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Life Science

The Brian Lehrer Show

Fisher and Friends: Wildlife in New York City

Monday, June 30, 2014

A "fisher" has been spotted in the Bronx. It's an animal related to the weasel, and thought to no longer live in this area after over-hunting in the 1600s. Leslie Day, New York City naturalist, environment and life science educator at The Elisabeth Morrow School, adjunct faculty member at Bank Street College of Education and the author of Field Guide to the Natural World of New York City (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) talks about wildlife in NYC, including what it means that the fisher is back.

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New Tech City

Genspace Brings DIY Biolab to Brooklyn

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

At the Genspace community biolab in Downtown Brooklyn, citizen scientists are coming together to explore the basics of biology — and maybe discover something that will transform our lives.

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New Tech City

Grossology, Tolerant Taxis + Smart Bikes

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Experiments in the life sciences, taxi technology and bike sharing are helping regular people do DIY scientific research and transform the way they get around. 

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The Takeaway

Musician plays through "open-head" surgery

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

For nearly 15 years, musician Eddie Adcock suffered from a tremor in his hand that nearly derailed his career as a banjo player. Then, in August, Adcock underwent surgery on his brain. And while doctors were operating, Eddie was doing what he loves best — playing the banjo.

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The Takeaway

From survival of the fittest to survival of all: Is evolution over?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

As medicine, technology and culture advance, we’ve gone from survival of the fittest to survival of just about everyone. Evolution is about weeding out the weak and ensuring that the strong survive. But geneticist Steve Jones thinks our advances have effectively put an end to natural selection.

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The Takeaway

Biologists are using giant tortoise DNA to bring an extinct turtle back from the dead

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Down in the Galapagos, a long extinct sea turtle may be resurrected from the dead. An international team of researchers has found that a living breed of tortoise carries some of the same genes as an extinct type of turtle. Now, scientists are hatching a plan to bring the extinct Darwinian tortoise back to life.

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The Takeaway

What happens when you die? UK researchers study near-death experiences

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We may know a lot about what happens to the body when we die, but what about the mind? Researchers are trying to find out, carrying out the world's largest scientific study in near-death experiences.

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The Takeaway

Abiraterone shows promise in prostate cancer fight, Dimebon for Alzheimer’s

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A 21-patient study has shown that the drug abiraterone can stop the testosterone that feeds prostate cancer. A larger international clinical trial is underway to test the drug before it can be deemed a "miracle drug." Also, Dimebon, once used as an antihistamine, has been found to improve cognitive abilities for Alzheimer’s patients, though researchers aren't yet sure how.

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The Takeaway

Thinking outside the embryo

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Since 2001, when a federal funding freeze crippled research into the use of human embryonic stem cells to treat a host of congenital and degenerative conditions, molecular biologists have searched for a viable alternative. Now, they may have found a way. By reprogramming adult skin cells, researchers have produced stem cells that bypass the political and ethical stumbling blocks. But all is not perfect. In recent studies, the cells produced tumors in mice.

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The Takeaway

Iraqi bacteria, the unforeseen enemy

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

There is a new enemy on the battlefields of Iraq and it's too small to be seen. It's Acinetobacter baumannii, a drug-resistant killer microbe.

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The Takeaway

DNA testing: The California spit wars

Monday, June 23, 2008

The California Public Health Department has halted the work of 13 genetic testing companies, barring them from selling tests without a doctor’s orders. Today the companies must detail how they’ll “prevent further violation of California state laboratory law” to the health department. The Takeaway talks with Wired's Alexis Madrigal about the intertwined issues of privacy and public health, and whether there’s a potential health benefit from barring individuals from their own genetic information.

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The Takeaway

Neurotransmitter-of-the-month oxytocin could play role in parenting behavior

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dutch researchers published a study that suggests our genes may determine our parenting behavior. They found a correlation between nurturing behaviors and particular genetic variations. The finding highlights the role of serotonin and oxytocin in healthy human relationships.

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