Be sure to tune into “Today’s BioCast,” heard on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8:25 a.m. on KANW (89.1 FM), Albuquerque Public School’s public radio station. For more than 15 years, I have written, produced and aired this program, in which current topics in biology of interest to the general public are explored. Whether it’s genetically altered crops, a new killer virus unleashed from the rain-forest, or a new remedy for jet lag, not a day goes by without some new story from the world of biology. Keeping up can be difficult, but because recent breakthroughs affect us in so many, ever-increasing ways, it pays to know what’s going on in the laboratories and research institutions around the world.
Each two-minute BioCast feature combines education and entertainment to provide the public with information about current biological topics. The programs are written and delivered in a light, humorous manner, which often simplifies the subject matter for the everyday listener.
BioCast began as a volunteer project of mine in March 1992, and UNM Biology began underwriting the program in 2002. The idea for BioCast came from a 1985 summer job I had at a radio station in Taipei, Taiwan, where I was filling in as a news writer while the regular employee was on summer leave. There was a weekly program called “Science and the Environment.” The writer was not a scientist and didn’t enjoy the job, and when he heard that I was a biologist, he offered it to me for the summer. That program served as a prototype for “Today’s BioCast.”
To learn more, or to stream the program, please visit http://kanw.com
My textbook, Living in a Microbial World, published by Garland Science in April 2010, is written for students taking a general microbiology or microbiology-themed course for non-science majors. It teaches the essential concepts of microbiology through practical examples and a conversational writing style intended to make the material accessible to a wide audience.
In order to make the science relevant to students, every chapter of the book contains a series of cases intended to motivate learning the microbiology concepts. The cases present microbiology in the news, in history, in literature, and in scenarios of everyday life. Each case ends with several questions intended to pique student interest, and those questions are answered in the next section of the chapter.
By clearly and succinctly explaining the fundamentals of microbiology through practical examples, the book provides a scientific framework through which students can understand critical issues about microorganisms and disease that they will encounter throughout their lives. They will learn the role that microorganisms play not only in our health, but also in ecosystem processes, our diet, industrial production, and human history. Topics that we hear about every day, from global warming to energy independence to bioterrorism, all have a microbial angle. This text is designed to provide the reader with the background needed to understand and discuss such topics with a genuine understanding rooted in science.
To learn more, please visit: http://garlandscience.com