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Does The Universe Have a 'Dark Flow?'

September 17, 2010 4:36 pm Podcasts Comments

Using measurements of the cosmic microwave background, researchers say, there’s evidence that galaxy clusters are being pulled along by a force outside the visible universe. Theoretical physicist Michael Turner explains this “dark flow” and other recent cosmology news.

The Calculus Around You

September 17, 2010 4:36 pm Podcasts Comments

In her new book The Calculus Diaries, writer Jennifer Ouellette describes the development of calculus, from Archimedes to Newton, and shows how calculus is a part of everyday life -- from amusement park rides and Vegas craps tables, to dieting and figuring out gas mileage.

The Origins Of The Word 'Cell'

September 17, 2010 4:36 pm Podcasts Comments

In the 1660s, Robert Hooke looked through a primitive microscope at a thinly cut piece of cork. He saw a series of walled boxes that reminded him of the tiny rooms, or cellula, occupied by monks. Medical historian Dr. Howard Markel discusses Hooke's coining of the word "cell."

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Futures in Biotech 66: The Homebrew Genomics Club

September 12, 2010 8:33 am Podcasts Comments

Hosts: Marc Pelletier and Andre Nantel A first hand account on the genesis of the Human Genome Project. Guest: Dr. David Botstein, Director, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes. Comments and...

Tracking Coastal Erosion From Storms

September 10, 2010 2:32 pm Podcasts Comments

New data from sensitive airborne altimetry combined with undersea sensors is giving scientists better insight into how major storms can rapidly reshape coastlines. Reporter Sid Perkins discusses his Science News article on the scouring power of major storms.

When To Test For Prostate Cancer?

September 10, 2010 2:32 pm Podcasts Comments

Ads urge men of a certain age to get screened for prostate cancer. But is "test early, test often" the best approach? Otis Brawley of the American Cancer Society and Mark Scholz, author of Invasion Of The Prostate Snatchers, discuss other approaches.

Happy Birthday, Buckyballs!

September 10, 2010 2:32 pm Podcasts Comments

Twenty-five years ago this month, researchers first identified buckminsterfullerenes -- a previously undiscovered form of carbon shaped like a tiny soccer ball. Harry Kroto, who shared the Nobel Prize for the discovery, explains what's been learned about fullerenes since.

Scientists Study What Makes A Man A Good Dancer

September 10, 2010 2:32 pm Podcasts Comments

Evolutionary psychologist Nick Neave filmed men dancing, converted the videos into dancing avatars and asked women to rate the avatars' dancing ability. The researchers found that the highly rated male dancers had some moves in common. Some advice: Shake that right knee.

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Does The 'Energy Star' Label Need An Update?

September 10, 2010 2:32 pm Podcasts Comments

A review in Consumer Reports says it's good news so many products have become energy efficient but calls for strengthening Energy Star standards to guide consumers to truly efficient products. Ira Flatow and guests discuss that report and overlooked ways people can save energy at home.

The Intelligence Of Crowds In 'The Perfect Swarm'

September 10, 2010 2:31 pm Podcasts Comments

In his book The Perfect Swarm, Len Fisher talks about swarm intelligence -- where the collective ideas of a group add up to better solutions than any individual could have dreamed up, including an example of how UPS reorganized its driving routes using the logic of an ant colony.

Time To Get Tough, Environmentalists Say

September 3, 2010 4:38 pm Podcasts Comments

With no climate change legislation coming out of the Senate, Sierra Club head Michael Brune says it's time to try a new strategy to fight global warming. Author Bill McKibben says it's time to get angry. Brune and McKibben discuss their ideas for curbing climate change.

Insomnia Means More Than A Bad Night's Sleep

September 3, 2010 4:38 pm Podcasts Comments

A new study says men who reported having insomnia and who slept less than 6 hours a night were four times more likely to die over a 14-year period when compared to men who reported sleeping well. Sleep researcher and psychiatrist Alexandros Vgontzas explains the finding.

Can Cognitive Exercise Speed Up Dementia?

September 3, 2010 4:37 pm Podcasts Comments

New research suggests that seniors who did mentally stimulating activities such as crossword puzzles postponed the loss of thinking skills, but had an accelerated rate of decline once dementia set in later in life. Neuropsychologist Robert S. Wilson explains the finding.

Stocky Dinosaur With Menacing Toes Unearthed

September 3, 2010 4:37 pm Podcasts Comments

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers describe a new predatory dinosaur from the late Cretaceous period in Europe. Balaur bondoc (Romanian for "stocky dragon") is huskier than its relative the Velociraptor.

Is Organically Produced Food More Nutritious?

September 3, 2010 4:37 pm Podcasts Comments

Reporting in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers write that organically grown strawberries contain more antioxidants and vitamin C than conventional berries. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the findings, and whether the differences would have any meaningful impact on Americans' health.

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