WBEZ | Research http://www.wbez.org/tags/research Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Importance Of Friends And The Difficulty Keeping Them http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-27/importance-friends-and-difficulty-keeping-them-113966 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/pinky-swear-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_96731"><img alt="Pinky swear (Pixabay)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/11/pinky-swear-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="Friendships have a tendency to change in adulthood – largely because we have less time for them. (Pixabay)" /><p>Friendship is unlike any other relationship in a person&rsquo;s life. It can be difficult to define and may carry different meanings for different people. Two friends may describe the degree of their relationship in totally different ways.</p></div><p>While family bonds are typically considered unconditional, friendships are voluntary and thus subject to being set aside when people enter adulthood&nbsp;and &ldquo;more important&rdquo; events arise.</p><p>Researcher&nbsp;Emily Langan&nbsp;studies friendship. She speaks with&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/26/friendship-research-langan" target="_blank"><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em></a>Meghna Chakrabarti about its importance in human development and how it changes over time.</p></p> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 11:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-11-27/importance-friends-and-difficulty-keeping-them-113966 Drink To Your Health: Study Links Daily Coffee Habit To Longevity http://www.wbez.org/news/drink-your-health-study-links-daily-coffee-habit-longevity-113850 <p><div id="res456238544" previewtitle="People who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of premature death than those who didn't drink, a new study finds."><div data-crop-type="">If you have a daily coffee habit, here&#39;s something to buzz about: A new&nbsp;<a href="http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/11/10/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.017341.full.pdf+html?sid=5c4b9ef3-96dd-44b8-8188-0a3ca2ec8c9d">study</a>&nbsp;finds those cups of joe may help boost longevity.</div></div><p>&quot;In our study, we found people who drank three to five cups of coffee per day had about a 15 percent lower [risk of premature] mortality compared to people who didn&#39;t drink coffee,&quot; says one of the study authors, nutrition researcher&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/walter-willett/">Walter Willett</a>&nbsp;of the Harvard School of Public Health. Decaf drinkers also saw benefits.</p><p>The findings, published in the journal&nbsp;<em>Circulation</em>, build&nbsp;on&nbsp;a body of evidence linking a coffee habit to potential health benefits.</p><div id="res456265126"><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6823153479_8b38b208c1_z.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="(flick/Alexander Baxevanis)" /></div></div></div><p>As we&#39;ve reported, previous research has pointed to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/03/15/174334493/a-daily-habit-of-green-tea-or-coffee-cuts-stroke-risk">decreased risk&nbsp;</a>of stroke. And, there&#39;s<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/11/15/245250931/how-coffee-citrus-and-nuts-help-cut-the-risk-of-diabetes">&nbsp;some evidence</a>&nbsp;that a coffee habit cuts the risk of Type 2 diabetes, too.</p><p>Now, of course, it&#39;s possible to overdo it with caffeine. Research has shown that consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine can interfere with sleep and create feelings of unease. And some of us are even more sensitive. (I feel jittery if I have more than one strong cup!)</p><p>One study found that 200 milligrams of caffeine (the equivalent of about two cups of coffee) is an optimal amount to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424548">enhance cognitive function</a>&nbsp;and mood among sleep-deprived people. But we don&#39;t all metabolize caffeine the same way.</p><div id="res456266828">As we&#39;ve&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6155178">reported</a>, the caffeine amounts in coffee vary wildly. One&nbsp;<a href="http://jat.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/7/520.full.pdf+html">analysis</a>, conducted by Bruce Goldberger, found a 16-ounce cup of caffeinated coffee from Starbucks could contain anywhere from 250 milligrams to more than 500 milligrams of caffeine.</div><p>&quot;Not everyone reacts to coffee in the same way,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="https://webapp4.asu.edu/directory/person/2670673?pa=true">Andrew Maynard</a>, who studies risk assessment at Arizona State University. He summarizes the benefits documented in this study as &quot;small.&quot;</p><p>He says this study does not prove cause and effect between drinking coffee and living longer. Rather, it points to an&nbsp;association. &quot;There are a lot of unknowns as to what [may explain] the increase in life expectancy,&quot; Maynard says.</p><p>Got more questions? So did we. Here&#39;s our conversation about the findings with study co-author Walter Willett, edited for length and clarity.</p><p><strong>So, what do you think might explain this association?&nbsp;In the study, you point to compounds in coffee &mdash; such as lignans, </strong><strong>quinides</strong><strong> and magnesium &mdash; that may help reduce insulin resistance and inflammation. Prior&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15998896">studies&nbsp;</a>have pointed to these as well.</strong></p><p>We&#39;re not sure exactly how coffee is [linked] to all these benefits. The coffee bean itself is loaded with many different nutrients and phytochemicals. And my guess is that they&#39;re working together to have some of these benefits.</p><p>We [see] similar benefits from caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee. That&#39;s important, because it suggests that caffeine is not responsible for [the benefit].</p><p><strong>So this may be welcome news to people who drink decaf?</strong></p><p>Yes, because too much [caffeinated] coffee can cause insomnia and loss of sleep, and that&#39;s not a good thing!</p><p>The reduced risk of death was not seen among the coffee drinkers in your study who were smokers or former smokers.&nbsp;</p><p>Definitely. It&#39;s extremely important to disentangle the effects of coffee from the effects of cigarette smoking.</p><p><strong>So, what&#39;s the take-home here? Is it that coffee can be part of a healthy lifestyle?</strong></p><p>I think if people like coffee, it&#39;s fine to include it [as part of your daily habit]. So, certainly, [people] should not feel guilty about moderate coffee consumption. It definitely can be part of a healthy lifestyle.</p><p>I wouldn&#39;t suggest that someone who doesn&#39;t like coffee go out and drink it.</p><p><strong>Are you a coffee drinker? Are these findings likely to influence your own behaviors?</strong></p><p>Well, I really like a good cup of coffee. But if I have more than two cups a day, I really don&#39;t sleep as well. So, I&#39;ve been switching more toward decaf or half decaf/half regular.</p><p><strong>In this study, you also analyzed how coffee influenced the risk of specific diseases &mdash; or categories of diseases. What did you find?</strong></p><p>We went beyond total mortality and looked at specific causes of death. And we found that people who drink moderate amounts of coffee have lower risk of [death] from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurologic disease [such as Parkinson&#39;s] and suicide.</p><p>Your findings come from data from two&nbsp;<a href="http://www.channing.harvard.edu/nhs/">Nurses&#39; Health Studies</a>, which included about 167,000 women. And it also looked at the 40,000 men in the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hpfs/">Health Professionals Follow-up Study</a>.</p><p><strong>As you point out, the participants in these studies are about 95 percent white, largely middle-class and well-educated. Can you extrapolate to other populations?</strong></p><p>Yes, I&#39;m quite sure these findings would apply to other populations. This is a biological relationship. And we basically have a common biology.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/11/16/456191657/drink-to-your-health-study-links-daily-coffee-habit-to-longevity?ft=nprml&amp;f=456191657" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 19 Nov 2015 10:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/drink-your-health-study-links-daily-coffee-habit-longevity-113850 WHO: Processed meat can cause cancer http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-26/who-processed-meat-can-cause-cancer-113503 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1026_salami-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="attachment_94954"><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="The World Health Organization says meat processed through salting, curing, smoking and other methods can cause cancer. (dinnerseries/Flickr)" src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.wbur.org/wordpress/11/files/2015/10/1026_salami-624x416.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The World Health Organization says meat processed through salting, curing, smoking and other methods can cause cancer. (dinnerseries/Flickr)" /></p><p><a href="http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf" target="_blank">New research</a>&nbsp;out today from the World Health Organization finds that that processed meats can cause cancer, and that red meat probably can, too.</p></div><p>WHO defines processed meats as &ldquo;meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation&hellip; Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces.&rdquo;</p><p>The findings are sure to be controversial. The beef industry in the U.S. is huge &ndash; $95 billion a year &ndash; and the National Cattlemen&rsquo;s Beef Association has already weighed in saying it doesn&rsquo;t think there is evidence to support any link between red meat and cancer.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em>Robin Young talks with one of the researchers, <a href="http://www.iarc.fr/en/staffdirectory/displaystaff.php?id=10057" target="_blank">Dr.&nbsp;Kurt Straif</a>&nbsp;of the <a href="http://monographs.iarc.fr/" target="_blank">International Agency for Research on Cancer</a>, which is part of the WHO, about the findings.</p></p> Mon, 26 Oct 2015 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-26/who-processed-meat-can-cause-cancer-113503 Princeton economist wins Nobel for research into poverty http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-12/princeton-economist-wins-nobel-research-poverty-113299 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" ap="" class="image-original_image" for="" human="" immense="" importance="" in="" least="" mel="" not="" photo="" poor="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_503453441983.jpg" style="height: 451px; width: 600px;" title="Angus Deaton gestures at a gathering at Princeton University after it was announced that he won the Nobel prize in economics for improving understanding of poverty and how people in poor countries respond to changes in economic policy Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Princeton, N.J. Deaton, 69, won the 8 million Swedish kronor (about $975,000) prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for work that the award committee said has had " /></div><p>The Nobel Prize in economics was awarded today to a Princeton economist from Scotland for his research into poverty.&nbsp;Angus Deaton told reporters on a conference call that he was pleased the committee decided to award work that concerns the poor people of the world.</p><p>&ldquo;There are enormous numbers of people in the world &ndash; the World Bank has just come out with recent estimates of about 700 million people &ndash; who live in something close to destitution,&rdquo; he said.</p><p><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Jeremy Hobson looks at Deaton&rsquo;s work and its real-world impact withDerek Thompson&nbsp;of The Atlantic.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/10/12/nobel-economics-angus-deaton" target="_blank"><em>via Here &amp; Now</em></a></p></p> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 14:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2015-10-12/princeton-economist-wins-nobel-research-poverty-113299 UChicago researchers explore the lonely brain http://www.wbez.org/news/does-being-lonely-impact-social-interactions-113044 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/6033995797_5d3b3490da_z.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 200px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="(flickr/S.Antonio72)" />Researchers at the University of Chicago have found that when you&rsquo;re lonely, your brain may actually operate differently.</p><p>The researchers found that when lonely people are exposed to negative social cues of some kind, the electrical activity in their brains is more extreme. Meaning lonely people are subconsciously guarding against social threats, which could lead them to be even more isolated&nbsp;&mdash; and&nbsp;more lonely.</p><p>Here &amp; Now&nbsp;host Peter O&rsquo;Dowd speaks with&nbsp;Derek Thompson, senior editor with <em>The Atlantic</em>, on this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-research-on-overcoming-loneliness-1442854148" target="_blank">research</a>.</p><p>&mdash;<em><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/09/22/lonely-social" target="_blank"> via Here &amp; Now</a></em></p></p> Wed, 23 Sep 2015 14:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/does-being-lonely-impact-social-interactions-113044 Leon Lederman's offer: 'Ask a Nobel Laureate' http://www.wbez.org/story/leon-ledermans-offer-ask-nobel-laureate-95918 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-27/leon lederman_US dept of energy_wikipedia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-27/leon%20lederman_US%20dept%20of%20energy_wikipedia.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 473px;" title="Dr. Leon Lederman won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1988. (U.S. Department of Energy)"></p><p>On a rainy day in September, a crowd gathered outside the Wrigley Building in downtown Chicago. They were waiting in line to take advantage of a rare opportunity: A chance to ask a Nobel Laureate anything and everything they ever wanted to know about science.</p><p>In this case, the Nobel Laureate was Leon Lederman. Lederman won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1988 for his role in using particles called neutrinos to expand scientific research about the structure and dynamics of matter. His many accomplishments and accolades include time spent as the head of Fermi Lab and his status as the founder of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora.</p><p>For two hours Lederman tackled all kinds of questions from impressively smart, curious and science-savvy passersby. (Their questions were especially impressive if you believe what the media tends to say about how none of us are interested in science.)</p><p>An engineer in his late 70s asks for advice on how he could best use science to fight for social justice.</p><p>A gamer asks for help understanding how <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/19/aids-protein-decoded-gamers_n_970113.html">recent discoveries on the structure of a protein in the AIDS virus</a> would help other scientists develop a cure.</p><p>A 7<sup>th</sup> grader asks for input on what kind of experiment she could conduct for her school science fair. She is, she says, “interested in cats.” Perhaps Lederman could suggest a cruelty-free experiment she might conduct with her furry friends?</p><p>Unfortunately, for a man who has dedicated much of his life to science education, Lederman seemed to have trouble connecting to some of the answer-seekers that day.</p><p>A question from a woman who wanted to know whether we’ll ever see far enough in space to catch a glimpse of the Big Bang went unanswered, as did the request from the 7<sup>th</sup> grade cat-lover.</p><p>But what became clear from many of Lederman’s answers that day was that at age 89 he remains as committed as ever to a scientific method rooted in skeptical inquiry, evidence-based conclusions, and results that can be duplicated. Whether it’s verifying <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/09/110923-neutrinos-speed-of-light-particles-cern-physics-einstein-science/">new research that suggests some particles can move faster than the speed of light</a> (Lederman very much doubts these findings) or atheists seeking rebuttals to attacks from their God-fearing friends, Lederman emphasized the need to be suspicious - and to provide your proof.</p><p>You can hear him argue on behalf of the scientific method in the audio above.</p><p><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range </a><em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from </em>Chicago Amplified’s <em>vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Leon Lederman appeared on behalf of </em><em><a href="http://www.sciencentral.com/video/2008/08/21/street-corner-science-with-leon-lederman/"><em>Street Corner Science </em></a></em><em>and the </em><em><a href="http://c2st.org/programs"><em>Chicago Council on Science and Technology </em></a></em><em>in September of 2011. Click <a href="../../story/street-corner-science-ask-nobel-laureate-93472">here </a>to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 28 Jan 2012 09:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/leon-ledermans-offer-ask-nobel-laureate-95918 Top hair-raising research moments http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-12-05/top-hair-raising-research-moments-94614 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-07/Jehlik_1653.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-05/Bear pic.jpg" title="These scientists fend off bears, bats, elephants and tipsy locals to get their research done. (photo by Jason Smith)" width="600" height="400"></p><p>Several weeks ago I had the pleasure of moderating <a href="http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2011/11/28/exploring-world-extreme-science">a conversation among four scientists </a>from local institutions, all of whom worked in rather unconventional “labs:” a mine shaft half-a-mile underground, a volcanic crater in Siberia, a racetrack in rural America.</p><p>The subject of the event was “Xtreme research” (cue air guitars!). You can listen in full via the link above (skip to minute 11:00 if you want to bypass my gobbledygook and cut straight to the panel). It was a really lively discussion and a great window into how science happens in unusual places. But for brevity’s sake, I’m including a few highlights here:</p><p><a href="http://geosci.uchicago.edu/people/colman.shtml"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-05/Jehlik points.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-left: 10px;" title="(photo by Jason Smith)"></a><strong>Hot foot</strong></p><p><a href="http://geosci.uchicago.edu/people/colman.shtml">Albert Colman</a> works in the geophysical sciences department at the University of Chicago, and he studies extremophiles – that is, organisms who like extreme conditions, such as boiling hot, oxygenless volcanic hot springs. His main venue is the Uzon Caldera in Kamchatka, off in far-eastern Russia. Beneath much of the ground there is basically boiling mud (think Yellowstone in Siberia), so nearly every step comes with the risk of punching through the crust into the inferno below. One time Colman was about to take a photograph there, and he stepped back just a bit too far, only to feel his booted foot sinking. This was quite perilous – like in quicksand, if you yank out your stuck foot you risk just working your way in deeper. Colman says it took a full minute to carefully extricate himself. When he did get it out, the footprint was already filling with boiling liquid.</p><p><strong>Bat brain</strong></p><p><a href="http://home.fnal.gov/%7Erameika/CV_RAR.pdf">R<img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-05/Gina smiles.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin-right: 10px; margin-left: 10px;" title="(photo by Jason Smith)">egina Rameika</a> of Fermilab worked for a time in an underground lab in a Minnesota mineshaft. She studies the behavior of extremely elusive particles called neutrinos, which in this case are <a href="http://www-numi.fnal.gov/">best observed deep inside the earth. </a>Every trip in and out of the lab, including the construction of a 5,000-ton particle detector, had to go via one elevator, about 20-feet square. I asked Rameika what would be going through her mind on the way down, and she responded without hesitation, “bats.” The shaft is full of them, and she said her chief preoccupation on the way down is keeping them out of her hair.</p><p><strong>Day at the races</strong></p><p><a href="https://blogs.anl.gov/expertsguide/forrest-jehlik/">Forrest Jehlik </a>researches engine technology at Argonne National Laboratory, but much of his work takes place at speedways across the Midwest and South. He helps spearhead the <a href="http://www.circletrack.com/enginetech/ctrp_1005_project_green_dyno_test/viewall.html">“green racing” project</a>, which aims to test uber-efficient engine designs in the context of circle-track racing. (He quipped that while his colleagues may have to fend off bears and bats, he has to worry about Coors-fueled locals who favor Ford, while he brings a Chevy.) At one race he and another engineer volunteered for pit crew duty. These guys are gearheads, to be sure, but not professional racing crew members by any stretch. At one point they improvised a fix to wring a few more horsepower out of the engine, which diverted a cooling system from the brakes. At one pit stop, Jehliks says the brakes got so hot they were “cherry red.” He says they burned through his gloves, and his skin, as he worked to remove them.</p><p><a href="https://blogs.anl.gov/expertsguide/doug-sisterson/"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-05/Gabe tlks.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-left: 10px;" title="(photo by Jason Smith)"></a><strong>Gimme shelter</strong></p><p><a href="https://blogs.anl.gov/expertsguide/doug-sisterson/">Doug Sisterson</a> makes a beeline for the places where models of the climate don’t match up with the actual data. This typically means remote spots from Barrow, Alaska to Papua New Guinea. He’s a research meteorologist at Argonne, and he brings truckloads of cutting-edge equipment into inaccessible locales, to figure out what’s going on with the climate. He talks about caravanning his gear to an isolated village on the edge of the Sahara in Niger – a place where “if you forgot a roll of duct tape, it’s a long way to a Radio Shack.” When he got there he discovered that the site was completely exposed to the elements. So he asked the impoverished locals if they could help him build a research building. They enthusiastically complied, building a sturdy complex to house millions of dollars of sophisticated equipment, made entirely of what appear to be mud bricks.</p><p>It’s not at all clear that the skill sets needed to be a careful physicist or geochemist are anything like the skills needed to live and work in such extreme environments. I asked the scientists how they squared that disconnect. They all agreed: The common denominator is passion.</p></p> Mon, 05 Dec 2011 22:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/clever-apes/2011-12-05/top-hair-raising-research-moments-94614 Researchers to study whether vitamin D could help asthma medications http://www.wbez.org/story/researchers-study-whether-vitamin-d-could-help-asthma-medications-90304 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-09/Asthma inhaler_Flicker_Wine me up.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Researchers in Chicago want asthma patients for a study on whether vitamin D pills can make inhaled steroids work better.</p><p>The research may help answer why inhaled steroids alone don't work in some people with asthma. It could be that people with low levels of vitamin D don't respond as well to the drugs. The study aims to examine whether adding vitamin D could fix that.</p><p>Dr. Lewis Smith at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University's Feinberg medical school is lead investigator. He says the possibility that improving treatment might be as easy as taking a vitamin is exciting.</p><p>The study is part of asthma research involving the University of Chicago, Rush University Medical Center and Children's Memorial Hospital.</p><p>Adults aged 18 and up can participate. For details, call 312-926-0975.<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 09 Aug 2011 16:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/researchers-study-whether-vitamin-d-could-help-asthma-medications-90304 Biologists battle killer in the Great Lakes http://www.wbez.org/content/biologists-battle-killer-great-lakes-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//frontandcenter/photo/2011-07-06/88734/Lamprey eel_Front and Center.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A lot of people are worried about Asian carp swimming into the Great Lakes. We know from experience how bad an invasive species can be. Sea lamprey devastated the Great Lakes fishery in the 1940s and 50s, and they still kill a lot of fish.</p><p>Sea lamprey are native to the Atlantic Ocean. They swam into the upper Great Lakes through ship canals. Now that they’re here, they can’t be eradicated; they can only be reduced in number, and that’s a constant battle.</p><div class="daylife_smartgalleries_container" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 375px; width: 550px; text-align: center;"><iframe class="daylife_smartgalleries_frame" src="http://galleries.wbez.org/gallery_slideshow/1309889044740?width=550&amp;disable_link_to_hosted_page=0&amp;height=375&amp;show_related=0" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 100%; width: 100%;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div><p><br> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; } div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted #aa211d; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: dotted; border-top-color: #aa211d; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; } ul { margin-left: 15px; } li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-28/FNC-inset-promo.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 50px;" title=""></a><ul><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/about-front-and-center-%E2%80%93-depth-reporting-great-lakes-87655">About Front and Center</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-05/big-ship-diary-88726">Big ship diary: nine days on a freighter </a></strong></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-04/dredging-shipping-industry-declares-state-emergency-88579"><strong>Dredging: Great Lakes shipping emergency</strong></a></li></ul><p><strong>BLOG POST</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-07-06/great-lakes-least-loved-creature-video-88538"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-05/Bloody Sealamp_.jpg" style="width: 84px; height: 64px; float: left;" title=""></a><span style="font-size: 11px;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-07-06/great-lakes-least-loved-creature-video-88538"><strong>The Great Lakes<br> least loved<br> creature (VIDEO)</strong></a></span></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div></div><p>“It’s kind of a whack-a-mole situation,” says Don Schreiner, area fisheries supervisor for Lake Superior for the Minnesota DNR.Federal, state, and Canadian government agencies cooperate on sea lamprey control. Schreiner says they’ve tried cutting back efforts on some lakes.</p><p>“We thought we had them under control,” he says. “We moved that control to another lake that needed more help, and sea lamprey just blossomed where we moved the control away from.”</p><p>Sea lamprey swim up rivers to reproduce, so many of the tributaries into the Great Lakes have lamprey barriers now. Fish ladders allow other fish to pass, but sea lamprey can’t get over them.</p><p>On a June morning, Tom Davies visited the barrier on the Brule River in northern Wisconsin. Davies is a seasonal worker for the US Fish and Wildlife Service. One of his jobs is to climb down into a trap on the side of the barrier in hip waders and use a net to scoop out the sea lamprey that have been trapped that day.&nbsp; Davies says some days, there are as many as 600 sea lamprey in the trap.</p><p>“You come down off the ladder and you’re literally stepping on them, and they’re swimming all around you, hitting you in the waders,” he says.</p><p>Davies says he and his coworkers have joked that the TV show “Fear Factor” should have had people in swimming suits climb into the trap. It would have been horrifying. Adult sea lamprey are a foot or more long, gray and slimy looking. They look like eels, but a sea lamprey’s head ends in a big, round suction cup mouth, filled with rows of teeth. They kill fish by latching onto them, rasping a hole, and sucking out the fluids.</p><p>Davies grabs a sea lamprey and lets it latch onto his bare arm. He has to pry it off.</p><p>“See the mark they leave so quick?” he asks. There’s a red ring on his skin.</p><p>Workers at the barriers measure and sex the lampreys. The males are saved for one of the control projects. They’re sterilized and released in the St. Mary’s River, between Lake Superior and Lake Huron, where they compete with fertile males and reduce the number of fertilized eggs.</p><p>Workers also apply a chemical to streams where sea lamprey spawn to kill the young.</p><p>The Minnesota DNR’s Don Schreiner says these control efforts cost $20 million a year, “and that’s funding we continually fight for in Congress.” It’s on the books to be reduced by 20 percent in 2012.</p><p>Schreiner says the Great Lakes’ fishery depends on sea lamprey control. Estimates of the worth of that fishery range as high as $7 billion. Most of that economic return comes from sport fishing, but commercial fishing is important to the Great Lakes region, too.</p><p>Even on Lake Superior’s north shore, where the water is cold and deep and doesn’t produce a lot of fish, a small commercial fishery has made a comeback.</p><p>In the early 20<sup>th</sup> century, there were more than 400 commercial fishermen on the Minnesota shore of Lake Superior. But overfishing, pollution, and sea lamprey devastated the fish population. Today, some of that pollution has been cleaned up, fishing has been restricted, and some fish are stocked. Fish such as lake trout and cisco have rebounded. But the state is being conservative, and will only license 25 commercial fishermen.</p><p>Most of those fishermen also do something else for a living. But fisherman Stephen Dahl says he’s not part of a vanishing breed.</p><p>“There’s definitely a perception that we’re the last of the Mohicans, we’re dying out,” Dahl says. “And it’s like, no, it’s changed. It’s a changed world.”</p><p>Dahl heads out into the big lake in a small, open boat every morning, unless there’s too much ice in the harbor for him to break through. He hauls nets from the depths by hand. It’s hard work. Some days the lake is rough and the wind howls. He laughs when he’s asked about being wet and cold.</p><p>“I think I was born wet and cold,” he says.</p><p>Dahl is only allowed to catch cisco, which North Shore fishermen refer to as lake herring. In other parts of the lake, it’s legal for commercial fishermen to take trout and whitefish. They’ve got a ready market. Restaurants and delis on the shore snap up the fish when they’re available. Sometimes, when people know the fish are running, they’ll come to the dock and buy the fish right from the fishermen.</p><p>“This whole local food movement is really good,” Dahl says. It’s increased demand. “Most of the time I can’t keep up.”</p><p>The local food movement helps support an apprentice Dahl recently trained. Dahl’s apprentice, Jason Bradley, now has his own master’s license and his own boat. He’s also co-owner of a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm. His customers get the usual box of vegetables, but they can also get a herring share.</p><p>Customer Mark Gordon co-owns a charter sailing business, and likes to serve his customers local food. He’s a big fan of Jason Bradley’s herring.</p><p>“You just feel good eating the fish when you know it’s come right out of the lake,” Gordon says. “There’s no question about where it’s come from and how it was processed.”</p><p>Lake Superior fish is also sold around the country, and even overseas. Some of it goes to Iowa and is made into gefilte fish. Some of the roe goes to Scandinavia.</p><p>Native fish have bounced back in Lake Superior, but the DNR’s Don Schreiner says it’s still a “precarious situation.”</p><p>Schreiner says control measures keep sea lamprey numbers down to about 5 to 10 percent of what they were at their height.</p><p>“It sounds like we’ve done a good job, and we have,” Schreiner says. “Except that sea lamprey are very efficient.”He says biologists estimate that sea lamprey still kill as many fish in Lake Superior as sport and commercial fishing combined.</p></p> Wed, 06 Jul 2011 16:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/biologists-battle-killer-great-lakes-0 Epilepsy blamed for Chopin's dark hallucinations http://www.wbez.org/story/health/epilepsy-blamed-chopins-dark-hallucinations <p><p>The prolific musician and composer <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15379968">Frederic Chopin</a> was a giant of the Romantic Era, <a href="http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123967818">known for</a> writing passionate pieces for the piano. But the Polish-born Chopin was afflicted by mysterious health problems, including vivid hallucinations.</p><p>In Chopin's day, friends attributed these episodes to the composer's creative genius.</p><p>But Spanish researchers <a href="http://mh.bmj.com/content/early/2010/12/22/jmh.2010.005405.abstract">say this week</a> in the journal <em>Medical Humanities</em> they may have a better diagnosis: <a href="http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/types/syndromes/temporallobe.cfm">temporal lobe epilepsy</a>.</p><p></p><p>The authors say epilepsy wasn't well understood during Chopin's lifetime. "If he lived today, he would be correctly diagnosed and treated," Manuel Varquez Caruncho, a radiologist at Xeral-Calde Hospital Complex in Spain, tells <em>Shots</em>. "No problem at all."</p><p>What were his symptoms? Chopin described seeing "a cohort of phantoms," according to his lover George Sand. "The phantoms called him, embraced him… and he pushed away their skeletal faces away from his [face] and fought under their icy hands," she wrote, as Tad Szulc <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=dyGlBVqYFjwC&pg=PA246&lpg=PA246&dq=chopin+%22cohort+of+phantoms%22&source=bl&ots=oJ53rikn3I&sig=fTIzda59jq5ehms3rlg49Qb93Vk&hl=en&ei=zAg_Ta-SHI72gAfO9MGcCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CCgQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=">notes</a> in the biography <em>Chopin in Paris</em>.</p><p>Hallucinations can be caused by a number of things, Caruncho says. But he eliminated other diagnoses based on accounts of Chopin's symptoms in the writings of the composer and his friends.</p><p>The scientists nixed schizophrenia because the disorder is usually associated with auditory hallucinations, while Chopin's were visual. Migraines can cause hallucinations too, but they tend to last longer than the brief ones that Chopin was thought to have. And while Chopin took opium, Caruncho says Chopin's visions set in before he started using the drug.</p><p>But it was the records of Chopin's "brief, stereotyped and fragmentary" hallucinations that lead Caruncho to the diagnosis of temporal lobe epilepsy. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, <a href="http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/about/types/syndromes/temporallobe.cfm">temporal lobe epilepsy</a> is one of the most common forms of the disease, and causes regular seizures that can be accompanied by hallucinations.</p><p>Caruncho describes himself as a music lover who has long been fascinated with Chopin. "Every time I read a biography about Chopin, I thought about it in medical terms," he says. Caruncho spent years combing correspondence and articles to write the paper.</p><p>In addition to his hallucinations, Chopin suffered from a litany of other health problems. Researchers have offered <a href="http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/113/1/210.long">many</a> diagnoses to account for them, including <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3320707">cystic fibrosis</a> and <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1294992/?page=4">alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency</a>. Chopin died in 1849 at age 39.</p><p>The authors write that Chopin "was the epitome of a frail and sensitive man, his illness enhancing the romanticised cliche of a sentimental artist." They say knowing more about Chopin's condition helps to dissipate the dark legends of a tortured composer. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1296065161?&gn=Epilepsy+Blamed+For+Chopin%27s+Dark+Hallucinations&ev=event2&ch=103537970&h1=Treatments+%26+Tests,Research,Health+Headlines+Newsletter,Shots+-+Health+News+Blog,History,Health,Science,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=133189133&c7=1128&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1128&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110125&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=133188451,126567633,121027244,103537970&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Tue, 25 Jan 2011 15:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/health/epilepsy-blamed-chopins-dark-hallucinations