Talk of the Towns 7/27/12

Host: Ron Beard, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Engineer: Amy Browne
Issue: Public investment in health research
Program Topic: Maine Research Collaboration to Prevent Kidney Disease

•How do kidneys function, why are they important to every day and long-term health? What happens to kidneys and their owners when they have kidney disease? What are the various contributors to kidney disease (genetic, human behavior, environmental factors)? How is kidney disease treated, and what are the costs (quality of life, economic)?
•What reminders do we need about the scientific method, the research process? What is the history of using mice and zebrafish at Jackson Lab and MDI Biological Lab, as substitutes for humans in the research into diseases like cancer, kidney disease?
•What are genes and how do they influence human health? What do we know about genes and kidney function… and how do we know (research on humans, research on mice as “substitutes” for humans?)
•What led to use of zebrafish in this research, and what advantages does this approach have over others?
•We hear about collaboration in many fields today… what brought about the collaboration that is intended in the present partnership (reMaine Healthy) that includes MDI BL, Jackson Laboratory, and Maine Medical Center and its Research Institute? What do you hope to achieve together that you couldn’t achieve on your own
•Phone Interview with Kim O’Brien
oHow has kidney disease impacted your family? Where do you turn for information andadvice? What have you learned so far? How might projects like this help you and other families?
•Where do you hope this collaboration will lead in the future? How can listeners learn more?

Jen Litteral, Mount Desert Island Biological Lab
Dr. Hermann Haller, Mount Desert Island Biological Lab
Dr. Ron Korstanje, Jackson Laboratory
Dr. Mark Parker, Maine Medical Center
Kim O’Brien, Mount Desert Island YMCA, parent

Call In Program: Yes