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Science And Technology

The Leonard Lopate Show

Oxytocin: The Moral Molecule

Monday, May 14, 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

The War on Cancer

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Robin Hesketh, professor in the department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, gives a history the science of cancer and the medical advances made over the decades. In Betrayed by Nature: The War on Cancer, he leads a tour of human biology to show what happens to the body when the disease develops and how it’s treated.

Comments [12]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Bioluminescence

Friday, May 04, 2012

John Sparks, associate curator and curator-in-charge, department of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History, and David Gruber, assistant professor at the City University of New York and a research associate at the museum, discuss the variety of bioluminescent organisms—from fungus to dinoflagellates to jellyfish—and explain the various ways they glow, the functions of bioluminescence, and how scientists study it. The exhibition Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence is on view at the American Museum of Natural History through January 6, 2013.

Comments [9]

The Leonard Lopate Show

DNA USA

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Geneticist Bryan Sykes discusses examining America, one of the most genetically diverse countries in the world, through its DNA, and what it says about how we perceive race. His book DNA USA: A Genetic Portrait of America takes readers on a historical genetic tour, interviewing genealogists, geneticists, anthropologists, and everyday Americans about their ancestral stories.

Comments [25]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Movie Special Effects

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dr. Doug Roble, the Creative Director of Software at Digital Domain, the multiple Academy Award-winning visual effects studio in Venice, California, talks about the history of special effects in filmmaking and explains the art and science of creating them.   

Comments [17]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Deep Sea Exploration

Friday, April 13, 2012

David Gallo, Director of Special Projects at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, talks about the mission to map the Titanic wreck, and other underwater expeditions, such as the search for Air France flight 447. He explains how scientists explore the ocean and what they’ve found.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Dick Teresi on the Blurring Line Between Life and Death

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Science writer Dick Teresi examines why what we think of as life and death, consciousness and nonconsciousness, is not exactly clear, and he looks at how this problem has been complicated by the business of organ harvesting. His book is The Undead: Organ Harvesting, the Ice-Water Test, Beating Heart Cadavers—How Medicine Is Blurring the Line Between Life and Death.

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The Takeaway

Behind the Scenes at Orbital's Launch Facility

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SpaceX and Orbital will be the first private companies to fly missions to the International Space Station. The two companies have multi-billion dollar contracts to supply cargo to the station after the NASA shuttle program shut down. BBC's science reporter Neil Bowdler was granted exclusive access to Orbital's launch facilities in Virginia.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Satellites

Friday, April 06, 2012

For this week's Please Explain, Jonathan McDowell, astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Boston, and Laura Grego, senior scientist in the Global Security Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, tell us how satellites are designed, launched, and how they to make things like GPS and cable television possible. 

Comments [10]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Age of Insight

Monday, April 02, 2012

Nobel Prize-winner Eric Kandel traces the ideas and advances made by the intellectual pioneers in Vienna in 1900–Freud, Schnitzler, Klimt, Kokoschka, and Schiele. His new book The Age of Insight places these five innovators in the context of today’s cutting-edge science, and gives us a new understanding of modernist art and a foundation for future work in neuroscience and the humanities.

Comments [33]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Masters of the Planet

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Paleontologist Ian Tattersall discusses the wide range of other early humans and looks at why homo sapiens were vaulted forward. Masters of the Planet explains the physical traits and cognitive abilities that made homo sapiens stand apart and thrive.

Comments [8]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Cambodia's Fight Against Drug-Resistant Malaria

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In late 2008, researchers found a strain of malaria that was resistant to a drug that held had promise for eliminating malaria in western Cambodia. Matthew Power, a contributing editor to Harper’s Magazine, explains why officials are now trying to contain the region – and why that containment strategy is almost impossible to implement. His article, “Slipping Through the Net” is in the April issue of Harper’s.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The New Rules of Innovation

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vijay Vaitheeswaran, correspondent for the Economist, discusses why the benefits of globalization haven’t been shared fairly among all people, and comes up with some ideas for how they can be. His book Need, Speed, and Greed: How the New Rules of Innovation Can Transform Businesses, Propel Nations to Greatness, and Tame the World's Most Wicked Problems investigates how the extraordinary benefits of the innovation revolution be shared more equitably among all of society.

Comments [21]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Divided Brain

Friday, March 16, 2012

Iain McGilchrist, a former consultant psychiatrist, looks at why the brain is divided into two hemispheres. In his book, The Master and His Emissary, he draws on case histories and other brain research to show how different the right and left sides of our brains are, what each side helps us do, and why the left hemisphere is taking more precedence in the modern world.

Comments [23]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: The Science of Taste

Friday, March 16, 2012

Barb Stuckey, professional food developer and author of Taste What You're Missing: The Passionate Eater's Guide to Why Good Food Tastes Good, explains the science of taste, and shows how our individual biology, genetics, and brain create a personal experience of everything we taste.

Comments [21]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Building the First Computers

Thursday, March 15, 2012

George Dyson discusses the men and women, led by John von Neumann at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, who built one of the first computers. In Turing’s Cathedral, Dyson shows how their work would break the distinction between numbers that mean things and numbers that do things—and our universe would never be the same.

 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Spring Allergies Coming on Strong

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The warm winter and an early spring mean that trees are shedding pollen unusually early this year. And that means you can expect severe spring allergies. Dr. David Resnick, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics in the Allergy and Immunology Department at Columbia University Medical Center, joins us now to talk about what to expect this year and how to treat it.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Norovirus

Friday, March 09, 2012

Please Explain is all about the Norovirus, which is the leading cause of outbreaks of food-borne illness. We'll speak with Dr. Aaron Margolin and Dr. Christine Moe.

 

 

Comments [53]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Neil deGrasse Tyson on NASA and Space

Monday, March 05, 2012

Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses NASA and the future of space travel, now that NASA has put human space flight on hold. In Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier , he shares his thoughts on topics from the missteps that shaped the recent history of space travel to how aliens, if they existed, might go about finding us.

 

Comments [16]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Underreported: Thorium Reactors

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Journalist Richard Martin discusses thorium as a potential nuclear fuel and looks at the efforts to promote it as a new form of green energy.

Comments [20]