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Learning computer science and engineering by building remotely controlled quadcopters, groundbreaking research into the human microbiome, understanding geysers, high-tech approaches to sustainable agriculture, the work of the Berkeley Laboratories, and a very smart puppy, all on this edition of On Beyond.

Cosmologist and author of "Losing the Nobel Prize" Brian Keating tells the inside story of BICEP2's mesmerizing discovery and the scientific drama that ensued in this interview with science fiction author David Brin. Keating describes a journey of revelation and discovery, bringing to life the highly competitive, take-no-prisoners, publish-or-perish world of modern science. Along the way, he provocatively argues that the Nobel Prize, instead of advancing scientific progress, may actually hamper it, encouraging speed and greed while punishing collaboration and bold innovation. In a thoughtful reappraisal of the wishes of Alfred Nobel, Keating offers practical solutions for reforming the prize, providing a vision of a scientific future in which cosmologists may, finally, be able to see all the way back to the very beginning. Recorded on 04/25/2018.

Bioengineer Shaochen Chen has developed a method of 3D printing live human tissue that could one day be used to heal damaged spinal cords, hearts, and other vital organs. And, because his technology uses stem cells, the transplant tissue can be patient specific. Now, he's using his technique to help researchers Alysson Muotri and Karl Wahlin understand brain and eye development.

Khalid Shah, MS, PhD discusses translating biological therapies into clinical care.

Scott Kelly spent a year in the International Space Station while his identical twin Mark Kelly was on earth. UC San Diego and many institutions studied the mental, cardiovascular, immune, genetic, muscular, microbial, bone, and eye changes in both twins to see the effects of long-term space travel. Changes were troubling, so NASA plans several more long-term space flights that will focus on genetic changes, bone loss, loss of vision, brain swelling, and Nutrition. Michael G. Ziegler, MD, is Professor of Medicine Emeritus at UCSD. He has studied astronaut health since 1978. He chaired NASA's yearly cardiovascular reviews, helped devise current astronaut protocols, and studied physiologic and genomic changes during the Year in Space study.  

Over millions of years of evolution, organisms on earth have developed and perfected complex adaptations that allow them to survive and eventually thrive under specific environmental conditions. Dimitri Deheyn unveils how his laboratory is working to understand and replicate these highly refined biological properties for development of sustainable and economically valuable technologies. Recorded on 10/14/2019.

Jennifer Doudna, co-discoverer of CRISPR-Cas9, discusses how genome editing with CRISPR technology is transforming biology. CRISPR-Cas9, an RNA-guided enzyme with remarkable abilities to recognize and cleave DNA, operates by mechanisms that both explain its biological function and provide insights into technology development. Doudna covers research into this amazing family of proteins: where they came from, how they work and how CAS-9-based technologies are revolutionizing research, biomedicine and agriculture. Recorded on 10/07/2019.

Fake and adulterated foods are an extremely lucrative business, but now a genetic fingerprint technology might help catch frauds more quickly. Also: algae as a meat substitute, and the reinvention of the gearbox.

Leading voices in philosophy and neuroscience wrap up a conference on the ethics of research using brain organoids with questions from the audience. Panelists: Christof Koch, Chief Scientist and President of the Allen Institute for Brain Science; Patricia Churchland, Emerita Professor, UC San Diego;
Evan Thompson, Professor of Philosophy, University of British Columbia; and Alysson Muotri, Director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell program.
Recorded on 10/04/2019.

This CARTA symposium addresses the influences of environment and culture on the emergence of the human mind. Douglas Candland (Bucknell University) Feral Children: Two Living Examples and a Little Neurology; Elissa Newport (Georgetown University) Maturational Constraints on Learning; Paula Tallal (Salk Institute) Individual Differences in Language Development and Disorders. Recorded on 10/11/2019.
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