Science Studio

Sundays at 7pm

Science Studio is a fascinating 30-minute look into the ever progressing world of science. For nearly fifteen years, the show has taken in depth looks into all aspects of scientific researches and discoveries. Hosts Dr. Keith Pannell and Dr. Russell Chianelli, discuss their concerns on health and the environment. With two educated science connoisseurs, Science Studio helps you understand the inner workings of today’s science.

Science Studio also features Medical Discovery News, a weekly program that provide insights into a broad range of biomedical science topics. Biomedical science is research that addresses human health – from the study of important molecules, to clinical trials of new drugs and therapies. The story of these areas is a window on the future of medicine. We will also offer important basic information about your health. Our hope is that these episodes stimulate you to think, question and appreciate how science impacts you and your world. Medical Discovery News is produced by the University of Texas Medical Branch. 

  Keith & Russ talk with Dennis Lichtenberger of the University of Arizona's Department of Chemistry.  Dennis talks about why the movement of electrons affect the behavior of molecules.  He also talks about the ups & downs of the so-called "hydrogen economy," and why it's not just limited to fueling automobiles.  Dennis first appeared on Science Studio 22 years ago in which he talked about C60 - Buckminsterfullerene, or "Bucky Balls" - a form of carbon whose electrons behave as if they belonged to a smaller molecule.

Aired Dec. 1, 2013

  Keith & Russ talk with Dr. Oscar Alzate, Senior Director of Proteomics, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso.  Alzate explains proteomics and how proteoms relate to Alzheimer's.   He also engages Keith & Russ in a conversation about the restrictions of scientific research in America and whether it's beneficial to the populace.

Aired Nov. 24, 2013.

  In a conversation recorded at the 2013 Biomedical Research Symposium in El Paso, sponsored by the Medical Center of the Americas, Keith talks with Gregory Kovacs, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University.  Kovacs talks about his early interest in science, which spanned from lighting fires to dissecting a pig's head. Kovacs works on creating medical devices which could be used to affordably and effectively diagnose or read a person's vitals.  Kovacs also shares his experience in 2003 as an Investigation Scientist in the NASA's investigation into the breakup of the Shuttle Columbia.  Read more about Dr. Kovac's interesting career at

Aired Nov. 17, 2013.

  Keith talks with Paul Amrhein, Adjunct Professor of Medical Psychology at Columbia University Medical Center.  Amrhein talks about how the language patients use when undergoing therapy can predict how successful they will be in their recovery.  

Aired Nov. 10, 2013.

  Keith & Russ talk with Glenn Schrader, Associate Dean of Research and Administration, Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona.  Glenn talks about the possibilities of using water reserves from hydraulic fracturing and re-using those for drinking water, business, or agricultural purposes.  He also talks about the OASES project, which is public-private partnership between universities and private companies to search for "the next bucket of water" for the arid Southwestern U.S.

Aired Nov. 3, 2013.

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  Keith talks with Edward Kravitz, the George Packer Berry Professor of Neurobiology at the Harvard Medical School.  Kravitz studies the behavioral genetics of aggression and talks about the nasty behaviors of lobsters and fruit flies.  The genetic code of fruit flies allows researchers to easily create mutant passive or aggressive fruit files and study their patterns.

Aired Oct. 27, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from March 21, 2010, Keith & Russ talk with Brigitta Tadmore and Amory Johnson from the Novartis pharmaceutical company.  they talk about certain drugs the company has developed for arthritis and an aggressive form of leukemia.  Brigitta & Amory also talk about the drug discovery process and how Novartis picks the researchers & scientists who work for the company.

Aired Oct. 20, 2013.

  Keith talks with Nino Chiocca, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School, and Chairman of the Brigham and Women's Hospital.  Chiocca talks about the different kinds of tumors that may affect the brain and why not all of them are malignant.  He also talks about the role that "junk" DNA plays in the development of brain tumors.

Aired Oct. 13, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from March 14, 2010, Keith talks with Heino Nitsche, a nuclear chemist at the Department of Chemistry, the University of California at Berkeley.  Heino believes we should put aside the unnecessary fears many of us have about nuclear energy.  He talks about controlling the fission process so that it simply produces energy and doesn't turn into a bomb.  Heino also explains how nuclear waste can be recycled as fuel instead of being stored underground for thousands of years.

Aired Oct. 6, 2013.

  Keith & Russ talk with Vladimir Skokov, a research associate with the Brookhaven National Laboratory.  Skokov talks particle physics, specifically quarks and gluons.  He also touches on plasma and String Theory.

Aired Sept. 29, 2013.

  Keith talks with Robert Kirken, Dean of the UTEP College of Science; and Benjamin Carcamo, pediatric oncologist at El Paso Children's Hospital.    They talk about their collaboration in exploring targeted therapies when traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation, have failed for patients.  They also offer an example of a child with a deadly brain tumor who now has hope for survival thanks to this type of treatment.

Aired Sept. 22, 2013.

  Keith talks to Zacariah Hildenbrand, founder of Inform Environmental LLC, a water analysis and monitoring company, about hydraulic fracturing (also known as "fracking") and its potential effects on groundwater.   During the fracking process, water, sand, and chemicals are injected into the ground at high pressures to create fissures so that natural gas and other underground energy resources can be collected.  Does the fracking process contaminate groundwater supplies?  Hildenbrand talks about the preliminary results his company has recently published.

Aired Sept 15, 2013.

  Keith talks with Carlos Murillo, Associate Program Manager and Program Director, Division of Chemistry, National Science Foundation (NSF).  Murillo is a native of Costa Rica and he talks about the journey from his home country to the US...and back. He also talks about how the NSF evaluates scientific research for funding approval.  Aired Sept. 8, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from March 7, 2010, Keith talks with Phillip Wannamaker of the Energy & Geoscience Institute of the University of Utah.  He talks about using electromagnetic waves to image the interior of the earth.  Wannamaker also talks about how lighting and sunspot activity is used in his research.  Aired Sept. 1, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from Feb. 13. 2010, Keith talks with neuroscientist Curt Freed, Professor of Medicine & Pharmacology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Freed talks about Parkinson's Disease and about a rare and controversial procedure used to treat it involving the direct injection into the brain of cells from an aborted fetus.  He also talks about the importance of dopamine, and...find out what humans have in common with jellyfish.

Aired Aug. 25, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from Jan. 17, 2010, Keith talks with Stephen Lippard, professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Lippard talks about the use of platinum drugs to treat cancer, and how platinum interacts with cancer cells.

Aired Aug. 18, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from Dec. 20, 2009, Keith talks with Ruth G. Perez, Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  Perez talks about the role proteins play in degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.    She also talks about the struggles she has faced in her career as a woman in science.

Aired Aug. 11, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from November 22, 2009, Keith talks with Dr. Jeffrey Michael Field, Department of Pharmacology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.  Field introduces us to the p53 gene, which is the most commonly-mutated gene in most cancers.  He discusses how the gene is affected by lung cancer.

Aired August 4, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from Nov. 22, 2009, Keith & Russ talk with Dr. Jeff Lee of the Texas Tech Department of Geosciences.  Lee talks about what led to the devastating Dust Bowl of the early 20th centuries.  He also explores where dust comes from, and how farming has evolved in recent decades.

Aired July 28, 2013.

  In a rebroadcast from November 1, 2009, Keith talks with Jonathan Dimmock, Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy of the University of Saskatchewan's College of Pharmacy & Nutrition.  Dimmock talks about research into drug design that can selectively target certain cancer cells and prevent those cells from developing a resistance to drugs.    Aired July 21, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from October 25, 2009, Keith & Russ talk with William Dowhan, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Texas Medical School of Houston.  Dowhan talks about cell membranes and their importance in making energy.  He also explains how lipids & proteins react on membranes to result in a biological function.

Aired July 14, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from October 18, 2009, Keith & Russ talk with Dieter Cremer, professor of Computational & Theoretical Chemistry at Southern Methodist University.  Cremer talks about how computational chemistry allows him to develop new methods of measuring how vehicle exhaust reacts with ozone.  He also tells us about his investigation into quantum dots.   Aired July 7, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from October 11, 2009, Keith talks with Brenda Buck, Assistant Professor of Geoscience, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Buck talks about how the earth's surface has evolved over time due to to changes in chemistry and biology. She also talks about the Mars-like Atacama Desert in Chile, the most arid desert on Earth, and why research there could help scientists learn how to search for life on the red planet.

Aired June 30, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from October 4, 2009, Keith talks with Paul Sheppard of the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona.  Sheppard talks about the science of dendrochemistry, or tree ring analysis, and how it can reveal the history of past weather patterns, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.

Aired June 23, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from September 27, 2010, Keith & Russ talk with Dave E. Williams of Oregon State University's Department of Environmental & Molecular Toxicology.  Williams talks about the toxicity of pesticides, and how rainbow trout are being used to study toxicology and cancer.

Aired June 16, 2013.

In a rebroadcast from September 20, 2009, Keith talks with Anne Sheehan, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.  Sheehan talks about using the principles of physics to "see" beneath the crust of the earth.  She also explains how earthquakes can teach us about the structure of the earth.  Sheehan also explains how the Rocky Mountains were created, and why the plates that created the Nepalese mountains are moving at the speed of a growing fingernail.  Aired June 9, 2013.

Keith welcomes back Andrew Ingersoll, Professor of Planetary Science, Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.  Ingersoll explains how the planets formed in the early stages of the solar system. He also talks about geysers on the Saturnian moon Enceladus, a hexagonal storm on one of Saturn's poles, methane lakes on Titan, and unique ice caps on Mars.

Aired June 2, 2013.

Keith talks with Andrew Ingersoll, professor of Planetary Sciences, Division of Geological & Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.  Ingersoll talks about the storms on Jupiter that have been swirling for centuries, and about the hellish conditions on Venus.  He also talks about why each planet has its own climate cycle, and why we shouldn’t necessarily compare the climates of other planets with that of Earth.  Part 1 of a 2-part interview.  Aired May 26, 2013.

Keith & Russ talk with Shiv Khanna, professor of physics, Virginia Commonwealth University.  Khanna talks about why reducing matter to a very small scale dramatically changes their properties, and offers the example of gold and aluminum and how they change when they are broken down into very small particles.  Khanna also explains the concept of "superatoms" and how these superatoms can expand the periodic table into 3 dimensions.  Aired May 19, 2013.

Keith talks with psychiatrist & genetics researcher Dr. Michael Escamilla, Director of the Center of Excellence for Neurosciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.  Escamilla talks about the symptoms of schizophrenia, and how some people suffering from the disorder can live fairly normal lives while others encounter difficulty fitting in socially.  He also talks about the search for genes that may increase risk for schizophrenia, and why the disorder is not caused solely by genetic factors, but by environmental ones as well.  Aired May 12, 2013.