Vegetables that are genetically modified to resist pests have become a part of our daily diet, whether we like it or not. Several states have been considering legislation that would require the labeling of GMO products, but Connecticut could be the first to pass such a law. Opponents of the bill say there’s no health risk, and a law like this would pass on higher prices to consumers.
The legislature is considering a bill that would allow students to opt out of dissecting a dead animal at school. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. State Representative Diana Urban supports the bill. "There are students who actually avoid going to biology class because they object to using an actual animal in their dissection...And I know there's a lot of teasing that goes on in the classes." Urban says students should have a way to choose to use a computer model or simulation instead. Some high schools already allow the choice, while others specifically don't.
Pennsylvania is no stranger to controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution. When the school district in the town of Dover required creationism be taught alongside evolution, it sparked a national debate. Ultimately, a federal court ruled that intelligent design is religious theory and not a part of science.
Eight years later, a study by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has found faith-based theories are still taught in Pennsylvania public schools and evolution often isn’t taught robustly, if at all.
How is science serving us? And how do we keep kids interested in the field? Those are the big questions we’re tackling today on the program with a panel of scientists and educators.
Microbiologist Arturo Casadevall says “all the major problems facing humanity are scientific problems” -- problems like climate change, pandemics, meteors. He says we need good scientists to deal with these problems. But how do we train the next generation of scientists?
Everybody gets knocked off course. How do you rebalance in an unpredictable world? Bruce Clements joins Faith to talk about the art of restoring balance. Are there go-to tactics that work for most people? Or is the answer different depending on what happens to you? What can we learn from others? How do you get perspective when the clear mind you need is clouded and confused?
Drug giant Pfizer says it’s going to tear down 750,000 square feet of unused laboratory space on its Groton campus. As WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports, the move comes after frantic efforts in recent months to find a reuse for the facility.
An 8-month-old harbor seal pup has successfully recovered from a flipper amputation and is now on view at Mystic Aquarium.
She's called Pup 49, and when she came to Mystic Aquarium last summer she was in pretty bad shape.
"Pup 49 was very thin, she came in with a respiratory infection and she had lots of wounds all over her body, but very severe wounds on her rear flippers," said Mystic Aquarium veterinarian Dr. Allison Tuttle. She added that the wounds got very infected over time.
We all know the story. Monkeys in a science lab, top secret research, something goes terribly wrong. It’s no surprise that most cinematic attempts to depict research like this ends up focusing on what happens to the humans.
But what about the ethics of this research, and what it means for the test subjects? In many cases, chimpanzees have been seen as viable in research because of their close relationship to humans.
Today, we’re talking about ice --- and no, not because of today’s weather.
But the icy regions of our planet are telling us important information about our climate. Ice locks in historical data that researchers are just starting to unlock. They’re finding greenhouse gases trapped during the industrial revolution and even the results of nuclear arms testing.
When a meteor exploded in the sky above Russia’s Ural mountains, damaging cities and injuring thousands, at first it seemed like an event out of a movie, about alien invasion or a nuclear attack - or the end of the world.
Ultimately - we learned that it was simply a natural phenomenon that occurs from time to time - if very rarely. But just how rare is this type of celestial visitor? And are we prepared for the risk?
Most scholars will tell you the December 25th date has much more to do with pagan festivals of the early Christian era. If you want people to celebrate something, pick a date when they're already celebrating.
Somewhere in the United States today, an envelope will arrive at a university math or science department, and in it will be some person's paradigm-shattering idea -- a novel theory that drastically violates or disrupts settled science.
The world is full of outsider physicists and rouge mathematicians. And, of course, one or two of them are basically correct about something. Einstein worked in a patent office. Michael Faraday did not have a university degree.
If I tell you that today's show looks into the near future and sees a wave of new drugs and other therapies that can enhance moral behavior, maybe you'll tell me: enough with the science fiction. But in some ways, the drugs are already here.
Oxytocin, sometimes known as the love hormone, increases empathy and social bonding. And oxytocin can already be taken -- for other reasons -- in nasal spray form.
There was a time when nobody studied dust. In fact, two kinds of nobody studied two kinds of dust. Astronomers were annoyed by interstellar dust because it got in the way of what they were looking at. It took a long time for them to realize the dust itself was worth looking at.
Same goes for earthbound particulate dust. Dust might creep into a sample on a slide if somebody got sloppy. And that was a problem. Only recently did scientists start looking at the dust itself and even cataloging it in, off all things, a dust library.
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many of the nation’s fastest-growing and highest paid jobs require training in science, technology, engineering and math, also known as the STEM fields. But in Connecticut, an estimated 1,000 manufacturing jobs remain unfilled because applicants lack the skills they need.
Many middle and high school students seem to lose interest in studying STEM subjects. For our second report in a week-long series, we explore why.
16-year old Charlotte Harrison says she’s always liked math.
Qualified students in a New Haven engineering and science magnet school will be able to attend the University of New Haven for half price or free, under a program announced on Monday. The goal is to encourage students to pursue serious study in the “STEM” areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
Speaking at Monday’s announcement, UNH President Steven Kaplan said America is lagging behind other developed nations in math and science.
If you're anything like me, your knowledge of neutrinos goes something like this:
They are extremely small. Smaller than other really small things.
John Updike wrote a poem about them.
There's something inherently funny about them. It might be their name. It might be something more than that. And then maybe you saw the coverage of the experiment in which neutrinos appeared to move faster than light.
Mark Demers is a Fairfield University Professor who just got a grant to study “chaos theory.” Could the gentle flap of a butterfly wing in China set off a tornado in Texas? He’ll study the evolution of systems that change over time and attempt to understand their stability and predictability.
In Petersberg KY, there's a Creation Museum where the exhibits at the museum teach that the Earth is 6,000 years old and was created in six 24-hour days. The founders say more than a million people have visited — 80 percent of which are from out of state. It's such a good economic development tool that the governor of Kentucky is supporting financial aid to a companion museum about Noah's Ark, with an ark built to biblical scale, to show people that the whole concept really could have worked.
An earthquake that originated in Virginia this afternoon shook buildings in Connecticut forcing people to evacuate. The quake measured 5.9 on the Richter scale.
Just before 2:00 PM buildings rocked sending state workers out of the Capitol, the Department of Transportation and other state office buildings. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection staff went to the state’s Emergency Operations Center, as a precaution.