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FULL SHOW: June 2, 2019

Cranberry extracts can make bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics, and prevent them from developing resistance.
Liz West/Flickr
CC BY 2.0

"The molecules themselves - the ones from cranberry or the ones from maple - they're not actually killing the bacteria. And that's a really interesting part of the of the research. They're not actually killing the bacteria, so they don't necessarily make the bacteria develop resistance. They're actually just somehow making these bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics." - Nathalie Tufenkji

This week on Living Lab Radio:

  • Atmospheric scientist Jennifer Francis breaks down what we do and don’t know about the links between climate change and extreme storms, including hurricanes and tornadoes. Spoiler alert: there’s a lot more in the “known” column for hurricanes, and a lot more questions when it comes to tornadoes.
  • Dan Pendleton of the New England Aquarium describes how rising water temperatures are sending critically endangered North Atlantic right whales searching for food and putting them into
  • Chemical engineer Nathalie Tufenkji says cranberries and maple syrup could help fight the rise of antibiotic resistant infections. Her latest work shows that cranberry extracts can make bacteria more susceptible to antibiotics, and unable to develop resistance.
  • Greg Wetherbee of the U.S. Geological Survey has a simple and disturbing message: it’s raining plastic. His efforts to measure air pollution in rainwater turned up microplastics. And he’s not the first to see this.

Elsa Partan is a producer for Living Lab Radio. She first came to the station in 2002 as an intern and fell in love with radio. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. From 2006 to 2009, she covered the state of Wyoming for the NPR member station Wyoming Public Media in Laramie. She was a newspaper reporter at The Mashpee Enterprise from 2010 to 2013. She lives in Falmouth with her husband and two daughters.