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Science Diction: The Origin Of The Word 'Cancer'

October 22, 2010 12:43 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Around 400 B.C., Hippocrates is said to have named masses of cancerous cells karkinos -- Greek for crab. Science and medical historian Howard Markel discusses a few hypotheses on why Hippocrates named the disease after a crab, and how well cancer was understood in the ancient world.

Puzzling Over A Man And His Cube

October 22, 2010 12:43 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Professor Erno Rubik's iconic puzzle, a simple, yet complex multicolored cube, took the world by storm in the 1980s and sold millions of copies. The inventor will receive a Lifetime Science Education Achievement Award from the USA Science & Engineering Festival this weekend.

Decoding Lunar Crash Data

October 22, 2010 12:43 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Just over a year ago, the LCROSS mission deliberately crashed into a lunar crater, kicking up a cloud of debris --and signs of water. Michael Wargo, NASA's chief lunar scientist, describes other ingredients scientists have identified in lunar soil, a material called regolith.

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Dean Kamen Explores Invention

October 22, 2010 12:43 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

His personal list of inventions includes everything from an insulin pump to the Segway Transporter. He started the FIRST Robotics engineering challenges for students. Now, inventor Dean Kamen also has his own television show, aimed at spreading the excitement of invention.

Physics Of Giant Pumpkins

October 22, 2010 12:43 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

Pumpkins of the Atlantic Giant variety can weigh more than 1,800 pounds. For a mechanical engineer with an interest in plus-sized fruit, like Georgia Tech's David Hu, this raises an interesting physics question: How can the pumpkin get so big without breaking?

Ira Asks: How Are Eyeglasses Made?

October 22, 2010 12:42 pm | by Science Friday Podcast Podcasts Comments

After a prescription leaves the optometrist's office, how are eyeglasses actually made to order? Larry Enright, general manager of Perferx Optical, talks about the shaping, sanding, polishing, cutting and beveling behind each lens' journey into a pair of finished frames.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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