Science And Technology
Friday, October 08, 2010
Colin Henderson, associate professor at the University of Montana's College of Technology, discusses the team of military scientists and entomologists who have discovered a new suspected cause of colony collapse syndrome. Over the past four years, 20 to 40 percent of bee colonies in the United States have suffered from colony collapse. He'll explain the team's research and findings.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill trace the long overlooked history of mercury poisoning. In their book, The Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic, they write about how mercury has been used in medicine, and why it's one of the earth's most toxic substances. They present their findings about the link between mercury and illness, and investigate how chemical and environmental clues may be overlooked by medical experts.
Friday, October 01, 2010
Rubber is all around us: from sneakers to tires to basketballs. On today’s Please Explain, we'll find out where rubber comes from, how it’s created and used, and how it changed the world. We're joined by John Loadman, analytical chemist and author of Tears of the Tree: The Story of Rubber--A Modern Marvel, and Joe Jackson, author of The Thief at the End of the World: Rubber, Power, and the Seeds of Empire.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Journalist Annie Murphy Paul discusses the new field of fetal origins—which looks into how the conditions we encountered 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.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Dr. Devra Davis, founding director of the toxicology and environmental studies board at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, discusses the recent and long-suppressed research on the dangers of cell phone radiation. In Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family, Davis reveals the dark side of these ubiquitous gadgets and the trillion-dollar industry behind them.
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Concerns about the effects of the chemical bisphenol-A have grown in recent years. The chemcial can be found in the linings of cans and is used to make plastic bottles and containers. Half a dozen states have already banned it from children's products over fears that BPA mimics the effects of hormones. But the scientific community has not come to a clear consensus on how BPA affects human beings. Denise Grady, reporter for The New York Times, explains that the fight over what to do about BPA is now becoming political.
Friday, September 03, 2010
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in North America, and the number of reported cases has been steadily climbing over the last decade. We’re joined by Brian Fallon, associate professor of clinical psychiatry and director of the Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center at Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Carolyn Britton, associate professor of clinical neurology at Columbia University Medical Center, and chief neurologist for the Lyme research studies conducted by Columbia’s Lyme and Tick-borne Diseases Research Center. They’ll discuss how the disease is spread, diagnosed, and treated, and how we can protect ourselves while we’re outside this summer.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Hurricane Katrina fundamentally changed the landscape of New Orleans and radically altered the way the federal government responds to natural disasters. It also changed the way scientists study hurricanes—what factors they consider and where research funds are directed. Atmospheric scientists James Kossin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology, explain and look ahead to how we're preparing for Hurricane Earl.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Heidi Cullen, senior research scientist with Climate Central, looks at climate change not just as an event set to happen in the distant future, but as something happening right now. Her book The Weather of the Future: The Weather of the Future: Heat Waves, Extreme Storms, and Other Scenes from a Climate-Changed Planet, combines the latest research from scientists on the ground, with state-of-the-art climate-model projections in order to create climate-change scenarios for seven of the most at-risk locations around the world—from the Central Valley of California to Greenland.
Friday, August 27, 2010
As summer nears its close, many of us are flying away to get our last taste of summer vacation, but nothing ruins a good jaunt to Europe like a bout of jet lag. In fact, jet lag was once considered such a problem that Congress set up a special unit at NASA devoted to studying the condition. Joining us to explain why jet lag occurs and how we can prevent it are Dr. Kevin Gregory, a former scientist at the NASA Jet Lag Center and the current senior scientist at Alertness Solutions Inc., and Dr. David M. Rapoport, Director of the Sleep Medicine Program at NYU Medical School.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
On today's second Underreported segment, Kara Lavender Law and Giora Proskurowski, both oceanographers at the Sea Education Association (SEA), discusses the North Atlantic garbage patch, where plastic bags and bottles form a floating, swirling mass in the ocean. They’ll talk about the 22 years of research on the garbage patch, and new research that shows it hasn’t been growing.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Computers can speak and understand spoken language. They can also convert text to speech, speech to text, and so much more. Julia Hirschberg, Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University, and Steve Lohr, New York Times technology reporter, explain how computers can converse with humans, identify voices and dialects, detect deception, recognize human emotions, and generate images to illustrate text.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Nina Fascione, Executive Director of Bat Conservation International, discusses new research that predicts regional extinctions of one of the most common bat species, the little brown myotis, within two decades due to White-Nose Syndrome. She’ll explain what White-Nose Syndrome is, the recent study, and efforts being made to save the species.
Friday, August 13, 2010
This week's Please Explain will answer all of our caffeine-related questions, from whether or not we should drink coffee before we run a marathon to how caffeine differs from other stimulants. Bennett Alan Weinberg, co-author of the book The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug, explains how the world's most popular drug affects us.
Do you have a question about how caffeine affects you? Ask it as a comment!
Tuesday, August 10, 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.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Friends, family members, work colleagues, and salespeople lie to us all the time. Pamela Meyer reveals how to recognize lies by using techniques used in the intelligence community and police, and new research. Her book Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, explains facial recognition and interrogation training, and discusses research in the field to help business leaders, and others, detect deception.
Friday, August 06, 2010
This summer’s high temperatures have brought headaches and heat advisories. On today’s Please Explain, we’re taking a look at some of the health risks that extreme heat brings—from dehydration to heat stroke. Dr. Susi Vassallo, Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, explains how heat affects the body.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Mary Roach explores the strange universe of space travel. In Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void, she looks at the science of preparing for life in space—a world devoid of the things we need to survive: air, gravity, hot showers, and fresh foods. She investigates what happens if you vomit in your helmet during a space walk and if its possible for the human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Monona Rossol, chemist and industrial hygienist, talks about the Toxic Chemicals Safety Act currently before Congress and what changes it calls for. She'll also take calls and answer questions about the safetly of household chemicals.
Do you have a question about the safety of household chemicals? Leave a comment below!
Monday, August 02, 2010
Siobhan O’Connor and Alexandra Spunt explain what kinds of chemicals and toxins are found in beauty products—from self-tanner to shampoo to face cream. In No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products—and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics, they reveal that many of those unpronounceable ingredients are not regulated, and the term “natural” doesn’t mean what you think it does. They also recommend the safest, most effective products on the market and simple home recipes.