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Can Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Help Fight Disease? | Above the Noise

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In the last couple of years, the mosquito species Aedes aegypti has garnered perhaps the most attention, at least in parts of the U.S. where it resides. It’s the one that can transmit a generous selection of very nasty diseases including Zika, yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya. In an effort to control these mosquito populations and reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, some scientists at the British company OXITEC have turned to genetic engineering. Host Myles Bess dives into the science and policy surrounding the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to combat mosquito-borne diseases.

Is Marijuana Actually Medicinal? | Above the Noise

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With the results of the 2016 election, use of medical marijuana is now approved in 28 states, plus Washington, D.C., but the plant itself is not approved as medicine by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It still remains federally illegal. Under the Controlled Substances Act, the federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug-- which is a category reserved for the most dangerous drugs, drugs that do not show any medical benefit. This classification makes it difficult for researchers to study, because drugs in this category are very tightly regulated. Host Myles Bess explores the research surrounding medical marijuana and discusses some of the challenges researchers face in studying it.

Adam Savage of Myth Busters on Why Science Matters | Above the Noise

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In a special episode of Above the Noise, host Shirin Ghaffary asked the host of the popular TV show MythBusters, Adam Savage, about why he participated in the March for Science in San Francisco on April 22. Savage is a passionate advocate for science. He says that much of the current opposition to science in this country comes from the belief that it’s an “elitist, provocative way of looking at the world. When in fact, it’s just an attempt to look at the world clearly.” In addition to supporting scientists, Savage says it’s also crucial to teach media literacy so that young people learn how to separate fact from fiction in the media.

Gerrymandering: Is Geometry Silencing Your Vote? | Above the Noise

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Fair elections are at the heart of American democracy, but many people argue that politicians have been undermining this American ideal through the practice of what is called gerrymandering. Gerrymandering has been described as the process of politicians picking their voters instead of the voters picking their politicians. In order to really understand this concept, you need to know how voting districts work. In this episode of Above the Noise, host Myles Bess breaks down gerrymandering, and how politicians on both sides of the aisle use sophisticated software to rig the voting system in their party’s favor.

Why Can't Anyone Agree on the Crime Rate? | Above the Noise

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The news media is chock-full of contradictory stories about crime in the United States. Are murders on the rise, or at remarkable lows? A skim of the headlines might not give you a clear answer. So why is there room for disagreement about what should be a very basic statistic? The answer isn’t really about the data itself, but how we slice and dice that data. It’s about how we determine trends, what we’re comparing, and sometimes, what answer we want to find. In this Above the Noise video, host Shirin Ghaffary looks into why the crime rate in America can be such a confusing, and often misleading, topic to read and write about.

Top 4 Tips To Spot Bad Science Reporting | Above the Noise

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In an era of sensationalized news and “alternative facts” it can be hard to figure out what to believe or not. And this is especially true when it comes to science and health news. Crazy claims and sketchy science reporting dilutes the public’s understanding of science, which can have some big consequences, especially when it comes to our health and environment. How can we make solid decisions--like how to vote, what to buy or what can make us sick, if our science news is hyped? Host Myles Bess helps you get above the noise by sharing tips on how to spot bad science reporting. This resource is part of the News and Media Literacy Collection

Voices from the March for Science | Above the Noise

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The March For Science attracted participants from all over the world who voiced their support of evidence-based policy and the impact of scientific research on everyday life. Thousands of people of all ages participated in marches for science across the country on April 22. But some scientists feel that marches like these are a mistake and risk politicizing science. In this special report, host Shirin Ghaffary speaks with young participants at the San Francisco march.