Thursday, January 6, 2011

Patt Morrison for Friday, January 7, 2011


Friday, January 7, 2011

1-3 p.m.





1:06 – 1:19




1:21 – 1:30

Sperm count down, hot tub sales up

Increasingly, studies from the scientific community suggest sperm count and quality are on the decline—a 1992 Danish study first reported average drops of 1% every year since 1938; researchers at the CDC, Harvard and Michigan Schools of Public Health this summer found relationships between BPA—a toxin found in plastics—with lowered sperm counts; and last month the European Science Foundation reported 1 in 5 men age 18-25 is “sub fertile.”  It’s a controversial idea, but regardless of whether or not sperm count is appreciably on the decline, all the research supports the idea that men and their gametes play a larger role in fertility than previously believed. That idea gained major traction in recent years as older sperm was linked to autism. How does the notion of vulnerable sperm quality and quantity chance the mating game and if sperm is on the decline, what’s the reason why?




Shanna Swan, Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of the Center for Reproductive Epidemiology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine; she is also a Professor in Environmental Medicine




1:30 - 1:39

Science is close to solving the most vital problem plaguing MANkind:  male-pattern baldness

It’s been haunting men since the beginning of time, driving them to unflattering and unsavory solutions like hairpieces, hair plugs and the Hair Club for Men.  It’s responsible for the over-use of hats and shaved heads, sapping men of their confidence and ruining their chances with countless women.  The problem, easily the most vexing dilemma for modern man, is male-pattern baldness and thankfully science seems to be on the verge of finding a cure, or at least the root causes.  According to new research out of the University of Pennsylvania it turns out that the inability of stem cells (weren’t they supposed to be our friends?) in the scalp to develop into the type of cells that make hair follicles may be an underlying cause of male-pattern baldness.  Bald men have the same number of stem cells as those with hair so if scientists could develop a technique that would coax those stem cells into producing more hair follicle cells, male-pattern baldness could be cured.  Is the potential cure for male pattern baldness as important as peace on Earth?  We’ll let you decide.



Dr. George Cotsarelis, professor of dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the study




1:41 – 1:58:30

New Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has his work cut out for him

Dave Jones was sworn in this week as the new California Insurance Commissioner and, in his first official action, signed regulations saying that health insurers in the individual insurance market will have to spend at least 80% of revenues on medical claims, up from the current 70%, bringing the rules in line with President Obama’s federal health care plan. This was followed yesterday by Blue Shield of California announcing it is pursuing rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals. Facing down these moves by insurance companies, creating the state’s insurance exchange, working against health fraud, devoting more resources to consumer education…  these are all part of an aggressive health care agenda promised by Commissioner Jones, as the Republican majority in Congress vows to take that new health care law apart, piece by piece.



Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner



Jones’ agenda:

·  Creating a new position in the Insurance Department to oversee health policy;

·  Collaborating with the Legislature to give the insurance commissioner greater direct authority to oversee health insurance rates (Los Angeles Times, 1/4);

·  Protecting consumers, especially seniors, from health insurance fraud;

·  Quickly implementing new federal laws related to health insurance; and

·  Reinstating a branch of the Insurance Department devoted to consumer education



2:06 – 2:19




2:21 – 2:39

Award season series:  Winter's Bone

One of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Winter's Bone is the story of a young girl, Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence), who is abandon by her parents and left to care for her two young siblings in the harsh wilderness of the Ozarks. The plot gets tense as we watch Ree's relentless journey to find her father while facing some of the roughest cut-throat characters imaginable. Every minute of the film feels authentic (Jennifer Lawrence actually learned how to skin a squirrel for the role), and when we discover what the title means it's horrific, chilling, and unforgettable. It's hard to imagine a tougher, more determined 17 year-old girl. The film won the grand jury prize for best picture at Sundance, is nominated for 7 Independent Spirit Awards, more than any other film this year, and many critics believe it could be a dark horse to win the Oscar for Best Picture, and Best Actress.



Debra Granik, director/writer (screenplay), “Winter's Bone”




2:41 – 2:58:30

Are you making your technology work for you?

Stop using Internet Explorer—it’s bloated and slow; get a Smartphone—it’s worth the money to make your life easier; and get your music and photos OFF that laptop and into a cloud near you!  Those are just some words or wisdom from tech gurus looking out for advising consumers on how to better use technology to your advantage in the New Year.  Some of that advice is free, for example, try switching to an internet browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to save time and allow you to carry your bookmarked sites with you anywhere you go. Or get a discount on your cable, phone or internet service—simply by asking for one.  Following other advice might set you back a few bucks but may be worth it in the long run to maximize what you’ve already paid for—invest in a DVD that correctly calibrates your HDTV, buy extra charging cables to promote gadget longevity or back-up your data with an online back-up service subscription. 



Sam Grobart, personal technology editor, New York Times

CALL HIM @702.943.3552




Jonathan Serviss

Producer, Patt Morrison Program

Southern California Public Radio

NPR Affiliate for Los Angeles

89.3 KPCC-FM | 89.1 KUOR-FM | 90.3 KPCV-FM

626.583.5171, office

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