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Science And Technology

The Takeaway

Introducing Air-Purifying Pavement

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What if a city's concrete roadways doubled as an air freshener? That's the dream of a group of Dutch scientists who have developed a product they describe as "air-purifying pavement." Jos Brouwers, Professor at Eindhoven University of Technology is part of the team of working on this technology. He tells The Takeaway how the ground we walk on could help clean the air we breath.

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Arthur C. Clarke Dabbles in Science Nonfiction and Speculates About Space Travel

Monday, August 20, 2012

WNYC

"Around the close of this century." That is when distinguished author, scientist, and visionary Arthur C. Clarke, in this 1954 appearance at a Books and Authors Luncheon, predicts man will break free of Earth and fly to the moon. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Sports, Concussions, and Brain Trauma

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

John Branch, New York Times sports reporter and author of the three-part series “Punched Out: The Life and Death of a Hockey Enforcer,” about Derek Boogaard, a professional hockey player; Alan Schwarz, New York Times education reporter and formerly a sports reporter whose coverage of concussions in sports was nominated for a Pulitzer prize; and Dr. Robert Cantu, neurosurgeon and co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine, discussing the link between contact sports, concussions, and degenerative brain conditions.

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1964 World's Fair Hall of Science

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Seven years after Sputnik 1 was launched into orbit, and just six weeks after the U.S. space probe Ranger 7 sent back the first close range photos of the moon, civic leaders and Nobel Laureates gathered in Flushing Meadow, Queens, on a hot September day in 1964 to dedicate the World's Fair Hall of Sciences as a permanent structure committed to science education and exploration in New York City.

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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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Headlines in Chemistry, 1948

Monday, March 28, 2011

“Headlines in Chemistry” premiered on WNYC in 1947. Produced in cooperation with the American Chemical Society’s News Service, the show aimed to "present a program of interest to the lay public on the latest scientific developments in the chemical fields." Within four years the show was carried on about 80 stations nationwide [1], and by 1952 it was "beamed overseas in 42 languages [2].”

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The Takeaway

James Gleick's Information Overload

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We commonly describe the time we live in as “the information age.” More dramatically, some, like Eric Schmidt of Google, say we’re in the midst of an “information explosion.” But what, exactly, is information? Is it an idea? The documentation of an idea? James Gleick explores these questions in his new book “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood.” He joins us from Tampa, Florida.

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The Takeaway

Move Over Ken Jennings, IBM's Watson Is Here

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Watson, a computer designed over the course of four years, costing hundreds of millions of dollars, will be one of the three contestants on "Jeopardy!" next week. The IBM machine is designed to decipher English-language clues and then search more than half-million books for the answer; and it does it all under three seconds.  

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The Takeaway

Kodachrome Film Era Comes to an End

Thursday, December 30, 2010

After 75 years, the era of processing Kodak's iconic color film will come to an end. Only one Kodachrome processing machine in the world remains in public use, and by the close of business today, it will be shut down for the final time. Though not without a mad rush in the last months from photographers around the world who wanted their last rolls developed. The machine sits in Dwayne’s Photo, a family-run business located in Parsons, Kansas. We talk with the store's general manager, Grant Steinly, about the end of the Kodachrome era.

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The Takeaway

The Evolution of the MIT Media Lab

Friday, October 15, 2010

John is broadcasting from our partner station, WGBH, in Boston today. He's there to take part in the celebrations surrounding the 25th anniversary of the MIT Media Lab. 

Over the years a long list of new computer and digital technologies were developed there. Since then the lab has also become hugely prolific developer of medical technologies. Researchers at the lab have worked on projects as abstract as figuring out how to improve health care record keeping and as concrete as how to hybridize robotic technologies with prosthetics to improve the lives of veterans and civilians who've lost limbs.

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The Takeaway

The End: How Much is Left?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Is it the end of the world as we know it? This year, we’ve seen terrible flooding, glaciers melting, and deep oil wells breaking. In light of these catastrophic events, we're launching a series this week about whether our modern age is coming to an end along with our friends at Scientific American.

For the first installment of the series, we talk with Michael Moyer, staff editor for Scientific American, about the world's dwindling resources. He recently wrote about this in his article, "How Much is Left?"

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The Takeaway

Your Brain Unwired

Monday, August 16, 2010

In our world where BlackBerries, cell phones, laptop computers and other digital devices rarely provide an escape from constant communication, it's often more difficult to disconnect than stay connected. But, as Matt Richtel writes in today's New York Times, one group of five neuroscientists successfully separated themselves from technology to enter the wilderness and study how the heavy and consistent use of digital devices affect the brain.

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The Takeaway

In the Works: Car for the Blind

Monday, July 05, 2010

Blind people and advocates for the blind liken it to walking on the moon: The National Federation of the Blind has joined forces with Virginia Tech to create a car that could be driven by passengers who do not have the use of their sight. The car, slated at this point for a 2011 release, uses hand sensors, speaking computer directives and other forms of cutting-edge technology to aid their visibility-challenged drivers.

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The Takeaway

Scientists Explore Benefits of Hallucinogens for Psychological Disorders

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The use of hallucinogens such as 'ecstasy' or mushrooms to address psychological disorders tends to be met with opposition and an automatic association with the drug culture of the 1960s. But scientists from around the world will gather this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic drugs to be held in the U.S. in four decades. They will discuss whether these drugs can help patients suffering from depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and other psychological problems.

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The Takeaway

Court Says Company Cannot Patent Human Gene

Thursday, April 01, 2010

More than 4,300 human genes have been patented by private companies or academics. But yesterday, a Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that Myriad, a biopharmaceutical company, could no longer hold the patent on several genes, including two that are closely associated with breast and ovarian cancer. The ruling has reignited an ethical debate over whether a gene - something that exists naturally and in every human - can become intellectual property. 

 

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The Takeaway

No Lack of Spirit for 'Spirit' as Mars Rover Struggles

Monday, January 04, 2010

The Mars rover "Spirit" has overcome many mechanical problems since it landed on the red planet six years ago for what was scheduled to be a 90-day mission. There have been computer failures, terrain trouble, and now, Spirit is stuck in a Martian crater, though still taking measurements. Engineers are trying to find a way to get the rover free while its sister, "Opportunity," rolls happily along on the other side of the planet. We speak with Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator on the Mars Rover Exploration mission and a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

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The Takeaway

'Sexting,' Cyberbullying and Other Digital Dangers

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This week Facebook announced the formation of a new Safety Advisory Board to monitor online crimes, such as cyber-bullying and stalking.  That announcement got us thinking about the people most likely to use those sites, and the most vulnerable to those crimes: teenagers. 

The issue becomes even more serious when you consider the statistics.  According to a new survey conducted by MTV and the Associated Press, almost half of sexually active young people report being involved in sexting, or sending nude photos of themselves or their sexual partners via cell phone.

 Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist at The Pew Research Center’s The Internet and American Life Project and Bryan Taylor, Unit Chief for Crimes Against Persons in the Canyon County Prosecutors Office, say that these digital-world problems are on the rise and educating kids about them is the only way to prepare them.

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The Takeaway

Food Gifts Your Friends Will Eat Up

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The holidays are upon us.  If your friends or family love food as much as we do, you might want to consider some really cool gift options that everyone will want to eat up.  Takeaway food contributor Kathy Gunst says there are plenty of reasonably priced kitchen gadgets and ways to spice up your friend's relationship to food, without breaking the bank this holiday season.

Click through to read Kathy's great gift ideas, and check out the recipe for her sister Andrea's Chocolate-Dipped Butter Crunch (which also makes a great homemade holiday gift!)

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The Takeaway

Gone Beyond the Veil, But Still Online

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Facebook recently began offering memorial pages for website users who have passed away, allowing users to have a digital presence even after they die. It made us wonder: what happens to all those emails, pictures, and videos you've put on the web when you're no longer there to pay the monthly fees, and no one knows your password? Tech blogger Corvida Raven, from the She-geeks blog, says everyone should have a plan to pass on access to their online identity.  So does Jeremy Toeman, who started a company that helps you keep track of all your online accounts and will inform your loved ones of your passwords after you die.

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The Takeaway

Apple Pie: From Tried and True to Vodka, Too

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

As the weather gets colder, our ovens get hotter! As you get ready to plan your holiday menus, we thought we'd give you a primer on the best secrets, recipes and strategies to making a truly fabulous apple pie. Jack Bishop, editorial director for America's Test Kitchen, says vodka is a suprisingly important ingredient in his apple pie repertoire. But he also gives us a recipe that celebrates the simplicity of the good, old-fashioned American dessert. (Click through for an assortment of apple pie recipes from America's Test Kitchen and White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses.)

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