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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

The hunt for cultural treasures; Amish health

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 17, 2017 4:18 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Wednesday, May 17, 2017:

The Nazis -- under the direction of Adolf Hitler -- stole artworks and other valuable property from Jews in Europe before and during World War II.  What was looted was valued in the billions of dollars.  Much of what was taken was never returned and still turns up today.  

Many museums throughout the world are in possession of and exhibit these works of art.

Nancy Moses, who chairs the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission writes about one such classic painting in her new book Stolen, Smuggled, Sold -- On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures.  However, it's just one chapter of the book.  Moses writes about several other iconic pieces that have an intriguing past.

Nancy Moses tells us about it on Wednesday's Smart Talk. 

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Nancy Moses - Chair, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission


While Old Order Amish communities have demonstrated a reluctance to adopt modern technological conveniences, in Central Pennsylvania they have been very cooperative in helping healthcare professionals understand and treat some of the unique health issues that confront a primarily agricultural and isolated population.

In addition to the routine illnesses, members of closed societies face a multitude of genetic disorders developed in a relatively controlled setting - providing a population sample that allows researchers to study congenital health.

Smart Talk will look at a recent report that indicated secondhand smoke could be especially detrimental for women in the Old Order communities and we'll talk about a clinic that provides healthcare for Amish youth and studies the science of genes in the regions Amish and Mennonite populations.

Dr. Braxton Mitchell, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland's School of Medicine, has been a core investigator in that school's Amish Complex Disease Genetics program for 15 years.  He has researched genome sequencing in Old Order Amish communities and he recently published a report indicating Amish women are at an accelerated risk of heart and respiratory disease due to secondhand smoke.   Dr. Mitchell joins us on the line from his office in Baltimore, Dr. Mitchell, welcome.

Also joining us is Dr. Adam Heaps, Executive Director of the Clinic for Special Children in Strasberg, the clinic provides healthcare for nearly 1200 Amish youth and they operate a research center studying the genetic health of members of the Amish and Mennonite communities

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Dr. Braxton D. Mitchell - Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine / Dr. Adam Heaps - Executive Director, Clinic for Special children


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