Explorations With Dr. Michio Kaku - January 8, 2002

Program Title:
Explorations With Dr. Michio Kaku - January 8, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Explorations with Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, science program. Content: GUEST:Dr. JAY S. COHEN, M.D. and author of "Overdose: the Case Against the Drug Companies: perscription drugs, side effects, and your health." [Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 2001; ISBN 1585421235]. Suject is how prescription doses are calculated and why the process may pose danger to patients who take medications. Specific topics and biographical figures addressed in the interview are: 1) A report from the Journal of the American Medical Association stating that roughly 100,000 patients die each year from incorrect prescriptions 2) Incorrect prescriptions as the 4th leading cause of death in the United States 3) The role of the FDA, regulation, and medical advisory committees that conflicts of interest that exhibit conflict of interests 4) Prescription drugs that are prepared in a "one size fits all" manner and fail to match correct dosage to individuals 5) Common drugs seen in television advertisements: Prosac, Motrin, Celebrex, Lipitor, and Viagara 6) The intolerance and side effects caused by even minimum doses of drugs as manufactured by drug companies 7) Side effects and anti-inflammatory drugs 8) Janet Woodcock, Director of Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and her statements regarding what is really known about what drugs do in people 9) The "start low and go slow" approach to medicine practiced by some doctors 10) The influence of marketing and advertising stressing that a product is "stronger" than others while its merely a higher base dose 11) Drugs designed for women and the Premarin controversy 12) Age and complications with dosage 13) What the average person can do to protect themselves through 14)"informed consent" and "precision prescriptions" Other topics covered: The U.S. government purchased 1.6 million doses of potassium iodide in an attempt to protect citizens from thyroid conditions that could arise from terrorist attacks that involve radiation. The plan to buy 5-10 million more doses this year, but there are concerns that it would not offer protection from other radioactive isotopes and that it is not a solution to the problem of nuclear terrorism. The only viable solution long term is to reduce the risk of incident by a phase out of commercial nuclear power plants. Dr. Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute in Scotland reported that Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal, has been diagnosed with arthritis of the left hind leg. Genetic disease and premature aging are side effects cloned animals have endured in the laboratory. The technology is still in its infancy and is not ready for mainstream applications, especially if humans are to be cloned; all ethical concerns aside. Techniques using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans are now being used by researchers at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to detect the onset of heart disease. The new machines are able to string together images to produce a 3D animation of the working heart and artery system, however it takes an hour to complete the scan. The technique is non evasive and safer than angiography tests, but have only been accurate 87% of the time. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have used fossil evidence to determine that it takes 10 million years to recover from the loss of diversity after a gigantic extinction event. It is believed that major extinction cycles occur roughly every 26 million years when the motion of the Earth dips into the galactic plane where dust giggles the Oort cloud and sends material hurtling into the solar system. Scientists at the Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory in Iowa have developed a new magnetic refrigerator that does not use solvents and pollutants that threaten the atmosphere. The operation of the device involves a disc of gadolinium that heats up when a magnetic field is applied to it, and cools when it's removed. Researchers at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska have uncovered a genetic mutation that causes high bone mass to develop in the human skeleton. The discovery may lead to new therapies designed to treat osteoporosis, a disease that currently affects 10 million Americans.

Date Recorded on: 
January 8, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 8, 2002
Item duration: 
60 min.
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Los Angeles, Pacifica Radio Archive, 2002
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