science

Word of Mouth
12:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bacteria Lurking In Unlikely Places

M540-1 Filamentous yeast from spoiled beverage. Filaments and budding. Phase. (1008X) (Maunder)
Credit Microbe World via flickr Creative Commons

Nearly 10 million cases of food poisoning occur in the United States every year. Moreover, one in five outbreaks of food-borne illnesses are caused by food that people eat in their homes. A new report looked at the parts of the kitchen most and least likely to harbor bacteria and the results might not be what you’d expect. Here to discuss the matter is Lisa Yakas, Microbiologist and Manager of NSF International's  Home Product Certification Program and co-author of the report.

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Word of Mouth
10:31 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Hunting For Elements

Credit euthman via flickr Creative Commons

Over seventy years ago, mankind completed an ambitious map unlike any other - the periodic table of the elements – which contained and organized all the known elements at the time. Like other maps, the period table has changed as the geography of its contents - especially since 1941, when researchers at the University of California, Berkeley produced the first man-made element… plutonium.  Many more elements have been added to the list, and efforts to create and research new ones continues –here to discuss this difficult scientific quest is Rob Dunn, biologist and writer in the Department of Biology at North Carolina State University. He recently wrote about element hunting for National Geographic.

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Word of Mouth
3:30 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Breaking: Men Struggle With Understanding Women's Expressions

Credit grosdab via Flickr Creative Commons

A new study by German researchers sheds light on men’s inability to read the expressions of women.  It seems that males are better wired to interpret the non-verbal signals of other men.  Here to add neurological and historical context to our understanding of male/female communication is Tom Jacobs, staff writer for Pacific Standard, who wrote about the study.

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Word of Mouth
2:44 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

The Cicadas Are Coming!

Credit Joe Hanson courtesy of his blog, It's Okay To Be Smart

Drive south of the Massachusetts border this summer and you’re bound to hear the deafening buzz of the 17-year cicada.  From the Carolinas to Connecticut, residents can expect a full-on plague of these large, loud, winged creatures to emerge after nearly two decades of underground hibernation.  We wanted to better understand these bizarre bugs – called “brood-two” cicadas - so we called biologist Joe Hanson, host and writer of PBS digital studios’ It’s Okay To Be Smart.

And if you're interested in a cheap snack this summer, David George Gordon is author of The Eat-A-Bug Cookbook.  We called him to ask, what does a Cicada taste like?

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Word of Mouth
11:06 am
Wed April 24, 2013

10 Breakthrough Technologies For 2013...According To MIT

Credit Pebble Kickstarter

Every year, the MIT technology review publishes a list of ten breakthrough technologies. From health care to environmental sustainability to consumer electronics, the list covers at it all. Here to discuss this year’s picks, just released yesterday, is Brian Bergstein, deputy editor of the MIT Technology Review.

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Word of Mouth
2:41 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Space Law. Yes, That's A Thing.

Credit FlyingSinger via Flickr Creative Commons

For a long time, outer space was conceptually  and legally a no-man’s land – that changed on October 4th, 1967 when the Soviet Union launched a satellite called Sputnik into Earth’s orbit, triggering an international space race and calls for internationally binding laws to govern  space exploration.  Last amended in 1979, the outer space treaty drafted in 1967 facilitated smooth, peaceful interactions between nations capable of probing space.  As the prospect of civilian space travel and settlement appears more accessible, international space law may be in need of revision. Joining us to discuss the field is Michael Listner, President of the International Space Safety Foundation.

Word of Mouth
9:26 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Biological Stowaways: Deadly Ballast Water

A comb jellyfish from the National Zoo in Washington D.C.
Credit greyloch via flickr Creative Commons

Thirty years ago, a North American ship dumped ballast water containing comb jellyfish into the black sea and triggered a catastrophic decline in marine life. A decade later, discharged ballast containing a strain of cholera contaminated shellfish of the coast of Peru, killing more than 12,000 Latin Americans. These cases of biological stowaways are being targeted by the United Nations for regulation – but the treaty that would prevent future catastrophes has yet to be ratified. Fred Pearce is the environment consultant for New Scientist discusses the stowaway problem and potential solutions with us.

Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Word Of Mouth 04.06.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

We bring you a collection of tasty segments we know you'll love, using the powers of public radio telepathy. 

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Who Owns Your Genes?

Credit Wikipedia Commons

As of last month, over forty-thousand patents on DNA molecules have been submitted by private research companies –essentially claiming the entire human genome sequence for profit. The Supreme Court will review the matter at hearing on April 15th, and the outcome could have a significant impact on personalized medicine and scientific research. Joining us is Doctor Christopher Mason of Weill Cornell Medical College’s department of Physiology and Biophysics. He’s co-author of a new study that got our attention, on the issue of genomic liberty.

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Word of Mouth
9:14 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Telepathic Rats

Screen Capture from telegraphtv
Credit via telegraph.co.uk/video

Mr. Spock’s Vulcan ability to transfer his consciousness into another being was a technique he used on numerous occasions in the Star Trek franchise. His colleague Dr. McCoy was, on several occasions, an unwitting recipient of the 'green blooded, inhuman' Spock’s consciousness…impossible science fiction, right? Well, maybe not. Recently, we came across a story about scientists creating telepathic rats in a lab at Duke University. On the line to tell us more is Douglas Heaven, who wrote about the experiment for New Scientist Magazine.

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Giving Matters
12:00 am
Sat March 23, 2013

Getting Kids Excited About Science On The Seacoast

Myra (right) shows a young visitor the wonders of the Touch Tank.
Cheryl Senter NHPR

At the Seacoast Science Center at Odiorne Point in Rye, visitors learn about the science and beauty of marine life and the Gulf of Maine. Myra Sallet is a 13-year-old volunteer who particularly likes working with younger kids who come to explore.

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Education
6:00 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Nashua Students Try Composting For Battery Power

In this photo: Meghan Dezurick, Priyanka Satpute, Christopher Jones and Madeline Doctor in the greenhouse/lab at Nashua North. Not pictured: Theresa Inzerillo and Craig Hammond.
Credit Sheryl Rich-Kern

A team of Nashua High School students is trying to create a bacteria-powered battery that runs off a composter. The team is one of 16 around the country that received up to 10-thousand-dollars in seed money from the Lemelson-MIT Program.

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Word of Mouth
9:21 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Word of Mouth 03.16.2013

Credit Leo Reynods via Flickr Creative Commons

Our niftiest and spiffiest content, all in one great show. This week, a look at the shifting human condition. Holocaust survivors being turned into holograms, a Russian "Swiss Family Robinson" that missed most of the 20th Century, corporate anthropologists, transplant "tourism," the nasty effect of internet comments, and a former professor pens a memoir about being stalked by an ex- student online.

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Word of Mouth
1:38 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

D.I.Y. Sistine Chapel Security: How To Build Your Own Faraday Cage

Yes, I went to Art School. No, it wasn't for illustration.
Credit Logan Shannon via Rob Fleischman's Brain

Want to keep your home as signal-secure as the Sistine Chapel will be during the Conclave? 

Today's segment on Faraday Cages really inspired my inner maker-bot so I asked Rob Fleischman to give me instructions on exactly how to make one. It really does seem surprisingly easy to create one out of a few relatively inexpensive materials easily acquired from your local hardware store.

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Word of Mouth
9:10 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Beware The Nasty Effect

Credit Marco Mayer via flickr Creative Commons

The internet is a technological forum for public conversation, debate and cross-cultural interaction and their very opposites. Reader comments often take on characteristics more like the roman forum…it’s in the comments section where sniping, shaming and mean-spirited insults are pelted like rotten tomatoes onto a stage. A study published in the journal of computer-mediated communication measured the influence of reader comments on the articles they describe.   Dietram Scheufele, John E. Ross Professor in Science Communication at the University of Wisconsin, Madison discusses reader comments and their influence on the articles they cling to. He recently co-authored an article on the subject for the New York Times with Dominique Brossaard, "This Story Stinks"; the comments section for the article closed with 400 comments.

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