an answer to the grim fact that once-in-a-generation occurrences are a new reality.

Historic conversions celebrate the unexpected relationship between old and new, and adaptive reuse projects reinvent the buildings around us. Exploring the most extraordinary transformations of recent years by leading studios, The Home Upgrade is an exhilarating look at the boundless possibilities of reimagining a home.


Health Studies: Eating After Exercise Found To Burn “Twice The Fat”

From a New York Times online article:

Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & MetabolismThe riders who had pedaled on an empty stomach, however, had incinerated about twice as much fat during each ride as the men who consumed the shake first. The riders all had burned about the same number of calories while pedaling, but more of those calories came from fat when the men did not eat first.

Those riders also showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity at the end of the study and had developed higher levels of certain proteins in their muscles that influence how well muscle cells respond to insulin and use blood sugar.

Working out on an empty stomach could amplify the health benefits of the activity, according to a well-timed new study of the interplay of meal timing, metabolic health and moving. The study, which involved sedentary men and moderate cycling, suggests that whether and when we eat may affect how exercise affects us.

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Health Podcasts: Which Drug Prices Should Medicare Negotiate? (NE Journal Of Medicine)

From a New England Journal of Medicine article:

New England Journal of Medicine podcastMedicare negotiation of prescription-drug prices would bring U.S. government policies in line with those of other high-income countries, and the idea is popular with both the public and policy analysts. But it would represent a sea change for pharmaceutical firms, which will maintain that any threat to their pricing power will slow innovation. 

Negotiating prices of 10 too-little drugs and 10 too-late drugs to levels currently paid in the United Kingdom would produce about $26.8 billion in savings in 2019 alone, most of which ($25.9 billion) would come from savings on drugs in the latter category. Over time, the drugs included could change. For instance, in 2020 this category might include Revlimid (lenalidomide), which generated $6.5 billion in 2018 U.S. sales; its price in the United Kingdom is 32% of that in the United States.

Americans all along the political spectrum favor allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices it pays for prescription drugs.1 In September, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) introduced what is now called the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3), and the bill would have Medicare do just that.

Although there are draft pieces of legislation and regulation that take aim at the rising cost of drugs, H.R. 3 is the legislative tip of the spear for price negotiation. If it became law, Medicare would target drugs that claim the largest share of the health care budget and that face limited competition from generics or biosimilars. I propose an alternative set of drugs for price negotiation: those that have too little evidence to support full approval or are too late in their life cycle to justify continued high prices.

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New Travel Videos: “Deep Sea Exploration – 360” (National Geographic)

In the final installment of National Geographic’s “Into Water” 360 series, dive into the midwaters off the coast of California with bioengineer and National Geographic Explorer Dr. Kakani Katija. She conducts deep water research at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, developing technologies that can go deep below the surface to observe wildlife and collect data and specimens.

National Geographic Deep Sea Exploration 360 She aims to study all aspects of life in the deep ocean and see how that knowledge can translate to technology and innovation. “Into Water: California” is the final stop on an around the world 360 tour that documents the work of female Explorers who’ve dedicated their careers to water related issues.