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Biology

Radiolab

Microscopic to Cosmic

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sean Cole tries to square the idea that the fallout from a war between teensy organisms and teensier viruses can be seen from space. Luckily, he finds a perspective-shaking demo built by two 14-year-old boys that helps him get his bearings. Read more, and play with the demo, here.

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Radiolab

A War We Need

Monday, March 05, 2012

WNYC

Every day, every moment, an epic battle is raging across the globe. It's happening in the ocean. And the evidence is both highly visible and totally hidden, depending on your perspective. In this short, the tale of an arms race involving trillions of sea creatures--and why their struggle is vital to our survival.

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Comments [38]

Radiolab

Killer Empathy

Monday, February 06, 2012

Sometimes being a good scientist requires putting aside your emotions. But what happens when objectivity isn't enough to make sense of a seemingly senseless act of violence? In this short, Jad and Robert talk to an entomologist about the risks, and the rewards, of trying to see the world through someone else's eyes. 

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Comments [52]

Radiolab

Krulwich Wonders: What the Panda Won't Tell Us

Thursday, January 05, 2012

NPR

Look at this animal. ... What do you see? Or more importantly, what don't you see?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

1493: How Columbus Created a New World

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Charles Mann explains how Christopher Columbus changed the world when he set foot in the Americas, setting off a series of vast ecological changes as European vessels carried thousands of species across the oceans. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, is a new history of the Columbian Exchange, the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand, and explains how earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches; honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses; bacteria, fungi, and viruses; and rats were moved across the globe, changing lives and landscapes.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

My Beautiful Genome

Monday, October 31, 2011

Science writer Lone Frank talks about using her own DNA to examine the new science of consumer-led genomics. In My Beautiful Genome she looks at how this science is used, how important it is for our health, and the consequences of biological fortune-telling.

Comments [11]

The New Yorker: Out Loud

Elif Batuman on biodiversity and birdwatching in northeastern Turkey

Monday, October 17, 2011

Elif Batuman on biodiversity and birdwatching in northeastern Turkey.

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Radiolab

A World of Undersea Cutouts

Thursday, October 06, 2011

After hearing about the "Whale Fall" story in our Loops episode, former Radiolab intern Sharon Shattuck rallied the folks at Sweet Fern Productions and made this beautiful video. 
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The Takeaway

Ralph Steinman's Daughter on His Posthumous Nobel Prize

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

The Nobel Prize committee decided on Monday to posthumously award Dr. Ralph Steinman a prize in medicine and physiology. Steinman's ground-breaking winning research into dendritic cells helped treat his own pancreatic cancer, but he died just three days before the committee awarded him with the prize. Nobel rules say the award can only go to living scientists, but the foundation did not know Steinman had died on Friday and thus did not reverse their decision. Steinman shares this year's award with two other researchers, Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Endangered Species

Friday, September 30, 2011

Joe Roman, author of Listed: Dispatches from America's Endangered Species Act; George Amato, director of the American Museum of Natural History's Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics; and Ernie Cooper, from TRAFFIC, a joint wildlife trade monitoring network of the World Wildlife Fund and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, discuss the Endangered Species Act, which species are at risk and why, and the efforts are made to protect them.

If you have questions, call us at 646-829-3985, or leave a comment below!

Comments [4]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Lasker Award Winners

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dr. Arthur Horwich, from Yale University, and Dr. F. Ulrich Hartl, from the Max Plank Institute in Germany, won this year’s Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. They’ll explain their discovery of “chaperone assisted protein folding,” a seminal finding that has allowed many of the modern breakthroughs in molecular biology and biotechnology, paving the way for advances in research into everything from Alzheimer’s Disease to Mad Cow Disease. Their discoveries are now part of the basic tool box scientists use to build experiments that give them a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms that comprise all life.

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The Takeaway

Doctor Bridges Gap Between Mind and Machine

Monday, September 19, 2011

For Dr. Anthony Ritaccio, the idea of being a human-cyborg isn't just something of science fiction books, but a real world possibility. Ritaccio was born without his right hand, and through his work, as the director of the Epilepsy and Human Brain Mapping Program at the Albany Medical Center and J. Spencer Standish Professor of Neurology at the Albany Medical College, he has learned to map intentions of the human brain. In his lab, Ritaccio is mapping out the electrical layout of the brain, in hopes of building interactions that will one day change the lives of millions of Americans with physical and mental disabilities.

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Radiolab

Krulwich Wonders: Lord, Save Me From The Krebs Cycle

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

NPR

Little kids love dinosaurs, bugs and exploring the woods. Science doesn't scare them; they find it fun — until 9th grade. That's when most of us take our first biology class and everything changes. That's when we learn, not because we choose to, but because we know it might be on The Test, and too often, curiosity gets replaced by fear.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Believing Brain

Monday, August 29, 2011

Psychologist, historian of science, and skeptic Michael Shermer explains his theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished—from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. His book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths examines how humans form beliefs about the world. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them.

Comments [36]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Cephalopods and Sea Creatures

Friday, August 26, 2011

You may have spent time at the beach this summer, watching the waves and swimming in the surf, but on this week’s Please Explain, we're going below the surface to look at some of the creatures that live on the ocean floor—cuttlefish, squid, and octopus. Roger Hanlon senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and Ellen Prager, formerly the chief scientist at Aquarius Reef Base in Florida and author of Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime join us to talk about these creatures and their amazing abilities to camouflage themselves.

Watch this amazing video of an octopus shot by Roger Hanlon:

Please Explain: Cephalopods

Comments [11]

The Leonard Lopate Show

What Makes Us Good

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mark Matousek explains why he believes that, contrary to what we've been taught in our reason-obsessed culture, emotions are the foundation of ethical life, and that without emotions, human beings cannot be empathic, moral, or good. In Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good, Matousek examines morality from a scientific, sociological, and anthropological standpoint.

At 19:50 you can hear Leonard's reaction to the earthquake!

Comments [20]

The Leonard Lopate Show

1493 and the New World Columbus Created

Monday, August 15, 2011

Charles Mann explains how Christopher Columbus changed the world when he set foot in the Americas, setting off a series of vast ecological changes as European vessels carried thousands of species across the oceans. 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, is a new history of the Columbian Exchange, the reason there are tomatoes in Italy, oranges in Florida, chocolates in Switzerland, and chili peppers in Thailand, and explains how earthworms, mosquitoes, and cockroaches; honeybees, dandelions, and African grasses; bacteria, fungi, and viruses; and rats were moved across the globe, changing lives and landscapes.

Comments [11]

Radiolab

Damn It, Basal Ganglia

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The basal ganglia is a core part of the brain, deep inside your skull, that helps control movement. Unless something upsets the chain of command. In this short, Jad and Robert meet a young researcher who was studying what happens when the basal ganglia gets short-circuited in mice...until one fateful day, when things got really, really weird.

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Comments [42]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Urban Evolution

Friday, July 29, 2011

Jason Munshi-South, assistant professor at Baruch College, and Rob Dunn, associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University and author of The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today, discuss how cities and urban environments change the animals, insects—and even bacteria—that live within them. They’ll also cover how natural selection and evolution work and how they study it.

Comments [7]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Epigenetics

Monday, July 11, 2011

Richard Francis discusses the new scientific field of epigenetics, the study of how stress in the environment can impact an individual's physiology so deeply that those biological scars actually can be inherited by the next generations. In Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance he explains why researchers believe that epigenetics holds the key to understanding obesity, cancer, Alzheimer's, schizophrenia, autism, and diabetes.

Comments [9]