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Study Suggests Earlier Meat-Eating In Hominids

August 13, 2010 2:33 pm Podcasts Comments

A new study in the journal Nature suggests that the butchering of animals with tools by hominids occurred nearly a million years earlier than thought. Study author Zeresenay Alemseged and anthropologist David DeGusta discuss the finding and what it might mean for human evolution.

SETI Throws A Party

August 13, 2010 2:33 pm Podcasts Comments

The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute -- SETI -- turns 25 this year, and it's celebrating with "SETIcon." Participants, including SETI father Frank Drake and the director of the Center for SETI Research, Jill Tarter, discuss the conference and their work.

Science Diction: The Origin Of ’Evolution’

August 13, 2010 2:33 pm Podcasts Comments

Although Charles Darwin's tome The Origin of Species is associated with the theory of evolution today, Darwin himself preferred terms such as "transmutation by means of natural selection." Science historian Howard Markel discusses how “evolution“ entered the scientific -- and popular -- vocabulary.

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Little Brown Bats Could Disappear In The Northeast

August 6, 2010 2:39 pm Podcasts Comments

Reporting in Science, researchers write that little brown bats, or Myotis lucifugus, are likely to disappear from the Northeast over the next 16 years. Study author Winifred Frick discusses white-nose syndrome, which is associated with die-offs and caused by a fast-moving fungus.

New Frontier For Geeks: The Kitchen

August 6, 2010 2:39 pm Podcasts Comments

In Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food, software engineer Jeff Potter discusses using the hacker mindset in the kitchen, from cooking salmon in the dishwasher to a warranty-voiding experiment on his oven to get the scorching temperatures necessary for perfect pizza crust.

Register Receipts May Be A Source of Bisphenol-A

August 6, 2010 2:39 pm Podcasts Comments

Three studies point to receipts as a possibly significant source of the chemical bisphenol-A, according to Science News. While bisphenol-A isn't regulated, the government has suggested minimizing exposure to it. Science News senior editor Janet Raloff discusses the finding.

Actress Danica McKellar Solves For 'X'

August 6, 2010 2:39 pm Podcasts Comments

In her new book Hot X: Algebra Exposed, actress and math advocate Danica McKellar shares her secrets for solving algebra problems -- and navigating high school social life. McKellar discusses the book, and explains why she tailors her math teaching techniques toward girls.

New Ruling Says Users Can Hack Their iPhones

August 6, 2010 2:39 pm Podcasts Comments

A new government ruling issued last month makes it legal for iPhone users to "jailbreak" their phones so they can potentially choose a different carrier. Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig discusses that and other recent changes to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.

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Futures in Biotech 64: The Future Is Viral

July 31, 2010 11:35 pm Podcasts Comments

Host: Marc Pelletier Five scientists discuss their hopes and aspirations for biotechnology in a post-genomics era. Guests: George Farr, Mark Griswold, Dave Brodbeck, Vincent Racaniello and David Thomas We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes. Comments and suggestions on...

How Scientists Can Police Themselves

July 30, 2010 5:39 pm Podcasts Comments

How do scientists deal with sloppy or shoddy science? A survey found that researchers were often able to deal with minor misconduct informally. Gerald Koocher, one of the scientists behind the survey and co-author of a handbook for dealing with research misconduct, explains.

Spinning Some Silken Science

July 30, 2010 5:39 pm Podcasts Comments

Spiders and silkworms make silk by the yard. Why can’t we copy them? Silk is strong, light and flexible and is being examined for use in everything from medical sutures to advanced electronics. Silk researcher David Kaplan explains the challenges in bioengineering silk.

Vertebrate Genomes Hide Ancient Viruses

July 30, 2010 5:39 pm Podcasts Comments

Reporting in the journal PLOS Pathogens, researchers write opossums have bits of the Ebola virus mixed into their genetic code and human genomes contain snippets of the Borna virus. Study author Anna Skalka says some of the virus genetic code was inserted 40 million years ago.

With Well Capped, How Long Will The Oil Linger?

July 30, 2010 5:39 pm Podcasts Comments

The Gulf of Mexico has a few ways of cleansing oil from its waters: it hosts legions of microbes adapted to dine on natural oil seepages, and its warm water temperatures favor the evaporation of oil. But scientists say it's still too early to know how long it will take the Gulf to recover.

Will Reading The Doc's Notes Improve Your Health?

July 30, 2010 5:38 pm Podcasts Comments

The Open Notes project connects some 25,000 patients with their doctors' medical notes through secure online portals. Participating doctors Tom Delbanco and Sara Fazio of Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center discuss the program, and why it has some doctors worried.

Why Do We Like What We Like?

July 26, 2010 9:36 am Podcasts Comments

Why do we enjoy things like bitter foods and horror films? And are we the only species that likes art? Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale University and author of How Pleasure Works, explains our penchant for art and why we find some unpleasant things so enjoyable.

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