The Best of Our Knowledge
3:38 pm
Mon September 14, 2009

The Best of Our Knowledge # 991

Albany, NY – GOING BACK TO SCHOOL WITH THE H1N1 FLU VIRUS:
GOVERNMENT SETS RULES AND REGULATIONS INTO MOTION
RECOMMENDS AT LEAST TWO IMMUNIZATION SHOTS FOR STUDENTS -

Teachers and students are back in their classrooms beginning the new school year. Paramount on their minds this fall is not only the economy, but national health care. And we're not talking about the hotly debated legislation in Congress. Everyone wants to know about the H1N1 flu virus, and its potential impact on education.

According to government figures, about 55-million students and 7-million staffers attend more than 130-thousand U.S. public and private schools each day. That's a very large portion of our population. And it packs the potential for a huge disaster, should a serious outbreak occur.

Last spring, after the virus (then known as the Swine Flu) first emerged, roughly 700 schools in some 25 states closed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports just under 400 people have now died from the virus.

Families and schools want advice on how to deal with the virus and whether schools should stay open this fall. So TBOOK went directly to two key sources to talk about this issue. We spoke with CDC Director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, and Education Secretary, Arne Duncan.

Glenn Busby reports. (10:41)

**(Attention listeners. The website given at the conclusion of the above story for parents, schools, and students to get the very latest information on the H1N1virus is: www.flu.gov.)**

ASTROBIOLOGY RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES

"THE ORIGIN OF LIFE: WHERE AND WHEN DID IT OCCUR?"
PT. 1: DARWIN'S WARM LITTLE POND & INTELLIGENT DESIGN -

The origin of life. How? Why? Where? And when did it occur? This question has been debated since the start of recorded time. And it may continue to be debated until the end of time. All cultures have developed stories to explain the origin of life.

But to shed some modern-day light on the various theories of where we came from, and provide us with some facts, we turn to Dr. Jim Kasting from the Department of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, where he was named Distinguished Professor in 2003. Last year, Dr. Kasting was honored with an award from the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life. He became a fellow of that international society in 2002. And over the years, he's become a well-known authority and published researcher in this field. We began by asking Professor Kasting about the necessity of water for life.

Glenn Busby reports. (8:34)

The preceding is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - in partnerships with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

**(For more information about this story, or any of the other more than 150 stories featured in this current and past exclusive radio series, or if you would like to hear them again via your computer, the website given at the conclusion of the above segment is: www.origins.rpi.edu )**

 

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