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From Birdcalls to Beantown
1:50 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

This Week on WNPR: Five Things Not to Miss

Hummingbird? Or Dinosaur?
The British Library Creative Commons

There's lots of news to digest this week, from birdcalls to Beantown. Below are a few things you shouldn't miss.

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Health care innovation
11:48 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Forum Explores Innovation as a Way to Improve Nation's Health Care System

The speed of sequencing genes has increased by six orders of magnitude in the last 25 years, according to Dr. Edison Liu.
Credit The Jackson Laboratory

Connecticut Congressman John Larson sponsored a health care forum on Monday at the legislative office building in Hartford. 

"Improving Our Health Care System Through Science and Innovation" was a chance for a panel of prominent health care leaders to tout how innovations in their area of expertise are saving lives and pulling down the cost of health care.

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Disease
1:41 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Smallpox Virus Found In Unsecured NIH Lab

Not something you'd want to find: Smallpox viruses infect a cell.
Science Source

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:10 pm

Scientists cleaning out an old laboratory on the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Md., last week came across a startling discovery: vials labeled "variola" — in other words, smallpox.

Under international convention, there are supposed to be only two stashes of this deadly virus: one at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and another at a similar facility in Russia.

The CDC swooped in to collect the vials and carted them off to a secure lab at its Atlanta headquarters.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:51 am
Mon July 7, 2014

ADHD and Managing Emotions

Credit FutUndBeidl/flickr creative commons

We focus this hour on one of the nation's most respected clinicians and researchers working with teens and adults who have ADHD. Dr. Thomas E. Brown is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. (There is sometimes a link between ADHD and autism.)

Dr. Brown's new book, Smart but Stuck, looks at how managing emotions plays a key role in the lives of those with ADHD, including those who have high I.Q. scores.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:33 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

How Personality Shapes Our Lives

Credit Willi Heidelbach/flickr creative commons

Respected researcher and psychologist John Mayer says we can become the best version of ourselves by building our “personal intelligence” to understand ourselves and perceive what makes others tick.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:02 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Can Technology Save the World?

Wendell Wallach is the Chair of Technology & Ethics at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Chion Wolf

Let's take the most dire problem facing humankind: Climate change has so many negative implications it would take all day to list them. Meanwhile, there's the possibility of a sudden acceleration of a problem caused by the melting of Arctic ice, which exposes more ocean water to warming, which causes more melting, which causes more...well, you get the picture.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Modern Age of Science; Connecticut Bull Osborndale Ivanhoe

Horia Varlan
Creative Commons

Back in March, a team of Harvard scientists claimed to have found the first direct evidence of gravity waves from the Big Bang. Within a matter of hours, their story had made its way around the Internet, spreading across blogs, news sites, and social media.

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Climate Change
3:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

As Sea Levels Rise, Norfolk Is Sinking And Planning

The naval base at Norfolk has had to build two levels to its docks to accommodate rising sea levels. The water level has risen about 1 1/2 feet since 1920.
Yuki Noguchi NPR

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 11:25 am

From the water's edge in Norfolk, Va., the U.S. naval base spans the whole horizon. Aircraft carriers, supply centers, barracks and admirals' homes fill a vast expanse.

But Ray Toll, a retired naval oceanographer, says the "majority of [the naval base], if not all of it" is at risk of flooding "because it's so low and it's flat."

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Once Thought to Be Caused By Demons, What Do We Know About Epilepsy Today?

The CDC says often, it can be difficult to find a definite cause of epilepsy.
Saad Faruque Creative Commons

Historically, people with epilepsy were thought to be possessed by demons. Research has come a long way since then, but epilepsy remains mysterious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 26 people will be diagnosed with epilepsy in their lives. Annually, it costs more than $15 billion in medical costs and reduced work production.

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Seeking Ospreys
7:02 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Why Osprey Nest Sightings in Connecticut Matter

The Connecticut Audubon Society has launched a new program to track the number of ospreys in Connecticut.
Fifth World Art Flickr Creative Commons

The Connecticut Audubon Society wants to get a better handle on osprey populations in the state. To do so, the group is launching a new citizen science program called "Osprey Nation."

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Soccer Science
3:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball.
NASA's Ames Research Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:45 am

While many millions are enjoying the drama of the World Cup, a handful of scientists are keeping their eyes very closely on the ball.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:06 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

An 11-Year-Old Wants to Open a Restaurant

Credit Tony Hisgett/flickr creative commons

This is a story about a little girl named Chelsea Wheeler, who lives in rural Oxford, the kind of small town that used to have a post office barber shop in one room. It's also the kind of town where citizens contributed at Town Hall to a giving tree set up in the Wheeler family name.

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Preserving Michelangelo
11:58 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Carrier to Install New HVAC System in the Sistine Chapel

The famous frescoes of the Sistine Chapel
Antoine Taveneaux Wikimedia Commons

Farmington-based Carrier is to install a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Sistine Chapel as part of an effort to preserve the frescoes of Michelangelo.

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Made in Connecticut
9:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Connecticut Vaccine Company Gets $50 Million in Federal Funding

The Meriden labs of Protein Sciences.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Meriden’s Protein Sciences has been awarded a multi-million dollar extension to its contract with the federal government to provide flu vaccines.

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Pregnancy
1:20 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Early Pregnancy Blood Test Reducing Need For Amniocentesis

Credit C-HIT

A simple blood test is transforming the world of prenatal screening, offering women a risk-free way to learn about fetal abnormalities early in pregnancy.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:43 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Choose the Life You Want

Credit mendhak/flickr creative commons

In his New York Times bestseller Happier, positive psychology expert Tal Ben-Shahar taught us how to become happier through simple exercises. Now, in Choose the Life You Want, he has a new, life-changing lesson to share.

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Spineless Wonders
11:04 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Mating Season in Long Island Sound Is Prime Time for Horseshoe Crab Researchers

Every May and June, horseshoe crabs wash up on eastern shorelines to spawn.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It’s mating season for Long Island Sound’s horseshoe crabs. Every year, a group of biologists from Sacred Heart University scour Connecticut’s beaches to track and tag these ancient creatures. I met up with one group in Milford, under a full moon at midnight, to learn more.

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Genetic Modification
8:46 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Will Vermont Be Able To Defend Its GMO Labeling Law On Donations Alone?

A fund to help Vermont fight lawsuits from national food corporations has raised just over $15,000 -- a small portion of the $1 million to $5 million that the state would pay in the event of a suit.
michaelquirk Thinkstock

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 8:34 am

Vermont’s effort to require labels on foods made with genetically modified ingredients has garnered lots of out-of-state attention – and cash.

According to data from the Agency of Administration, money from out-of-state donors makes up the majority of the state’s "Food Fight Fund," the holding account for money that will ultimately help the state defend the law in court.

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Food in Space
12:04 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

The Salad Frontier: Why Astronauts Need To Grow Lettuce In Space

Astronaut Steve "Swanny" Swanson tends to lettuce plants growing at the International Space Station that may one day make it into his salad.
Courtesy of NASA

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 3:14 pm

Have you ever craved a salad, I mean really craved a salad because you've been eating a lot of freeze-dried meat and beans?

Astronauts who spend months on end in space sure do miss their greens. That's why NASA is embarking on a program to get astronauts growing their own food. First stop is the International Space Station and a vegetable production system called Veg-01, or "Veggie."

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Climate Science
11:46 am
Sun June 8, 2014

A Christian Climate Scientist's Mission To Convert Nonbelievers

Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is also a devout Christian.
Courtesy of Katharine Hayhoe

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 5:56 pm

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

Last week, the Obama administration announced historic regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Policies to address climate change have been a tough sell among some Republicans on Capitol Hill, but also in many Christian congregations around the country.

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Technology
12:53 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Listen: How the Internet Works

Lit-up servers serving.
Tristan Schmurr Creative Commons

Have you ever wondered how your favorite cat video reaches your computer? Some questions stump even the most techno-savvy adults. 

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UV Rays
8:20 am
Wed June 4, 2014

What Can a Tanning Bed Do to Your Brain?

Endorphins are released when you're in a tanning booth.
g-stockstudio/iStock Thinkstock

The Food and Drug Administration will now require tanning beds carry a warning label saying they shouldn't be used by persons under the age of 18. Tanning beds emit UV radiation that may cause skin cancer. But the beds may also cause changes to the brain.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:19 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Musical Prodigy Emily Bear: What Explains Maturity and Talent in Children?

Credit MaxiuB/flickr creative commons

As a result of repeated sound exposure while in the womb, it now appears a baby can later recognize these sounds, even the theme song of its mother's favorite television show. In other words, there is "neural memory." This is what we learned from a Science magazine story, examining the key findings of a Swedish study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (The author is cognitive neuroscientist Eino Partanen.) Does this explain something about the child musical prodigy? 

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Hurricanes
12:59 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

In The Midst Of A Historic Lull, Atlantic Hurricane Season Kicks Off

Barbara Cassidy stands in front of her Davie, Fla., mobile home one month after Hurricane Wilma destroyed her home in 2005. Wilma was the last major storm to make landfall in the U.S.
J. Pat Carter AP

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 1:57 pm

The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is now officially upon us. And it comes in the midst of a historic lull.

Time explains that it's been 3,142 days since a Category 3 hurricane or stronger made landfall in the United States. The last one was Hurricane Wilma, which at its peak had winds of 185 mph and made landfall in Florida in 2005.

"That's an unprecedented streak, going back to 1900—the longest drought before the current one was nearly 1,000 days shorter," Time goes on.

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Global Warming
9:34 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Connecticut Meteorologists (Reluctantly) Talk Climate Science

Bruce Berrien Creative Commons

Earlier this month, the National Climate Assessment was released, and the results are less than stellar. The report says, “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.” The release of the climate assessment report prompted both of our local talk shows to tackle climate change last week, from very different perspectives.

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QRZ
4:24 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Celebrating 100 Years of Ham Radio

The American Radio Relay League Celebrates 100 Years this May.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

This month marks the centennial of the American Radio Relay League. That’s the largest association of ham radio hobbyists in the United States that is headquartered in Newington, Conn. WNPR paid a visit to “the mecca of ham radio” where each year hundreds of people converge to broadcast signals across the globe.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:14 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

ADHD and Managing Emotions

Credit lord amit/flick creative commons

We focus this hour on one of the nation's most respected clinicians and researchers working with teens and adults who have ADHD. Dr. Thomas E. Brown is Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, and Associate Director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders. (There is sometimes a link between ADHD and autism.)

Dr. Brown's new book, Smart but Stuck, looks at how managing emotions plays a key role in the lives of those with ADHD, including those who have high I.Q. scores.

Read more
The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Why Diets Fail

Credit Thomas Hawk/flickr creative commons

Many have blamed sugar for dieting failures, but this new book, Why Diets Fail, is the first one backed by current research from the food addiction lab at Princeton University, and it zeroes in on how dieters can get through the make-or-break withdrawal period.

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Tune In
1:29 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

The History and Science of Ham Radio

A wall of old ham radio rigs.
Bill Hammond Creative Commons

On May 18, the American Radio Relay League celebrated its 100th anniversary. It's the largest association of ham radio hobbyists in the United States, headquartered in Newington.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

A Conversation with Dan Brown; the Charles W. Morgan Sets Sail; the History of Ham Radio

J Holt
Chion Wolf WNPR

Author Dan Brown has written some of the biggest blockbuster books, from The Da Vinci Code to his latest book, Inferno. He’s coming to Hartford next month to talk with John Dankosky at the Bushnell. This hour, he joins us for a preview of that conversation.

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