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Science And Technology

The Takeaway

Scientists Invent the World's Darkest Material

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Batman, Coco Chanel, and Johnny Cash all had a thing for classic black. But a new material is so strikingly dark, it makes these icons look like they're wearing faded gray. Vantablack is a color the human eye has never seen before.

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The Takeaway

Developing Innovative Ways to Fund Science

Friday, January 17, 2014

On the surface, crowdfunding science research provides an opportunity to close the divide between the scientists and the general public. But how effective are these efforts? Heather Goldstone, science editor with our partner WGBH, has been reporting on new crowdsourcing in scientific funding. Ralph Keeling, director of the Scripps CO2 and O2 programs at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is also tapping the power of crowdfunding. He joins The Takeaway to explain his efforts to help fund his work.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

America's Forgotten Nuclear Legacy

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

John Emshwiller, the lead reporter on the Wall Street Journal’s year-long investigation on a nuclear cleanup effort, discusses the enormous job of cleaning up job of nuclear contamination that occurred during the Cold War—Waste Lands: America's Forgotten Nuclear Legacy. Residue, left by the routine processing as well as the occasional mishandling of nuclear material, exists in almost three dozen states. Emshwiller discusses how those cleanup efforts have been carried out and what the public knows about them.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Central Park Bioblitz

Thursday, October 31, 2013

On August 26 and 27th, scientists and students descended on Central Park and worked around the clock to tally the species of flora and fauna found there. Called the Bioblitz, this census was developed by the Central Park Conservancy and Macaulay Honor College at CUNY to measure the park’s biodiversity. ...

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The Leonard Lopate Show

J. Craig Venter on Synthetic Genomics and the Future

Monday, October 21, 2013

Renowned scientist J. Craig Venter explains the new field of synthetic genomics, detailing its origins, current challenges and controversies, and projected effects on our lives. In 2010, scientists led by Venter became the first to successfully create “synthetic life,” and  he looks at how it can lead to chemical and energy generation, health, clean water and food production, and possibly even our own evolution. In Life at the Speed of Light, Venter presents a study of this emerging field from the inside.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Craig Venter on Synthetic Genomics; Director Costa-Gavras; Boz Scaggs on "Memphis"; Peter Carey

Monday, October 21, 2013

Craig Venter was the first person to sequence the human genome. On today’s show: He talks about creating life in the new field of synthetic genomics. Oscar-winning director Costa-Gavras discusses “Capital,” his fast-paced film set in the high-stakes world of global finance. Boz Scaggs on his new album, “Memphis,” which is a kind of love letter to that city. Peter Carey joins us for this month’s Book Club! We’ve been reading his 1988 Booker Prize-winning novel, Oscar and Lucinda.

 

The Leonard Lopate Show

“Symphony of the Soil”

Friday, October 11, 2013

Producer and director Deborah Koons Garcia and scientists Dr. Ignacio Chapela and Dr. Michael Hansen talk about the documentary “Symphony of the Soil,” which explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of some of the world’s most esteemed soil scientists, farmers and activists, it shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth. "Symphony of the Soil" opens on October 11 at the Quad Cinema.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Cloud Seeding

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Writer Ginger Strand explains cloud-seeding, the process of spraying silver iodide into clouds to make it rain. Her article “Silver-Lining Playbook” appears in the Fall 2013 edition of On Earth magazine. She's joined by Jeff Tilley, Desert Research Institute’s director of weather modification.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Richard Dawkins and the Making of a Scientist

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Evolutionary biologist and famous atheist Richard Dawkins discusses his childhood, his intellectual development, and the story of how he came to write The Selfish Gene, considered by many to be one of the most important books of the 20th century. His first memoir, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist is about his childhood in colonial Africa, the beginning of his career as a skeptic in boarding school by refusing to kneel for prayer in chapel, and his intellectual awakening at Oxford.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Calories

Friday, September 20, 2013

Food is measured in calories. People sometimes count calories and cut calories, and this week’s Please Explain is all about what calories are, how they’re measured, how we burn them, and if they differ from food to food. Joining us are: Dr. Kelly D. Brownell, Dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy and Professor of Public Policy at Duke University. And Russell Rising, Research Associate in the Metabolic Laboratory at the Obesity Research Center at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Lasker Award Winners

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lasker Award-winners Richard Scheller and Blake Wilson talk about the research that earned them this coveted science prize this year. Dr. Richard Scheller is receiving an award for discoveries concerning molecular machinery and regulatory mechanism that underlie the rapid release of neurotransmitters, and  Dr. Wilson is receiving an award for the development of the modern cochlear implant, a device that allows individuals with profound deafness to hear.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Antibiotic Resistance

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control's division of health care quality promotion, talks about the CDC’s new report on antibiotic resistance, which found that at least 2 million Americans contract diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria every year, and that at least 23,000 die from those infections. This is the first time the effects of these infections have been quantified.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Why Voyager 1 Matters

Monday, September 16, 2013

Ann Druyan, creative director of the NASA Voyager Interstellar Record Project, Carl Sagan's widow, and now executive producer of "Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey", talks about the golden records on board Voyager 1 and reflects on the news that it is now in interstellar space. The record project was intended to demonstrate the diversity of life and culture on Earth for future humans or any intelligent extraterrestrial life it may come into contact with. Plus, Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History and author of the book The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet, joins the conversation to talk about the scientific development that Voyager represents. He's the host of the new "Cosmos" series.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Turning Trash into Energy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mike Hart, President and CEO of Sierra Energy, will talk about their FastOx Pathfinder, a machine that turns common trash into useable energy. While still in its infant stages of development, this waste-to-energy system was recently bought by the U.S. Department of Defense in the hopes of reducing oil consumption. He’ll also discuss the ongoing national hunt to make alternative fuels like Ethanol from trash in an environmentally and economically sound way.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Conspiracy Theories; Voyage in the South Pacific; Jane Gardam's Last Friends; Trash into Energy; Doctors without Borders

Thursday, August 29, 2013

We’ll start today’s show with a history of conspiracy theories from colonial America to the current War on Terror. J. Maarten Troost describes leaving rehab and gradually reawakening to life as he retraced the journey that Robert Louis Stevenson made through the South Pacific. Novelist Jane Gardam talks about Last Friends, the final installment in the Old Filth trilogy. We’ll talk to the inventor of a new technology that turns our trash into energy. Plus, find out why Doctors Without Borders is pulling out of Somalia and what its staff is seeing in Syria after the alleged chemical attack over the weekend.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Our Social Lives and Our Genes

Monday, August 26, 2013

David Dobbs explains how epigenetics works and looks at how our social lives affect our genes. Studies have shown that our genes are socially fluid and social isolation can be deadly.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: The Moon

Friday, August 23, 2013

We can see the moon is up there in the sky most nights, but how much do we really know about it? Dr. Juliane Gross, a research scientist in the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, tells us all about the moon--how it got there, why it orbits the earth, and what a blue moon—the kind of full moon we had on Tuesday—is.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Capital Punishment in the U.S.; Wong Kar War on His New Film; Amy Grant; Please Explain

Friday, August 23, 2013

On today’s show, we take a look at two of the most consequential—but largely forgotten—Supreme Court decisions on capital punishment. Director Wong Kar Wai talks about his long-awaited film “The Grandmaster.” Singer-songwriter Amy Grant discusses collaborating with James Taylor, Carole King, and others on her first album in 10 years. Plus, inspired by this week’s blue moon, Please Explain is all about the moon!

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Universe in the Rearview Mirror

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Physicist Dave Goldberg explains symmetry in physics, and tells the story of a holocaust escapee named Emmy Noether whose theorem relating conservation laws to symmetries is widely regarded to be as important as Einstein’s notion of the speed of light. But because she was a woman, she was unrecognized, even unpaid, throughout most of her career. In The Universe in the Rearview Mirror Goldberg makes science comprehensible, relatable, and gripping. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: In Vitro Fertilization

Friday, August 09, 2013

Ten to 15% of couples experience infertility, and assisted reproductive technologies like in vitro fertilization can help couples conceive. We’re finding out how IVF works and what new ways are being developed to reduce the incidence of debilitating and life-threatening mitochondrial diseases. Joining us: Dr. Mark Sauer, chief of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and program director for the Center for Women’s Reproductive Care at Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Michio Hirano, chief of the neuromuscular disease division and co-director of the Adult Muscular Dystrophy Association Clinic at Columbia University Medical Center. 

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