Host: Marc Pelletier How studying mammalian biological history can help us better understand ourselves. Guest: Darin Croft, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University We invite you to read, add to, and amend our show notes. Comments and suggestions...
Mikkel Andersen, a physicist at New Zealand's University of Otago, isolated a single atom of rubidium and then used a special astronomical camera to snap its picture. Andersen describes the process of turning lasers into optical tweezers and what catching atoms means for quantum computing.
What grows best in Martian soil? How do you get oxygen out of thin air? Pat Duggins, author of Trailblazing Mars: NASA’s Next Giant Leap, talks about the questions NASA will face if it sends astronauts to the Red Planet and how to choose the right people for the job.
Gliese 581g, a planet orbiting the dwarf star Gliese in the constellation Libra, is Earth-like in a few key ways. It's not much bigger than Earth, and its temperature seems mild enough for liquid water. Steven Vogt, of the University of California, Santa Cruz, explains how he found the planet.
The brown marmorated stink bug, which hails from Asia, had a population boom this year -- terrorizing farmers and homeowners up and down the Eastern U.S. USDA entomologist Tracy Leskey explains what's known about the bug and how to cope.
Scientists report finding the fossilized remains of a new species of giant penguin in a Peruvian desert. Paleontologist Julia Clarke of the University of Texas, Austin describes what these huge birds looked like and how the new finding can help explain penguin evolution.
Computer experts say a sophisticated computer worm dubbed "Stuxnet" exploits vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows to attack industrial control systems, including one at an Iranian nuclear power plant. Computer security experts discuss the worm and its impact on security.
The television series Cosmos, which first aired 30 years ago this week, made a celebrity of science communicator Carl Sagan. In this archival 1994 Science Friday interview, Sagan discusses his book The Pale Blue Dot and shares his thoughts on manned space exploration.
Did you know Mark Twain tried his hand at science fiction? In the book The Disappearing Spoon, author Sam Kean writes about Twain's prescient story "Sold to Satan." In the story, Satan’s problems stem, in part, from the fact that he is made entirely of the newly discovered radioactive...
The world's most precise clocks can reveal tiny time dilations predicted by Einstein's theory of relativity -- but that's not all. Tom O'Brian of the National Institute for Standards and Technology talks about using these precise clocks in everything from cell phones to satellites.
Humans and chimpanzees share very similar genes -- some analyses peg the differences at just 1 percent. But in his book Almost Chimpanzee, science writer Jon Cohen focuses on our differences, from the way we eat and communicate to our susceptibilities to disease and aging.
Personalized medicine promises to deliver more tailored health care. But what if a person's genes reveal he won't get much benefit from the only available treatment? Ethicist Leonard Fleck discusses the tough decisions Americans face in deciding whether to pay for others' expensive treatments.
Three separate rigs are drilling escape shafts to free the 33 miners trapped half a mile beneath the Atacama desert in Chile. Mine safety advocate Davitt McAteer and drilling engineer Rudy Lyon discuss the technology being used in the rescue and how miners can be kept out of harm's way.
Many police departments use forensic artists to help solve crimes. From composite sketches to facial reconstructions, the work of these artists combines creativity, science and detective skills. Artist Karen T. Taylor and anthropologist Mary Manhein discuss the science behind forensic art.
Stephen Mancusi worked for the New York Police Department for 27 years as a forensic artist. He specializes in composite sketching -- the process of interviewing victims and witnesses to create a drawing of a perpetrator that is released to help police find suspects.