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These Babies Can Out-Climb Their Parents

November 5, 2010 12:37 pm | Comments

Australian brush turkeys (Alectura lathami) fend for themselves the day they hatch, says Ken Dial of the University of Montana Flight Lab. The birds fly the day they hatch, and hatchlings can climb vertical ledges better than adults, according to Dial's latest research.

Slip Into The Secret Life of Eels

October 29, 2010 1:38 pm | Comments

In his new book Eels, writer James Prosek describes the life history and cultural significance of this slimy, snake-like and often misunderstood fish, introducing the reader to an eel fisherman on the Delaware River and to the myths of the Maori of New Zealand along the way.

Taste Receptors In Lungs May Help Asthmatics

October 29, 2010 1:37 pm | Comments

Writing in Nature Medicine, researchers report on discovering bitter taste receptors in human lungs, and that bitter compounds expand airways in asthmatic mice. Stephen Liggett talks about the possibility of treating asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with bitter compounds.

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Is Genome Sequencing Surpassing Medical Knowledge?

October 29, 2010 1:37 pm | Comments

The cost of sequencing a human genome is plummeting, and soon many people may obtain a copy of their own. But how useful is that information to patients, especially if their genes predict untreatable, fatal diseases? Hank Greely discusses the promise and the pitfalls of genetic testing.

The Mysterious Life Of The Cholera Bacterium

October 29, 2010 1:37 pm | Comments

Scientists have long known that cholera is caused by a bacterium transmitted through food or water. But where does the bacterium live between epidemics, and what dictates the timing of new outbreaks? CDC cholera expert Eric Mintz discusses the bacterium behind the Haiti outbreak.

'Goat Sucker' May Just Be A Mangy Coyote

October 29, 2010 1:37 pm | Comments

The legend of the ferocious chupacabra, or goat sucker, has circulated around Central America since the 1990s. But the supernatural chimeric beast -- described by some as half dog, half bat -- may just be a coyote suffering from mange, says entomologist Barry OConnor of the University of Michigan.

The Past, Locked In Amber

October 29, 2010 1:37 pm | Comments

Scientists excavating an Indian amber deposit say it dates back more than 50 million years, and contains the remains of at least 100 previously undocumented species of insects. American Museum of Natural History curator David Grimaldi describes the amber, and the organisms trapped within it.

Decoding Lunar Crash Data

October 22, 2010 10:34 am | Comments

Just over a year ago, the LCROSS mission deliberately crashed into a lunar crater, kicking up a cloud of debris --and signs of water. Michael Wargo, NASA's chief lunar scientist, describes other ingredients scientists have identified in lunar soil, a material called regolith.

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Dean Kamen Explores Invention

October 22, 2010 10:34 am | Comments

His personal list of inventions includes everything from an insulin pump to the Segway Transporter. He started the FIRST Robotics engineering challenges for students. Now, inventor Dean Kamen also has his own television show, aimed at spreading the excitement of invention.

Physics Of Giant Pumpkins

October 22, 2010 10:34 am | Comments

Pumpkins of the Atlantic Giant variety can weigh more than 1,800 pounds. For a mechanical engineer with an interest in plus-sized fruit, like Georgia Tech's David Hu, this raises an interesting physics question: How can the pumpkin get so big without breaking?

Ira Asks: How Are Eyeglasses Made?

October 22, 2010 10:34 am | Comments

After a prescription leaves the optometrist's office, how are eyeglasses actually made to order? Larry Enright, general manager of Perferx Optical, talks about the shaping, sanding, polishing, cutting and beveling behind each lens' journey into a pair of finished frames.

'Yellow Dirt': The Legacy of Navajo Uranium Mines

October 22, 2010 10:34 am | Comments

In her book Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed, former Los Angeles Times reporter Judy Pasternak documents the toxic legacy of uranium mining in the Navajo lands of northeastern Arizona, where radioactive dust wound up in Navajo homes and drinking water.

Geek Out To Freak Out On Halloween

October 22, 2010 10:33 am | Comments

Halloween may be the biggest do-it-yourself holiday in America, where creative types turn their cars into Batmobiles and their jack-o'-lanterns into computerized Silly String squirters. Instructables founder and CEO Eric Wilhelm talks about these and other crafty projects for Halloween.

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word 'Cancer'

October 22, 2010 10:33 am | Comments

Around 400 B.C., Hippocrates is said to have named masses of cancerous cells karkinos -- Greek for crab. Science and medical historian Howard Markel discusses a few hypotheses on why Hippocrates named the disease after a crab, and how well cancer was understood in the ancient world.

Puzzling Over A Man And His Cube

October 22, 2010 10:33 am | Comments

Professor Erno Rubik's iconic puzzle, a simple, yet complex multicolored cube, took the world by storm in the 1980s and sold millions of copies. The inventor will receive a Lifetime Science Education Achievement Award from the USA Science & Engineering Festival this weekend.

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