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Science And Technology

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Top Science Stories of 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Corey S. Powell, editor-in-chief of Discover magazine talks about the best science stories from 2010—from the well-covered oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the undercovered: like boulders that move on their own through the desert and new robot skin.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lauren Redniss discusses the life and work of Marie Curie—a story of science and love. Her illustrated book Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout tells the story of 24-year-old Marie Sklodowska, who moved to Paris and found work in the laboratory of Pierre Curie, whom she soon fell in love with. Together, they discovered two new elements, radium and polonium, recognized radioactivity as an atomic property, and won the Nobel Prize.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Science of Suffering

Monday, December 27, 2010

Melanie Thernstrom talks about pain throughout the ages—from ancient Babylonian pain-banishing spells to modern brain imaging—to reveal the mysterious nature of pain itself. In The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering, she reflects on her own battle with chronic pain, discusses the latest medical research, and gives insights on coping with pain from science, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology, literature, and art.

Comments [4]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: The 2010 Census of Marine Life

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dr. Ron O'Dor, Senior Scientist, Census of Marine Life, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, tells us about the first Census of Marine Life—a 10-year exploration carried out by scientists from 80 nations. It reveals what, where, and how much lives and hides in the world’s oceans. He’ll explain how the census was carried out and what it shows about life under water.

Comments [3]

The Leonard Lopate Show

PCBs at Home and School

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monona Rossol, industrial hygienist and founder and president of Arts, Crafts & Theater Safety, Inc., and Dr. Robert Herrick, senior lecturer on industrial hygiene, Harvard School of Public Health, discuss the health risks of PCBs in schools, homes, and other buildings.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Wool

Friday, December 17, 2010

This cold weather has caused many of us to pull out our wool sweaters for extra warmth, and for this week’s Please Explain we’re talking about wool—and the process of gathering and using wool, from the sheep to the sweater! Clara Parkes, author of The Knitters Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber and The Knitter's Book of Yarn: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Using, and Enjoying Yarn, and Dr. Christopher Lupton, Professor, The Bill Sims Wool and Mohair Research Laboratory, Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, join us to discuss the subject.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Journey to the Future in Antarctica

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fen Montaigne gives a dramatic account of how Antarctica and its penguins are being affected by climate change. In Fraser’s Penguins: A Journey to the Future in Antarctica, he chronicles the beauty of the wildest place on earth, the lives of the Adélies penguins, and the saga of the discovery of the Antarctic Peninsula, and shows how rising temperatures are swiftly changing the world.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Quest to End Malaria

Monday, December 06, 2010

Bill Shore tells the story of the scientists determined to develop a vaccine for malaria, a feat most tropical disease experts have long considered impossible. In The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria, he looks at the character and moral fiber of people who devote their lives to solving the world’s most pressing and difficult problems, and examines what drives them to persist in their work.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Chasing the Sun

Monday, November 29, 2010

Richard Cohen discusses our relationship with the sun. In Chasing the Sun: The Epic Story of the Star That Gives Us Life, he travels the world to shows that the Sun is present everywhere—in mythology, language, religion, sciences, art, literature, and medicine.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Dirt, Microbes, and the Immune System

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dr. Joel Weinstock, chief of gastroenterology/heptology at Tufts University Medical Center in Boston, explains how microbes and dirt help to improve our immune systems. He discusses his research into how exposure to certain microbes may help us develop resistance to allergies and autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes, asthma, and multiple sclerosis.

Comments [8]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Pain Chronicles

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Melanie Thernstrom talks about pain throughout the ages—from ancient Babylonian pain-banishing spells to modern brain imaging—to reveal the mysterious nature of pain itself. In The Pain Chronicles: Cures, Myths, Mysteries, Prayers, Diaries, Brain Scans, Healing, and the Science of Suffering, she reflects on her own battle with chronic pain, discusses the latest medical research, and gives insights on coping with pain from science, history, religion, philosophy, anthropology, literature, and art.

Comments [20]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Annie Murphy Paul on Fetal Origins

Monday, November 08, 2010

Journalist Annie Murphy Paul discusses the new field of fetal origins—which looks into how the conditions we encountered while developing in the womb before birth influence our health, intelligence, and temperament. In Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, she interviews experts from around the world and explores the history of ideas and the latest scientific discoveries.

Comments [14]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Physics professor James Kakalios explains complicated science through comic books and science fiction. In The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics: A Math-Free Exploration of the Science that Made Our World, he gives the basics of quantum mechanics using the work of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Isaac Asimov, examples from Superman, X-Men, Star Trek, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, and plenty of illustrations.

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The Takeaway

Lessons About Technology and the Amish

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Tech writer and Wired magazine co-founder Kevin Kelly has a new book. It’s called “What Technology Wants” — and even more intriguing than the title are the ideas inside. One chapter in particular that’s been getting a lot of buzz is about Amish hackers. Yes, you read that right: The same Amish famed for their barns and bonnets, in fact, know a thing or two about technology.

Kelly joins us to explain more about that, and some other surprising theories about how technology works, and what it wants.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Murder Room

Monday, November 01, 2010

Bestselling author Mike Capuzzo and detective Willian Fleisher discuss the Vidocq Society—founded by three of the greatest detectives in the world: William Fleisher, Frank Bender, and Richard Walter, in order to bring together forensic investigators to solve cold cases. Capuzzo describes how the group was created and how they work in The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases.

Comments [1]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Oliver Sacks

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Neurologist Oliver Sacks tells stories of people who manage to navigate the world and communicate, despite losing what many consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the ability to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, and to see. In The Mind’s Eye he considers the fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think?

Comments [7]

The Leonard Lopate Show

What Technology Wants

Monday, October 18, 2010

Kevin Kelly, former executive editor of Wired magazine, discusses his brand-new view of technology, and explains how technology can give our lives greater meaning. In What Technology Wants he suggests that technology is a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies, and by aligning ourselves with the long-term imperatives of this near-living system, we can capture its full gifts.

Comments [20]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Psychedelic Drugs

Friday, October 15, 2010

Please Explain takes a look at LSD and psychedelic drugs. Dr. Nicolas Langlitz, assistant professor of Medical Anthropology at the New School, and Dr. Stephen Ross, Assistant Professor at NYU Medical Center, Departments of Psychiatry and In-Patient Service, explain how psychedelic drugs affect the brain, how hallucinogens work, and new research into therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs.

Comments [32]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Tidal Power

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Earlier this week, offshore wind farms got major financial investment from Google and Good Energies. On Backstory, we look at another way to harness the energy of the ocean: tidal power. Paul Jacobson, Ocean Energy Leader for EPRI, a non-profit electricity research company, and Michael Peterson, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine-Orono and leader of the University’s Tidal Power Initiative, join us to explain how the tides can produce electric power.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Uncommon Life of the Common Cold

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jennifer Ackerman explains what a cold is, how it works, and sifts through all the treatments—what works, what doesn't, and what can't hurt. In Ah-choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold, she looks at what scientists have learned over the past decade about cold viruses, what they do to the human body, and how symptoms can be addressed, and looks at current research, in the hopes of finding a cure for the common cold.

Comments [21]