Happy new year from all of us at Inspiration Dissemination. It’s been an incredible year for us all and we will be back starting Sunday, January 10th, 2016. Stay tuned and stay inspired!
DNA, the “building blocks of life”, can be bent and broken. While it is the source code for every creature on the earth, DNA is also the source of some of the most difficult diseases that plague humanity. Tonight at 7PM PST, Steve Friedman joins us from the department of Biochemistry and Biophysics to discuss characterizing centromeres of a filamentous fungi called Neurospora crassa. Centromeres, the part of the chromosome that is targeted by proteins that aid in cell division, are studied to understand how genetic mutations and resulting abnormalities in cells can lead to genetic disease and cancer.
Fungi serve as a model organism for the study of centromeres in Steve’s work because their genetic code is more complex than the yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that have been used in older studies, but still easier to study and understand than the complicated human genome.
Understanding how the human genetic code controls the production of proteins that are implicated in diseases like cancer, and how these proteins relate to centromeres that are crucial parts of a natural and healthy process of cell division, is the long term goal of such research.
To learn more about Steve and his work, tune in at 88.7 KBVR FM, or stream the show live!
It has been a record breaking year for wildfires, with over 900,000 acres burned in Washington alone. This past summer in the Pacific Northwest families went to sleep wondering very seriously if they would need to evacuate before morning. Not all of their prayers were answered. Some abandoned land and possessions. In towns like Wenatchee, WA and John Day, OR people lost their homes and in the dense forests of the Cascades some firefighters lost their lives. Each year the damage done by wildfires grows in this country, and if climate models prove correct, this danger will only increase in the future.
Today the question of what to do with burned over land is deeply divisive in the state of Oregon. The damage wrought by wildfires is especially concerning because it affects both commercial timber stands and protected, often old growth, forest land.
Studying the question of what to do with burned over lands far from Corvallis, Lea Condon get her hands dirty in the deserts of Nevada. In an area called The Great Basin, Lea studies soil crusts, communities of organisms that live right on top of the soil which are important for ecosystem health among the cheat grass and native plant communities of The Great Basin.
In the field sites were Lea works, raising grazing animals is crucial to local economies. The increasing frequency of destructive wildfires, and the wear and tear on soil crusts caused by large animals grazing, has a disruptive effect on mosses and lichens that are important for maintaining optimal ecosystem health. A graduate student in Oregon State’s Botanty and Plant Pathology department, Lea studies under David Pyke, hoping to discover how these mosses and lichens can be restored after damanging events like wildfires occur.
To learn more about Lea’s story and research, tune in tonight at 7PM PST to 88.7 FM, or stream the show live here!
Soil is more than just dirt in the ground, it’s rich and vibrant with life, and there are many, many different types of soil on this planet. Our soil is the reason civilization can exist, or as FDR so eloquently put it:
The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
– Franklin D Roosevelt, 1937
Tonight at 7PM, Kris Osterloh will talk about his passion for soils and his research using computer models to rapidly map and understand the development of soils in the Willamette National Forest. With this knowledge in hand, we can understand how we can better manage the land to protect the soil and everything that comes from it.
Tune in Sunday, December 6th at 7PM Pacific on 88.7FM or stream at http://kbvr.com/listen to hear Kris’ tale of adventure, leadership, and science!