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Actress Danica McKellar Solves For 'X'

August 6, 2010 2:39 pm | 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 | 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.

Futures in Biotech 64: The Future Is Viral

July 31, 2010 11:35 pm | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.

Remembering The Race To The South Pole

July 26, 2010 9:36 am | Comments

In 1911, two groups of explorers set out to be first to reach the South Pole. One claimed victory, and the other perished on the return trip. Ross MacPhee of the American Museum of Natural History and polar explorer John Huston discuss these scientific pioneers.

Robots That Swim With The Fishes, Intentionally

July 26, 2010 9:36 am | Comments

Based on mathematical models of the movement of fish, Maurizio Porfiri, engineering professor at Polytechnic Institute of NYU, built a robofish. When Porfiri let the robot go for a dip in the lab pool, the real fish started to mill about the robot and even follow it around.

Scientists Say A Gel Can Slow HIV Spread

July 26, 2010 9:36 am | Comments

Researchers meeting at the 18th international AIDS conference this week say a new vaginal gel can cut HIV transmission rates in half, if used properly. AIDS experts Anthony Fauci and Kevin Fenton join Ira Flatow to discuss the gel study, and other news from the conference.

Exploring The Geology Of Gulf Oil

July 26, 2010 9:36 am | Comments

How much oil is under the Gulf of Mexico and how did it get there? Columbia University geophysicist Roger Anderson, an expert in deepwater exploration and drilling, explains how the oil formed millions of years ago, and how companies go about finding and extracting it.

Goodbye, Dr. Schneider

July 26, 2010 9:36 am | Comments

Influential and outspoken climatologist Stephen Schneider died this week of an apparent heart attack. Schneider's friend and colleague Dan Kammen describes Schneider's contributions to climate change research, and recalls the man he knew as "a wonderful, fearless soul."

Who Is Tracking Spilled Oil In The Gulf?

July 20, 2010 7:35 am | Comments

A team of ocean scientists has a plan to track the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, but so far they have no funding. Team leader Ira Leifer explains the proposed study. He says basic questions about the oil spill, such as where the oil is going, are not being answered.


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