Science And Technology
Friday, July 30, 2010
Deirdre Barrett, assistant clinical professor of psychology in Harvard Medical School’s Psychiatry Department, and Rosalind Cartwright, professor Emeritus in the Division of Neuroscience at Rush University Medical Center, discuss how dreams are studied, what they reveal about us, and what therapies can treat nightmares and other disorders. Dr. Barrett's latest book is Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose, and she's the editor of Trauma and Dreams, and the author of The Committee of Sleep, and Rosalind Cartwright is the author of The Twenty-four our Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives.
Friday, July 23, 2010
There have been many game changing revelations in the history of astronomy which have each, in their own way, irrevocably challenged human's place in the world around us. Ferdinand Magellan's trip around the world confirmed the spherical nature of the earth, a theory that had existed since at least the Third Century, B.C. The Copernican revolution shattered the geo-centric model of the universe, which said the stars and the sun orbited around the earth.
Something that’s been harder to argue is the astronomical uniqueness of the planet we call home. To this day, the common assumption is that the planet earth fits an exceptional number of random criteria that make it suitable for sustaining life. It’s size, density, makeup and distance from the sun are extremely unique. Harvard University astronomer Dimitar Sasselov is challenging that assumption.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Friday, July 16, 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 Dr. 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, July 15, 2010
Robert Kane Pappas, director of the documentary “To Age or Not to Age,” and Dr. Leonard Guarente, featured in the film, talk about how pioneers in the field of anti-aging research are finding ways to postpone and even mitigate diseases tied to aging.
Friday, July 09, 2010
Leaves of three, let them be! Today’s Please Explain is all about poisonous plants. We're joined by Dr. Michael J. Balick, Vice President for Botanical Science and Director and Philecology Curator at The New York Botanical Garden Institute of Economic Botany, and Dr. Lewis Nelson, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at New York University School of Medicine, and Director of the Fellowship in Medical Toxicology at New York University School of Medicine and the New York City Poison Control Center.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Geneticist Dr. Harmit Malik, Associate Member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute in Seattle, and Assistant Professor of Genome Sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine, explains his work in paleovirology. He was awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise, which is given to immigrants age 38 or younger. He also won the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from President Obama.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Algorithms are used to solve problems. They’re used in math, computer programming, and on Wall Street, but we also use algorithms to tie our shoes or to bake a loaf of bread. On this week’s Please Explain, Daniel Bienstock, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, at Columbia University, and Harry Lewis, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, tell us what algorithms are and how they work to solve problems both simple and complex. Harry Lewis is the author of Blown to Bits and Excellence without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future.
Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion
Thursday, June 24, 2010
The emerging field of environmental forensics may be the best way to determine the impact that the oil spill will have on the gulf coast. Merv Fingas, former Chief of the Emergencies Science Division of Environment Canada, is a leader in the field and will explain what chemical fingerprinting is and how it can help us understand what will happen in the Gulf.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Two recent studies published in Science reveal that baby rats have a basic spatial framework in their brains that help them navigate when they leave the nest for the first time, proving that a sense of direction is innate, not learned. John O'Keefe, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University College London, joins us to explain one study and what it can show us about an innate sense of direction in humans.
A recent study reveals that baby rats have a basic spatial framework in their brains that help them navigate when they leave the nest for the first time, proving that a sense of direction is innate, not learned. John O’Keefe, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University College London, joins us to explain the study and what it can show us about an innate sense of direction in humans.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Jonathan Weiner talks about the quest for eternal youth and the scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs who believe that human immortality is not only possible, but attainable in our own time. In Long for this World: The Strange Science of Immortality, Weiner meets the leading intellectuals in the field and delves into the science behind the latest research.
Friday, June 18, 2010
In the last quarter century, research into HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—has come a long way, but not far enough. Dr. Jay A. Levy, Director of the Laboratory for Tumor and AIDS Virus Research at the University of California, San Francisco, and Dr. Robert C. Gallo, Director of the Institute of Human Virology and Division of Basic Science at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, discuss the historical scientific breakthroughs, what the latest research is finding, and how far we have to go before a vaccine or cure for HIV/AIDS is developed.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Batteries help power our world. They’re in everything from watches to iPods to smoke detectors to electric cars. On today’s edition of Please Explain, we’ll find out what they’re made of and how they work. We're joined by Jeremy P. Meyers, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science & Engineering, University of Texas at Austin; and M. Stanley Whittingham, Professor of Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering, and Director, Institute for Materials Research, SUNY at Binghamton.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
If you only know one thing about Neil deGrasse Tyson (The Director of the Hayden Planetarium at The American Museum of Natural History ) it is probably that he was the man who outraged a lot of people when he demoted Pluto—it’s not a planet anymore.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Megan Prelinger discusses aerospace industry ads from the golden age of science fiction—the 1950s and early 1960s—when the farthest reaches of imagination were fed by the technological breakthroughs of the postwar years. Her book Another Science Fiction presents nearly 200 entertaining, intriguing, and inspiring pieces of space-age eye candy.
Friday, April 30, 2010
On today’s show, we’ll get a comprehensive history of anti-Semitism in England—from the expulsion of Jews by King Edward I up through today. Then, film scholar Juan Salas talks about his discovery of "With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain," an 18-minute film by Henri Cartier-Bresson (excerpted below).