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Man Meets Animal In The New Film <em>Splice</em>

June 4, 2010 2:43 pm Podcasts Comments

Human-animal hybrids have been a part of mythology for millennia. But what if it were actually possible to create half-human creatures in the lab? Vincenzo Natali, director and screenwriter of the science fiction film Splice, talks about the ethics of splicing human and animal DNA.

Will Breast Cancer Ever Be Preventable?

June 4, 2010 2:43 pm Podcasts Comments

Two research papers out this week tackle breast cancer prevention. A study in Nature Medicine describes a possible cancer vaccine; the other, in The Lancet, looks at the influence of lifestyle on genes. Immunologist Vincent Tuohy and oncologist Cliff Hudis explain the work.

Strikingly Little Is Known About Lightning

June 4, 2010 2:43 pm Podcasts Comments

For as common as lightning is, scientists have yet to completely understand what causes it. Physicist and lightning researcher Joseph Dwyer is learning more about lightning by causing lightning strikes and recording the X-rays and gamma rays that the lightning produces.

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Oil Spill: Can Science Clean Up This Mess?

June 4, 2010 2:43 pm Podcasts Comments

After a string of engineering failures, the most consistent mitigation strategy for the oil spill has been dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of potentially toxic dispersant into the Gulf. Ira Flatow and guests discuss whether scientists should be able to provide better solutions.

Tips For Coping With Bad-News Burnout

June 4, 2010 2:42 pm Podcasts Comments

Is the slick of bad news about the oil spill bringing you down? Psychologist and "compassion fatigue" expert Charles Figley, of Tulane University’s School of Social Work, explains why negative news can be overwhelming and suggests strategies for taking a mental vacation.

Solving The Riddle Of Why Matter Exists

May 28, 2010 2:41 pm Podcasts Comments

Throughout the millenia, philosophers, theologians and scientists have pondered the simple question: Why are we here? Science News writer Ron Cowen discusses results from the Fermi Lab's particle collider which may help explain the preponderance of matter, not anti-matter, in the universe.

Oil Spill Cleanup Technology Stuck In 20th Century

May 28, 2010 2:41 pm Podcasts Comments

Thirty-one years ago, the Ixtoc I well blew out in the Gulf of Mexico after its blowout preventer failed. Cleanup crews responded with oil booms, skimmers and detergents. Ira Flatow and guests discuss why, three decades later, oil cleanup crews still rely on the same technology.

Ahoy: Meet The Navy's Humanoid Robot

May 28, 2010 2:41 pm Podcasts Comments

This year, the Navy brought more than ships and sailors to Fleet Week in New York City. Octavia, the Navy's "MDS" robot (for mobile, dexterous, social), is on display. Science Friday spoke with Greg Trafton, section head of intelligent systems at the Naval Research Laboratory, about the...

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The Struggles of 'Life' Unfold On Screen

May 28, 2010 2:41 pm Podcasts Comments

An 11-part television documentary series highlights the tactics plants and animals use to survive in nature. Mike Gunton, executive producer for the Life series describes how his team got the shots -- from cheetahs taking down an ostrich, to the mating run of humpback whales.

Nesting With A Naturalist

May 28, 2010 2:41 pm Podcasts Comments

Bernd Heinrich started collecting birds and eggs when he was a child. The Nesting Season is a collection of his observations of nests, eggs and the birds that make them, illustrated with his watercolors and photographs. Heinrich describes his life-long interest in nature.

Vegetable Gardening On A Budget

May 28, 2010 2:40 pm Podcasts Comments

Wondering what to do with that old PC case? You could turn it into a planter, and grow strawberries in winter. "Cheap vegetable gardener" Shawn Verrall describes how he gardens in his limited backyard space, in a less-than-ideal climate, without spending a lot of money.

Manmade Genome Controls A Cell

May 26, 2010 6:42 am Podcasts Comments

Scientists are reporting that they have designed and created a genome and then used it to control a cell. Genome pioneer Craig Venter explains how the genome was made and how, one day, it might help scientists engineer bacteria for specific purposes, such as making fuel.

Is Stem Cell Research Making Progress?

May 26, 2010 6:42 am Podcasts Comments

Scientists working with mice are reporting success in using stem cells to regrow cells related to hearing loss. Three researchers join host Ira Flatow to discuss the latest adult and embryonic stem cell research news, and explain how the research may be used in humans.

Red-Eyed Treefrogs Rumble In The Jungle

May 26, 2010 6:42 am Podcasts Comments

They look cuddly, but red-eyed treefrogs have a secret dark side. When Michael Caldwell, Smithsonian postdoctoral fellow, filmed the frogs under infrared light he saw a curious behavior: they started shaking. Caldwell and colleagues decode the shakes in Current Biology.

Protecting Your Privacy On Social Networking Sites

May 26, 2010 6:42 am Podcasts Comments

Now that the Library of Congress is archiving tweets and lawyers are using Facebook status updates in cross-examinations, how private are our online musings? Ira Flatow and guests discuss the ethical, legal and social issues associated with increasingly public social networking sites.

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