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Science Friday Audio Podcast: Episodes

When the humble garage workshop just isn't enough, or basement tinkerers tire of trying to go it alone, some turn to 'hackerspaces,' organizations that provide space, tools, and like-minded colleagues for unusual do it yourself projects. Kelly Maguire of NYC Resistor and Sean Auriti of Alpha One Labs ...
Are you a first-born? A middle child? A twin? An only child? In his new book <em>The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal About Us</em>, author Jeffrey Kluger describes current scientific research into the effects of siblings on human behavior, from birth order studies to ...
With all forms of federal spending under the microscope, spending on scientific research, technology development, and science education is facing deep cuts. In an editorial in the journal <em>Science</em> Congressman Rush Holt argues for keeping research and development as a key part of the federal budget.
Rush Holt on science fuding, Jeffrey Kluger on the science of brothers and sisters, and building a d.i.y club workshop.
Dealing with psychological trauma, and a video about fungi.
Virus hypnotizes caterpillars before turning them to goo, an ancient hominid threatens to shake up the family tree, and a contest challenges students to move an asteroid.
Studying whether viruses can combat cancer, engineering our highway system, update on the International Space Station.
The crash of an unmanned Russian rocket has NASA considering evacuating the International Space Station. With the shuttles retired, the station relies on Russian rockets to bring astronauts and supplies. Reporter Mark Carreau discusses the future of the space station.
In his new book <em>The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways</em> writer Earl Swift looks at the history and people behind the world's largest public works project-- the U.S. interstate superhighway system.
Writing in the journal <em>Nature</em>, researchers report some early success using a systemically delivered, engineered virus to try and kill cancer tumors. University of Ottawa professor of medicine John Bell explains the study and the response of patients who received the virus.
Reporting in <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em>, researchers write that a strain of the bacterium <em>Yersinia pestis</em> was indeed the culprit behind the Black Death, a point long debated by scientists and historians. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the Plague's history, and its cause.
Reporting in <em>Nature</em>, researchers write of discovering one of the oldest stars in the Galaxy, formed some 13 billion years ago. But one current theory of star formation rules out stars of this chemical composition and mass. Astrophysicist Anna Frebel discusses how such an unusual star might be born.
Reporting in <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em>, researchers write of reducing anxiety and stress in mice by feeding them a probiotic-laced broth. Study author John Cryan discusses how the gut influences the brain, and whether the same might hold true in humans.
Changes in the gut alter brain chemistry and behavior in mice, star chemistry challenges formation theories, DNA detective work and the Black Death.
Update on the Higgs boson hunt, industrial tomato farming, NOAA satellites and forecast ability, and the origins of the word chemistry.
The word <em>chemistry</em> is said to have roots in either ancient Egypt or Greece. Science historian Howard Markel discusses the word's origin, and the modern naming of the field of chemistry by British natural philosopher and alchemist Robert Boyle in his 1661 treatise, <em>The Skeptical Chymist</em>.
NASA and NOAA satellites have been tracking Hurricane Irene as it barrels up the coast. But one type of NOAA satellite, which orbits the poles and helps predict severe weather like tornadoes and blizzards, may soon be out of commission--with no scheduled replacement--leaving NOAA with a blind eye.
In his book <em>Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit</em>, Barry Estabrook writes of perfectly round, orangish supermarket tomatoes--grown largely in Florida--and how the migrants who pick them are sometimes bound into modern slavery by farm bosses.
Physicists at the Large Hadron Collider have narrowed the range of energies at which they might find the Higgs boson, a particle predicted to give all others their mass. Science historian Amir Aczel discusses whether the particle might not exist, and how math sometimes leads physicists astray.
David Hu, mechanical engineer at Georgia Tech, wanted to understand the basic physics of how water striders glide. By filming them stride on food coloring and building his own robotic strider, he found out that the secret to the stride is in the paddle.
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