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Blog Of The Nation
Thu April 5, 2012
April 5th: What's On Today's Show
Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 10:05 am
Weight Loss Surgery And Diabetes
For years, bariatric surgery, specifically gastric bypass and banding operations, have been the subject of praise and controversy for the treatment of obesity. Two studies published earlier this week in the New England Journal of Medicine show that bariatric surgery may reduce the risk of, or reverse entirely, the effects of type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese patients with high blood sugar levels. The studies raise serious questions about whether or not these operations should be used more often to treat type 2 diabetes and other diseases attributable to obesity. Host Neal Conan speaks with NPR science correspondent Rob Stein about the studies and what the data means. He also talks with Dr. Philip Schauer, a bariatric surgeon and researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, about the pros and cons of bariatric surgery and whether or not it may be an effective treatment for patients living with type 2 diabetes.
The West African nation of Mali is in political crisis after a coup d'etat in March that toppled the president and drove him into hiding. An Islamic rebel group has taken control of the north of Mali. Rebel soldiers are running the country where turmoil seems to deepen each day as neighboring countries impose sanctions and humanitarian groups are forced to deal with a rapidly changing situation. Host Neal Conan talks to NPR Foreign Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton who's on the ground in Bamako, the capital city of Mali, where long lines at gas stations and groceries worry Malians.
More urban neighborhoods are adding bike lanes to accommodate cyclists. In many cities, bike lanes are embraced with open arms as an inexpensive way to facilitate urban transportation. But not everyone is happy. Some people bristle at the thought of losing parking spaces for bikers, and bike lanes are seen as a sign of gentrification. And cyclists' behavior — from riding the wrong way in traffic to blowing through red lights — isn't helping the cause. So argues Bill Strickland. He's the editor-at-large for Bicycling Magazine and edited the piece "We Met the Enemy." Strickland talks with host Neal Conan and transportation journalist Tom Vanderbilt about how biker behavior factors as an obstacle to more bike lanes.
Extreme Weather And Climate Change
The monstrous tornadoes that tore through north Texas this week caused millions of dollars in damage, and the National Weather Service is expected to rate the them later today. The U.S. tornado season started early this year and has been blamed for 57 deaths so far in 2012 in the Midwest and South, raising concerns this year could be a repeat of 2011 — the deadliest year in nearly a century for tornadoes. Host Neal Conan talks with Kevin Trenberth, Distinguished Senior Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research about the link between climate change and extreme weather.