KTEP - El Paso, Texas

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. 

  Geologist Ruth Barrett performs exploration and evaluation work for mining and exploration companies.  She has also worked in gold exploration...she has worked at the Johnson Space Center studying lunar rocks and meteorites...she is a pilot, a member of the 99s, and had previously served in the Civil Air Patrol.  She joins us to talk about her varied career and about why women CAN have it all - a career and family.  Barrett also makes a strong argument as to why women are especially well-suited for careers in science and engineering.

Aired April 10, 2016


Apr 3, 2016

  Materials scientists are researching fascinating materials that can revolutionize technology. Matteo Pasquali, Professor of Chemistry and Biomolecular Engineering & Chemistry at Rice University, tells us about graphene - a single layer of carbon atoms that can conduct electricity faster than most metals, and it is thin enough that it can even be sewn into clothing as a fiber to create wearable tech! Graphene can also be "painted" on surfaces, and may eventually help repair damaged tissue with no risk of scarring or rejection. https://pasquali.rice.edu/ Aired April 3, 2016

University of Massachusetts Medical School

  Dr. Jean King has a number of impressive titles: Associate Provost for Biomedical Science Research...Professor of Psychiatry, Radiology and Neurology...and Director, Center for Comparative NeuroImaging, University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She talks with us about neuroimaging, which involves looking at the chemistry of the brain in a non-invasive manner.  Research includes having subjects perform specific tasks and performing no tasks at all.  The brain of someone with a psychiatric or neurological disorder will react differently to these experiments than those with no disorder.

Plus, Dr. King will share with us her views on how women can become successful scientists while still raising a family, and why diversity is key in scientific research.

Aired March 27, 2016


  Susan Richardson is the Arthur Sease Williams Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of  South Carolina.  Richardson studies drinking water quality.  The water that we drink is treated with agents that kill harmful pathogens, but those agents will often oxidize with organic matter to transform into equally-harmful Disinfection Byproducts (DBPs).  Richardson will discuss the research that goes into controlling these DBPs in our drinking water.

Aired March 13, 2016

Discovery Institute

  Stephen C. Meyer is director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle.   A former geophysicist and college professor, he has authored the New York Times best seller 'Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design' (HarperOne, 2013), as well as 'Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design' (HarperOne, 2009).  He joins us on the next Science Studio to talk with Keith Pannell and guest co-host Ricardo Bernal to talk about why he believes Intelligent Design best explains the complexity of life over Darwin’s theory of evolution.  


Aired March 6, 2016

  Vanadium is a little-known chemical element and a transition metal.  It is also an element that's currently being tested for use in anti-diabetic agents.  Vanadium compounds are shown in clinical trials to normalize blood glucose levels.  Debbie Crans, a Professor of Chemistry at Colorado State University, will join us to tell us more about this common element which can be found in soils, seeds, water, and even your mug of beer.

Aired Feb. 28, 2016


  Sarah H. Tolbert is Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science at the University of California, Los Angeles.  She joins us to tell us about her research into building nanoscale materials for use in rapidly-charging batteries.  Most cell phone batteries take a few hours to charge.  Electric vehicles also take several hours to charge.  Tolbert's research would make it easier for ions to travel through these nano-porous networks to deliver a charge at a significantly faster rate.


Aired Feb. 21, 2016

  In a rebroadcast from a June 2011 interview, host Keith Pannell interviews Barry Marrs, Chief Technical Officer with Athena Biotechnologies Inc.  Marrs describes the fascinating ways bacteria reproduce, and how the cost of ethanol can be significantly cut by using bacteria that function under higher temperatures.

Aired Feb 14, 2016


  Science Studio continues its exploration of Science Magazine's Top Scientific Breakthroughs of 2015.

Reta Beebe of the New Mexico State University Astronomy Department joins us to tell us about the amazing discoveries the New Horizons spacecraft made about Pluto's nitrogen atmosphere.

Stephen Pate of the NMSU Physics Department untangles Quantum Entanglement, and why particles on an atomic level and smaller appear to follow a different law than Newton's laws of physics.

Aired Jan. 31, 2016

  Science Magazine recently published the Top Scientific Breakthroughs of 2015, and on this program we'll explore 2 of these breakthroughs.

Kyle Johnson of the UTEP Department of Biological Sciences tells us about the development of an Ebola vaccine which could potentially halt the spread of this deadly virus.  The vaccine actually employs the use of another virus to launch an Ebola protein that our immune systems can fight.  This strategy was previously used for small pox.

Aaron Velasco of UTEP's Department of Geological Sciences tells us about the discovery that magma plumes can go as deep down as the core-mantle boundary of the Earth...where the outer liquid core intersects with the rock mantle.


Aired Jan. 24, 2016

Daniel Dubois/Vanderbilt University

  Robert Scherrer is Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Vanderbilt University.  He joins us to talk about cosmology, dark energy, and dark matter.  We'll also take a brief foray into quantum entanglement.  Read his blog at http://www.cosmicyarns.com/, and read his Wall Street Journal editorial "How to Raise a Scientist in the Xbox Age" at http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-to-raise-a-scientist-in-the-xbox-age-1450137781.

Aired Jan. 10, 2016

University of Arizona

  Gregg Garfin is an associate professor in climate, natural resources and policy in the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment.  He joins us to tell us about the projections for a significantly warmer climate in the Southwestern United States in the next century.  He also explains why a monsoon doesn’t necessarily have to do with precipitation, and how an especially strong El Niño weather system can actually affect the Earth’s rotation.

Aired Dec. 27, 2015


  Brian Zoltowski is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Southern Methodist University.  On this program he talks about his interest in circadian rhythms, the natural 24-hour "clock" that governs biological processes in organisms as vast as plants, insects, and humans.  Zoltowski joins us to discuss how circadian rhythms are driven by light - photochemistry - and how even with an absence of light, organisms can still work on a 24-hour system.

Aired Dec. 20, 2015

  Ryan Davison is the Manager of Advocacy at the American Chemical Society (ACS).  In certain circles, he could be considered a lobbyist.  Davison advocates in Washington, D.C., for more basic, fundamental scientific research.  The ACS is the world's largest scientific society, and much of the research done by many scientists can take years...often too long a period of time for many members of Congress to consider worth investing in.

Aired Dec. 13, 2015

  John Peterson is a professor of Anthropology, Assistant Vice President for Graduate Studies, Research & Sponsored Programs at the University of Guam.  He joins us to talk about how his career took him from UTEP to the Philippines, to Hawaii, and to Guam.  Peterson gives us a brief background on Guam, and he explains how rising & falling sea levels have had cultural implications over the centuries on islands in the Pacific.

Aired Dec. 6, 2015

JONATHAN COHEN, Binghamton University Magazine

  M. Stanley Whittingham is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering at SUNY Binghamton.  Whittingham was a pioneer in the research and development of the lithium battery, which are used to power everything from laptops to tablets to smartphones to electrical medical devices.  He talks about why lithium batteries are so efficient, and why they are sometimes subject to rupture, overheating, or even exploding.

Aired Nov. 29, 2015.

Amity Wilczek

  Frank Wilczek is a theoretical physicist, the Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Nobel Laureate.  Wilczek will explain how his unrelenting research as a graduate student at Princeton in 1973 led to a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2004.   Wilczek, along with David Gross and H. David Politzer, won the Nobel Prize for their discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of strong interaction.  Wilczek will break down for us the forces of nature, including the strong forces that hold nuclei together, and the weak forces that have to do with radioactive decay.  http://frankwilczek.com/

Aired Nov 22, 2015

Northeastern University

  Craig Ferris is a professor in the College of Science, Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Northeastern University.  He joins us on Science Studio to talk about the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in animal models to study degenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  This kind of imaging can detect biomarkers in the brain prior to any symptoms appearing in the subject.

Aired Nov. 15, 2015.

USC Dornsife, Peter Zhaoyu Zhou

  Larry Swanson is the Milo Don and Lucille Appleman Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, Neurobiology Section.  He joins us to talk about connectomes, the circuitry of the brain, and how this area of research began with the unraveling of the human genome.  Computers are having a revolutionary impact on discovering on how the brain works and how different types of dementia affect the brain. 

Aired Nov. 1, 2015


  Luis Alberto Montero-Cabrera is a theoretical scientist from the Universidad de La Habana in Cuba.  On this program (which was recorded on the day the U.S. raised an American flag at its new embassy in Havana), Montero-Cabrera explains how Cuba was forced to become self-sufficient in the sciences because of the embargo, and how the fall of the Soviet Union negatively affected the nation.  He also talks about how ancient IBM computer clones helped him stay on top of his research in past decades.  And, Montero-Cabrera explains his interest in researching the retinal molecule, which absorbs light in our eyes.

Aired Oct. 25, 2015.

Photos © 2011 Steven Foster

  Steven Foster is an author, photographer, consultant, and herbalist who has over 4 decades worth of experience in the herbal field.  Foster's books include A Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine, A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants & Herbs, and 101 Medicinal Herbs.  Foster joins us on Science Studio to talk about his early interest in medicinal plants, dietary supplements, and about the uncertainty of the effectiveness of such supplements.  http://www.stevenfoster.com/

Aired Oct. 18, 2015.

Harvard Medical School, Kishony Lab


   Michael Baym is a Research Fellow in Systems Biology at the Kishony Lab in Harvard Medical School, and he joins us to talk about the evolution and drug-resistance of bacteria.  His research involves using combinations of antibiotics to force and possibly control behaviors of bacteria.  With his background in mathematics, Baym is able to employ algorithms to gain insight from this research.  http://kishony.med.harvard.edu/

Aired Oct. 11, 2015.

  Rosemarie Truman is the founder & CEO of the Center for Advancing Innovation.  She shares her amazing story of ambition, including how she talked herself into a job at Goldman Sachs.  Truman's specialty is growth strategy and transformation, and she explains how the Center for Advancing Innovation is working with the University of Texas at El Paso by helping 30 new startups and get them "hyperaccelerated" into the market.


Aired Oct. 4, 2015.

Duke University

  Neil Spector is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University, and he joins hosts Keith Pannell and Russ Chianelli to talk about the latest advances in cancer care.  Why do patients suffering from the same type of cancer respond differently to the same treatment?  And why is personalized medicine becoming so impersonal?  Plus, Dr. Spector tells us about the experience he had with medical professionals when he was misdiagnosed as suffering from too much stress when he in fact was suffering from Lyme Disease...and nearly died.

Aired Sept 27, 2015.


  The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is a division of the National Institutes of Health, and overseas a $2.4 billion budget to support research at universities, medical schools, and research institutes in the U.S. The director of the NIGMS, JON LORSCH, will talk with host Keith Pannell about his early fascination with science (fascination with a cow heart at age 4) to becoming a researcher, teacher, and administrator. http://www.nigms.nih.gov/

Aired Sept 20, 2015

Lisa Finkelstein


   Host Keith Pannell talks with Lisa Finkelstein of the Northern Illinois University Department of Psychology, and her specialty is Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology.  If you're at work, how does the presence of the people around you affect your behavior?  Do we behave differently around different people or groups?  I/O Psychology allows science to help build a better workplace by researching the methods that will help reduce stress and increase job satisfaction and productivity.

Aired Sept 13, 2015.

Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (WISSARD)

  Keith Pannell talks with Ross D. Powell, professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University.  Ross's research is mostly centered on Antarctica, and he shares with us the millions of years of the Earth's history that can be deciphered by Antarctic ice cores.  Ancient ice cores can tell us what the Earth's atmosphere was like when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.  And hearty microbes have been discovered in lakes under the Antarctic ice, which gives planetary scientists hope that similar microbes may be eventually discovered in the icy moons of the solar system.

Aired Sept. 6, 2015.

University of Texas Health Science Center

  In a rebroadcast from May 15, 2011, Keith talks with Lynette Daws from the Physiology Department of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  Daws explains that depression has both a genetic and environmental component, and if one has a genetic tendency towards depression, a stressful life event could very well trigger its onset.  Daws tells us about a certain population which may be more disposed to depression if they have an s-allele.  

Aired Aug. 30, 2015.


  In a rebroadcast from May 1, 2011, Keith talks geoscience with Melanie Barnes, Senior Research Associate, Igneous Petrology & Geochemistry, Texas Tech University.  She talks about the reddish granite ryolite that makes up the Thunderbird formation in the Franklin Mountains which dates back 1.4 billion years.   She also talks about studying rock samples with instruments that don't destroy the samples.

Aired Aug. 23, 2015

Baylor College of Medicine

  In a rebroadcast from April 17, 2011, Keith & Russ talk with  Michael Liebschner, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Baylor College of Medicine. He talks about the advances in engineering tissue to replace bones and organs,

Aired Aug. 16, 2015.