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Futures in Biotech 69: The Power Of Yeast Genetics

October 19, 2010 11:42 am | by Futures in Biotech Podcast Podcasts Comments

Hosts: Marc Pelletier and Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., host of This Week in Virology and This Week in Parasitism, Professor of Microbiology, Columbia University, New York, NY. Looking at one of the most powerful genetic model systems: Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Guest: Malcolm Whiteway, Ph.D...

Celebrating The MIT Media Lab's 25th Birthday

October 15, 2010 1:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

In 1985, when high-tech computing meant a Commodore 128, Jerome Wiesner and Nicholas Negroponte formed the MIT Media Lab, the birthplace of innovations such as e-ink for digital readers and the technology behind the game Guitar Hero. Negroponte talks about the lab's past, present and future.

Google Isn't The First To Dream Of Robotic Cars

October 15, 2010 1:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

In May 1958, Popular Science published an article titled "The Car that Drives Itself: The Car in Your Future Will Be Run By Black Boxes While You Watch." Sound familiar? Harry McCracken, founder and editor of Technologizer.com, discusses Google's self-piloted car, and dreams that came before it.

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How Do Immune Cells Find Wounds?

October 15, 2010 1:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Reporting in the journal Science, Paul Kubes and colleagues filmed immune cells called neutrophils finding their way to a mouse's wounded liver. The researchers wanted to understand how neutrophils locate sterile injuries when bacteria aren't around to signal the damage.

Carrying Wind Power, Underwater

October 15, 2010 1:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

This week, investors including Google announced a $5 billion plan to build an underwater transmission line off the East Coast. The line will tie power from offshore wind farms to the Eastern power grid. Willett Kempton, of the University of Delaware, explains the project.

'Pot Book' Explores History And Science Of Marijuana

October 15, 2010 1:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Next month, voters in four states will consider whether to change laws regulating marijuana use. But how much is known about marijuana's effects on the body? Ira Flatow talks with psychiatrist Julie Holland, editor of a new collection of essays titled The Pot Book, about the plant.

Punk Rock Professor Talks Anarchy And Evolution

October 15, 2010 1:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

At the same time Greg Graffin was starting the legendary punk rock band Bad Religion, he was becoming fascinated by evolutionary biology. Both would become lifelong pursuits. He talks about the connection in his new book, Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science, and Bad Religion in a World Without God.

Study Finds Elephants In Zoos Live Shorter Lives

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

A study comparing over 4,500 elephants revealed that zoo life may be harmful to elephant health. Georgia J. Mason, professor at University of Guelph in Ontario and lead researcher on the Science study, explains the findings and discusses what zoos can do to keep elephants healthy.

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Examining An Amnesiac's Brain

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

The much-observed brain of amnesiac "H.M." will be sectioned and preserved for scientists to study. Jacopo Annese, director of The Brain Observatory at University of California, San Diego and the neuroscientist in charge of the procedure, explains what researchers hope to learn.

Cooler Than Fruitcake: Fruit With Fizz

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Looking for ways to jazz up that holiday party? Patrick Buckley, co-author of The Hungry Scientist Handbook, demonstrates how to make carbonated fruit. Materials required: fruit (the firmer the better), a pressure cooker and a handful of dry ice cubes.

Finding A Formula For Movie and Music Preferences

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

There may be a way of accounting for taste, after all. Tim Westergren, founder of Internet radio service Pandora, and Reed Hastings, founder and CEO of Netflix, explain how their companies are trying to develop algorithms that predict whether someone will like a song or film.

Understanding The Science Of Shopping

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

What makes a shopper spend at one store and not others? Paco Underhill, founder and CEO of Envirosell and author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, explains how he sizes up a shop for its selling potential. Also: why spending may not slow even in a slumping economy.

The Biggest Science Stories of 2008

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

What were the most important scientific discoveries this year? From the discovery of ice in Martian soil, to the creation of the first synthetic genome, to learning of new exoplanets, Ira Flatow and guests discuss the science stories that captured the headlines and why.

More Evidence That Eggnog Goes Better With Booze

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

It's a question that many people have on their minds this season: Does spiking the homemade eggnog safeguard it against salmonella? Eggnog expert and microbiologist Vince Fischetti of The Rockefeller University in New York runs some tests to find out.

Study Shines Light On Existence of Dark Energy

October 14, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Astronomers using the Chandra X-Ray Observatory have corroborated the presence of dark energy — a mysterious force pushing the universe outward. William Forman, an astrophysicist with the project, says the findings help explain how the universe evolved — and how it may end.

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