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Science And Technology

The Takeaway

A Journey through the Human Brain with Guilio Tononi

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The human brain and our consciousness — they have been mystical and exotic topics that many a scientist has tried again and again to understand.  Neuroscientist Guilio Tononi, a psychiatrist at the University of Wisconsin, is one of these scientists.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Watching What Your Eyes Are Watching

Monday, August 06, 2012

Dr. Michel Wedel, Pepsico Professor of Consumer Science Department of Marketing Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and Scott Young, president of Perception Research Services, will discuss the new retina-tracking technology and marketing strategies being used to boost in-store sales by monitoring what catches customers' attention. They’ll look at how this new technology influences customers’ buying decisions.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: The Higgs Boson

Friday, July 20, 2012

Early this month, researchers at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, announced that they found convincing evidence of a new particle called the Higgs boson. Sometimes called the “god particle,” the Higgs boson gives mass to the elementary particles that make up the universe. Brian Greene, Professor of Mathematics and Physics and author of The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos, and The Hidden Reality, and Kyle Cranmer, Assistant Professor of Physics at New York University, help us decipher what the Higgs is and why it matters, and explain how the Large Hadron Collider works.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Fred Guterl on the Fate of the Species

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fred Guterl, executive editor of Scientific American, argues that the sixth "mass extinction event" in the planet’s history is currently under way, cause by our own inventions. In The Fate of the Species: Why the Human Race May Cause Its Own Extinction and How We Can Stop It he explores the scenarios of rising sea levels, extinction, and epidemic diseases, and then looks at how technology can help us survive.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Moral Molecule: Oxytocin

Friday, July 06, 2012

Paul Zak tells us about oxytocin, a chemical messenger that accounts for why some people are generous, trustworthy, and faithful and others aren’t. His book The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity looks at decades of research on what oxytocin is and how it works.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: The Human Microbiome Project

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dr. Lita Proctor, program director for the Human Microbiome Project, and Dr. Martin Blaser, Professor of Internal Medicine and of Professor of Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine, talk about the 100 trillion good bacteria that live in the human body and the five-year federal project to sequence the genetic material of the bacteria taken from 250 healthy individuals. They’ll explain what they found, how healthy bacteria works in the body, and why it’s important for good health.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Elusive Giant Squid

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dr. Joy Reidenberg talks about one of the most elusive and mysterious creatures on earth, the giant squid. The documentary “Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid” follows Dr. Reidenberg and a team of scientists as they investigate the sea creature, which has a razor sharp beak, teeth on its tentacles and tongue, a throat that dives through the middle of its brain and three hearts that power blue blood through a muscle filled jet-propulsion cloak. “Inside Nature’s Giants: Giant Squid” airs on WNET June 23.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Magic and the Mind

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Alex Stone tells of his quest to join the ranks of master magicians and explains magic’s connection to psychology, neuroscience, physics, history, and even crime. Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks, and the Hidden Powers of the Mind looks at the world of magic and uncovers a wealth of insight into human nature and the nature of perception.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Peter Piot's Pursuit of Deadly Viruses

Monday, June 18, 2012

Peter Piot talks about his career in microbiology, from studying the Ebola virus to pioneering AIDS research and policy. As founder and director of UNAIDS, he negotiated policies with leaders from Fidel Castro to Thabo Mbeki and helped turn the tide of the AIDS epidemic. His book No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses captures the urgency and excitement of being on the front lines in the fight against today’s deadliest diseases.

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The Takeaway

Promoting a Culture of Science in the United States

Monday, June 18, 2012

There are many stereotypes associated with the sciences, including the ideas that scientific fields are out-of-reach, too intellectual, or exclusively for men and academia. The outgoing president of M.I.T. discusses these problems and says that the United States must create a culture of the sciences in order to generate interest in the masses.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Massive Algae Bloom Found Under Arctic Ice

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scientists recently made an unlikely discovery under thinning arctic ice: a massive algae bloom. Kevin Arrigo, a biological oceanographer at Stanford University who led the NASA-sponsored mission that discovered the algae, explains how it changes our thinking about arctic ecosystems and how they’re responding to climate change.

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The Takeaway

How Big Data Can Solve Big Problems

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yesterday Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Andrew Rasiej discussed how political campaigns have been using data mining to target campaign ads. Now other experts are using data to give us information on everything from medicine, to our ancestry, to the state of traffic on Los Angeles’s busy highways.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Alan Alda and Dr. Harold Varmus on the World Science Festival

Friday, June 01, 2012

Alan Alda and Dr. Harold Varmus discuss the 2012 World Science Festival, May 30 – June 3. The Foundation’s mission is to cultivate a general public informed by science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Vitamins

Friday, June 01, 2012

Patsy Brannon, Professor of Nutrition, Cornell University explains what vitamins do and which are most important.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Journey to the Center of the Internet

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Journalist Andrew Blum explains what and where the Internet is physically. His book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet tells the story of the Internet's physical infrastructure and chronicles the its development, explains how it works, and takes an in-depth look inside its hidden monuments.

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The Takeaway

Cyber Security Experts Discover "Flame," The Newest, Best Way to Spy on a Country

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Moscow-based cyber security team has discovered the most advanced computer program for spying ever – they say a nation wrote it to spy on the Middle East, though they don't know which nation specifically. They’re calling it “Flame.” Roel Schouwenberg, a senior policy analyst for Kaspersky Labs, the company that discovered Flame, explains exactly what makes this worm so special. And Kim Zetter, a senior writer at Wired Magazine, discusses what this means for the future of espionage and security.

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The Takeaway

Mae Jemison's Quest to Take us All into Space

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Few on our planet know what it might take to launch civilians into space, and Mae Jemison is one of them. Jemison famously became the first black woman to travel in space when she boarded the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Today, she’s helped found the Dorothy Jemison Foundation, an organization dedicated to creating a space program for civilians within the next 100 years. 

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Saint Paul Sunday

Revisiting the Science of Creativity with Jonah Lehrer

Monday, May 28, 2012

This week we're revisiting some of the best Takeaway interviews from the last year. Here, John talks with Jonah Lehrer, science journalist and author of "Imagine: How Creativity Works," about what made some of history's most creative minds tick. They'll discuss W.H. Auden's drug of choice and why Skype hasn't replaced the face-to-face encounter.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

China Airborne

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

James Fallows discusses China’s plan to expand its airlines, build more airports, and jump-start its aerospace industry. In China Airborne, he shows the extraordinary scale of this project and explains why it is a crucial test case for China’s hopes for modernization and innovation in other industries.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Drones

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nick Paumgarten, staff writer for The New Yorker, explains what drones are, how they work, and the technological advancements that are making drones more prevalent in military and civilian life. He’s the author of “Here’s Looking at You” in the May 14 issue of The New Yorker.

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