Anthropologist Yohannes Haile-Selassie talks about a recently unearthed Australopithecus afarensis skeleton nicknamed "Kadanuumuu." He says the individual predates "Lucy" by about 400,000 years, and that the bones suggest upright walking originated earlier than previously thought.
Laura Niklason engineered working lungs in the lab by stripping the cells from rat lungs and repopulating the remaining structure with fresh cells. Don Ingber created a "lung on a chip," which mimics the chemistry and mechanics of a working lung and could be used for drug testing.
Reporting in Science, researchers describe how the sense of touch influences the mind's judgments and decision-making processes. John Bargh, a professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale, discusses the findings, including why sitting on a hard wooden chair may turn people into...
A full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope, the planned successor to Hubble, is on the circuit -- making appearances at science conferences and festivals. Science Friday caught up with the observatory and spoke to its handlers in New York City's Battery Park.
The House last night passed a measure to prevent a 21-percent cut in Medicare fees paid to doctors, at least for the next 6 months. Dr. Michael Newman, a Washington DC-area physician explains how the yearly threat of cuts affects his practice and patients.
Fourteen states now allow marijuana smoking for medical purposes, and more states are deciding whether or not to do the same. Ira Flatow and guests look at the research on inhaled marijuana as a medication and discuss whether or not doctors should be prescribing pot smoking.
In what seems like an unlikely turn of events, "geek" has suddenly gone chic. Last week, Science Friday wondered if there should be a new word for geek, one without a hip connotation, and asked listeners to weigh in. After combing through the submissions, we reveal the top terms.
Researchers say they've created nano-sized antibodies out of chemical components and used them to clear a toxin injected into mice. The antibodies latched on to and "disarmed" the toxin in much the same way natural antibodies do. Chemist Kenneth Shea describes the work.
Airships were once the giants of the skies. They were soaring before the airplane and were used as the first strategic bombers in World War I. What happened? Blimp technology has come a long way since the Hindenburg. Ira Flatow and guests discuss airships of the past and future.
This Sunday, forget the BBQ and try constructing a balloon-powered sky-cam or folding some electronic origami. Ken Denmead, author of Geek Dad: Awesomely Geeky Projects and Activities for Dads and Kids to Share, describes projects for science enthusiasts of all ages.
Geology surveys in Afghanistan don't just rely on the trusty map and hammer. John Brozena of the Naval Research Laboratory discusses how geologists there have mapped mineral deposits from planes carrying various sorts of cameras as well as gravity and magnetic sensors.
In The Fate of Nature, former Anchorage Daily News reporter Charles Wohlforth writes that cleaning up oil spills is impossible, saying they're merely the cost of doing business. But how much destruction will it take to persuade Americans to embrace energy alternatives?
The natural gas industry says hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," could supply the U.S. with domestic energy for almost 100 years. But environmentalists are worried it may not be safe. Josh Fox, the director of the new documentary Gasland, talks about the potential dangers of fracking.
Dr. Howard Markel, a medical historian at the University of Michigan, discusses how the German physicist William Roentgen stumbled across the phenomenon of X-rays while playing with a cathode tube in his lab, and why Roentgen gave the electromagnetic beams the name "X-rays."
Host: Marc Pelletier Tackling problems of the heart with biotechnology. Guest: Julian Stelzer, Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes. Comments and suggestions on Futures in Biotech. For a...