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Science: Episodes

Plain, dry matzo tends to have a reputation for tastelessness. But Dan Pashman, host of the food podcast and blog The Sporkful, argues that the crunchy cracker is a culinary marvel.
From popularizing a feared subject to scaling down high-tech tools, here are two examples of experts solving complicated problems with simplicity.
While the South Texas oil boom has meant a flood of cash and people to formerly impoverished communities, there have also been serious repercussions — namely, rampant air pollution.
A jar of fresh air from southern France, bottled by a Beijing artist, was sold at auction in China for $860. AP correspondent Didi Tang says it's one of many works of pollution protest art in China.
There's no treatment yet for the deadly viral disease, but several approaches are in the works. At least one experimental drug seems effective in monkeys. Next step: safety tests in people.
John Taylor, the curator at the British Museum, discusses how CT scans and imaging are used to discover information about mummies.
The boom has brought unexpected prosperity — and many new problems — to Cotulla. It's in the heart of the Eagle Ford Shale area, which has quickly become the nation's No. 2 oil-producing region.
With little relief in sight for California's record drought, scientists are trying to learn why some clouds rain and other don't. As Lauren Sommer of KQED says, they're finding surprising answers.
The Justice Department wants the settlement with mining company Kerr-McGee to send a powerful message: corporations can't shirk their responsibility to clean up the toxic legacies of their operations.
Social psychologist Paul Piff describes how wealth changes behavior and how almost anyone's behavior can change when they're made to feel rich.
Psychologist Laurie Santos studies human irrationality by observing how primates make decisions — including some not-so-savvy money choices their human relatives often make.
Behavioral economist Keith Chen says languages that don't have a future tense strongly correlate with higher savings.
Basic human impulses often conflict with saving for retirement. For one thing, people hate losing something — even more than we love winning. Behavioral economists call this "loss aversion."
Curators say they'll use the big grant from Boeing to better highlight how exploratory flight — from the Spirit of St. Louis to the <em></em>Starship Enterprise — has transformed the world.
The world's biggest extinction some 250 million years ago wiped out 90 percent of all living things. What caused it has puzzled scientists, and now they think microbes may have done it.
One researcher who participated in the latest U.N. report on climate change says the final product is simply too depressing. Others say the somber tone is justified — but that humans can also adapt.
Since the world community banned whaling, Japan has continued to permit its fleet to kill whales under the guise of scientific research. The International Court of Justice in the Hague Monday ordered Japan to stop whaling in the Antarctic Ocean. Japan says it will abide by the ruling.
A United Nations panel has released a report from scientists who are getting a much better understanding of the effects of climate change.
Twenty years ago, many scientists didn't think that genes could cause diseases like cancer. The discovery of the BRCA gene for hereditary breast cancer changed that. Mary-Claire King tells how.
It's not about making designer beer. Johns Hopkins scientists and undergrads stitched together strands of yeast DNA as a step in exploring the essential genetics of various species: What makes us us?
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