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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Kidney researcher to speak about climate change

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Courtesy of Aspen Global Change Institute

Kidney expert Dr. Richard Johnson discusses how climate change relates to the evolution of mankind tonight as part of the Aspen Global Change Institute’s public speaker series.

 

Johnson, who is the chief of the renal division and hypertension at the University of Colorado, researches kidney disease, diabetes and obesity, and he has found connections to climate change in his studies.

“As my research has progressed over the years, we became aware that kidney disease was being linked with heat stress,” Johnson said. “Initially, when I started my research career, I never thought I’d be studying climate change.”

His discussion tonight will center on how mutations in human ancestors’ past may now be causing higher rates of obesity and kidney disease.

“We have developed some insights into how animals and humans protect themselves under situations of food shortage or dehydration,” Johnson said. “Some of these protective mechanisms can actually cause disease as well.”

Johnson is the author of The Sugar Switch and The Fat Switch.

 

 

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Extended interview available here.

 

Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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