science

Word of Mouth
3:15 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Word Of Mouth 02.16.2013

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Our shiniest and sparkliest content, all in one show-tacular program. This week, a Salon writer contemplates the history of "white Southern defeat," a foremost expert on gluten explores the hype around the latest food trend, New Hampshire author Ben Nugent talks about his new novel, "Good Kids," and illustrator Danny Gregory explains how grief was overcome with art. Oh, and Sean Hurley contemplates the danger of skating on thick ice.

You can also hear the show on SoundCloud:

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Word of Mouth
12:04 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

The Science Of Peer Reviews: How Did The Controversial “Arseniclife” Study Get Such Glowing Reviews?

Two years ago, a press conference was held at NASA headquarters, where it was declared that an alien life form had been discovered in Earth’s backyard. It wasn’t green and it didn’t say “take me to your leader”.  But still, this tiny microbe dubbed “arsenic-life” caused quite a ruckus in the scientific community. Dan Vergano is a science correspondent for USA Today and he joins us to discuss his investigation into the study.

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Word of Mouth
12:26 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Word of Mouth 01.26.2013

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Word of Mouth's weekly show that wraps up the best of our content in one great-to-listen-to package.

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Word of Mouth
10:53 am
Wed January 16, 2013

The Kraken Lives!

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Last summer, a team of scientists and filmmakers from Japan’s National Museum and the Discovery Channel captured the first-ever video of a giant squid in its natural habitat off the coast of Japan. The team recently released a clip of the video, which has gone viral on Facebook.


As long as humans have navigated the seas, the idea that these fierce and slippery creatures are lurking just beneath us has evoked fascination and fear. Their elusiveness plays into our love of the chase, which probably explains why every development in the world of giant squid science is big news.

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Word of Mouth
4:18 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

High Heels Are Sexy and Other "No Duh" Research

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The high heel—ever the fashion accessory—has always attracted attention. Turns out (insert astonishment here) that they make the wearer more attractive and more feminine. 


In honor of this not quite surprising research, here are our top scientific no-brainers inspired by the Ig Nobel prizes for thoughtful, humorous and sometimes absurd research.

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Word of Mouth
10:13 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Does Holding a Gun Make You See a Gun?

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A study finds that the very act of holding a gun (even a wii gun!) prompts subjects to identify an object held by another person as a firearm...even when it's just a shoe.

We talk to the researcher behind this work, Jessica Witt of Colorado State University.

Word of Mouth
11:15 am
Wed December 19, 2012

TED's Fight Against Bad Science

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TED is the world-wide home for “Ideas Worth Spreading,” and the non-profit organization’s event videos are watched by an eager audience of millions.  People wanted their own local TED experience, and the TEDx phenomenon grew quickly with over 5700 events since starting in 2009.

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Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Sign Language for Science

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Imagine trying to learn astrophysics without using the word “light-year”. Or study biology without being able to say “photosynthesis”.  That’s the dilemma facing deaf students hoping to pursue careers in the sciences—where new terminology is being coined and communicated on a daily basis. 


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Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

The Discovery of Singing Mice

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Recent studies out of Duke University have discovered that everyone’s favorite lab rat, the humble mouse, has a penchant for singing – and more importantly, singing in tune...in a way.  Producer Taylor Quimby is Word of Mouth’s always willing investigator of strange science, and he has the story.

Check out Cinderella's singing mice. They are true heroes:

Word of Mouth
11:49 am
Wed October 17, 2012

What Is Your Dog Thinking About?

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It’s not often that we stumbled across a story like the one we found in the latest edition of one of our favorite magazines, Mental Floss. It’s a profile of Alexandra Horowitz, who earned her PH.D. in cognitive science and teaches psychology at Barnard College.

Word of Mouth
10:20 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Flight of the Living Dead

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Since 2006, Colony Collapse Disorder has drastically reduced honey bee populations across North America. In California, there’s another emerging threat to the hive that’s straight out of a B-horror film (see what we did there?), a parasite that’s turning honey bees into mindless automatons, or as they’re being called by some, “zom-bees." 

Word of Mouth
5:25 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

The Placebo Effect's Evil Twin: The Nocebo Effect

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If you break a 30-second drug  commercial into parts, you’d hear about 7 seconds of why you should be taking a product, followed by a breathless lists of potential side effects and “ask your doctor today!” That list of potential side effects satisfy legal obligations, but doesn’t stop millions of people from making pharmaceuticals a multi-billion dollar business.  Still, the mind is a powerful thing – and new research shows that informing patients about possible side-effects makes them more likely to experience them.  It’s a phenomenon called “the nocebo effect”.  Chris Berdik is a

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Word of Mouth
4:45 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Word of Mouth 09.29.2012

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Part 1: The Bad Science of the Left/Tweeting Political Poems

Think the right has cornered the market on denying science? No way, says Alex Berezow. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and is co-author of the book Science Left Behind: Feel Good Falacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left. 

and

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Word of Mouth
11:14 am
Wed September 26, 2012

Unicorns, Nessie, Big Foot...Oh My!

The Fur Bearing Trout
VeniceVandal via Flickr Creative Commons

A replica of Bigfoot, a display case dedicated to lake monsters, and the “mystery cat corner” are a few of the sights to see at Portland, Maine’s International Cryptozoology Museum. A little bit oddity, a little bit kitsch, it’s the type of place you might find by walking down a random alley... lucky for us, our adventurous producer Zach Nugent took that walk, and brings us this audio field trip.

The famous Patterson-Gimlin film:

Word of Mouth
1:51 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

The Science Behind Bath Salts

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Last spring, we heard a series of stories of bizarre and violent crimes attributed to people high on the street drug “bath salts.” in Florida, police shot a man who was cannibalizing another man’s face – and a mother tore off her clothes and assaulted her three-year-old son.  Although neither crime has been definitively linked to the deceptively-named street drug, they ignited conversations about the production and complicated legal status of ‘bath salts'.

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