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9:02 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Changing the Science of Concussion

The UNH Chargers scrimmage
Harriet Jones

Athletes and concussion. There's barely a hotter topic in all levels of sports right now as more coaches and players start to recognize the long-term debilitating effects of repeated head trauma.

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Science News
3:08 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Leaked UN Report Increases Certainty On Climate Change

An iceberg in Greenland is pictured in May 2012. (Ian Joughin)

In a leaked climate report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — a United Nations scientific body that makes definitive assessments on climate change — has determined with 95 percent certainty that humans are responsible for global warming.

The report also increased its estimate for sea level rise, as a result of the warming planet.

The final report is due to come out in September. A draft was leaked over the weekend.

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Science News
5:27 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Lyme Disease Far More Common Than Previously Known

Black-legged ticks like this can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
CDC

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 6:58 pm

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 300,000 Americans are getting Lyme disease every year, and the toll is growing.

"It confirms what we've thought for a long time: This is a large problem," Dr. Paul Mead tells Shots. "The bottom line is that by defining how big the problem is we make it easier for everyone to figure out what kind of resources we have to use to address it."

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The Faith Middleton Show
3:29 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Faith Middleton Show: Authors of Choke and You Had Me at Woof

elizabeth tersigni/flickr creative commons

Why do the smartest students often do poorly on standardized tests? Why did you tank that interview or miss that golf swing when you should have had it in the bag? Why do you mess up when it matters the most—and how can you perform your best instead?

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Animal Behavior
4:50 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Dolphins Recognize The Calls Of Long-Lost Friends

Kai, seen here at age 16 at the Texas State Aquarium, recognized the whistle of another dolphin, Hastings, who he'd shared a tank with for years before the experiment. Kai is now 20.
Courtesy of Jason Bruck

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 pm

Scientists have known for years that dolphins recognize each other by the sound of each animal's signature whistle. But it wasn't known for just how long dolphins could remember these whistle calls.

The individually specific whistle that each dolphin generates before its first birthday "for them functions like a name," says Jason Bruck, who studies animal behavior at the Institute for Mind and Biology at the University of Chicago.

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Here & Now
1:18 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

An Argument Against Standing Desks

(Pace McCulloch)

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:55 pm

One office worker says he enjoys sitting and he’s tired of the “superior moral attitude” from the standers around him.

Writer Ben Crair told Here & Now he accepts the medical studies showing that sitting at your desk is bad for your health. His objection to standing is based on “the pure satisfaction I get from sitting,” he said.

He argues there are other solutions to the health problem of sitting too long.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:50 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Authors of The Wave, Plastic Ocean, and Beyond the Blue Horizon

Todd Binger/flickr creative commons

The Wave. Water waves. Not lazy surf lapping at your toes along the beach. Colossal, ship-swallowing rogue waves; scientists scrambling to understand the phenomenon; and extreme surfers seeking the ultimate challenge. Susan Casey’s account follows the exploits of boarders conquering suicidally large, 70- and 80-foot waves and the physicists trying to grapple with the destructive powers of 1,740-foot waves off the coast of Alaska and tsunamis in the Pacific. Casey is our guest.

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National Parks
12:19 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Wolves Not Linked to Elk Decline at Yellowstone Park, Yale Researcher Says

lanbullock68 Flickr Creative Commons

According to Wyoming's Game and Fish Department, there has been a 70 percent decline in migratory elk calf production in Yellowstone since 1992. For years, researchers suspected predatory wolves were to blame. Now, a new study details a more complex set of circumstances that account for the low calf numbers. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:16 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Can The Humanities Be Saved?

Wikimedia Commons

If you want to think about the way our diminished interest in the humanities amounts to playing with fire, consider the present moment, which includes wind-driven deadly wildfires in Arizona and a tornado in Windsor and the recurrent suggestion that this is "the new normal."

The new normal is incredibly dangerous and getting worse. We have enormous amounts of scientific information that explains why some of this is happening, and what we should do to keep it from getting worse. But as a planet and a nation, we're not doing much. Why? 

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Where We Live
10:44 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Sunrise Of The Summer Solstice

Flickr Creative Commons

The first day of summer promises longer, hotter days. The summer solstice, or the day when the Northern Hemisphere is closest to the sun, is Friday, giving us more light than any day of the year.

But that’s only one of several big astronomical events happening this week, including a super supermoon.  We talk with UConn Astronomer Cynthia Paterson.

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The Faith Middleton Show
8:17 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Science of Skinny

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

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The Faith Middleton Show
8:17 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Science of Skinny

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

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Where We Live
4:41 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Converging Arts & Ideas: Corsets, Bikes, Science and A String Quartet

Tucker Ives

We’re broadcasting live today from The Study at Yale - it’s an annual trip that we make to the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.

As usual, this year’s lineup features a wide array of performances and discussions from a “comic-rap-scrap metal musical” to a talk about our hunter-gatherer past.

Today, we’ll talk with some other artists and big-thinkers about the role of New Haven in this festival and the intersection of arts and ideas.

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News
11:00 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Blue Collar Tech Jobs Highlighted in "Hidden STEM Economy"

Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford

A new report out from Brookings confirms what many in Connecticut might have suspected: science, technology, engineering and math skills are vital to more than just universities and pharma companies. In fact, the study estimates 20 percent of all jobs -- about 26 million around the nation -- are dependent on a high level of skill in one of the STEM disciplines. That's a huge increase over previous estimates.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:22 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

So You Think You Can Fake a Vermeer?

The Colin McEnroe Show
3:12 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Animals Make a Lot of Noise, But Do They Make Music?

Where We Live
10:52 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Gut Check: Befriending Bacteria

creative commons

There are more bacteria in our bodies than there are human cells: about 10 microbes for every cell!

UConn microbiologist Joerg Graf says “If you took a person and removed all the human cells, you would still see the outline of a human body.”

So what are all these bacteria doing? And are they helping or hurting us?

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Labeling Modified Food
5:29 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

In Connecticut, GMO Labeling Bill Passes, But Don't Look for Labels Right Away

Advocates for labeling genetically engineered food gather at Capitol. (May 21, 2013)
CT Senate Democrats

Connecticut lawmakers have passed a “first-in-the-nation” law, mandating the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs in food products. It’s headed to the Governor for his signature, but that doesn’t mean it goes into effect anytime soon.

Passage by the state house was the final step in a convoluted series of maneuvers that included a bipartisan agreement reached over the weekend. It requires any food meant for human consumption to have a label that says “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

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Discovery
10:20 am
Fri May 31, 2013

Yale Researcher Identifies New Dinosaur Species

Nicholas Longrich

You can add another species to the horned dinosaur family.

The recently discovered Judiceratops tigris is the earliest known cousin of horned dinosaurs like the Triceratops and Torosaurus.

Fossils of this species were found in Montana's Judith River Formation, but they were identified by Yale researcher Nicholas Longrich.

The numerous horned dinosaurs show how rapidly they evolved.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:17 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Time Reborn, Revisited, and Reconsidered

Ben Grantham/flickr creative commons

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Business
3:07 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Connecticut Farms Are Thriving

benketaro on Flickr Creative Common

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Where We Live
11:03 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Labeling GMOs and Toxic Chemicals in Connecticut

Masahiro Ihara, creative commons

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.

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News
3:30 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

House Considers Bill On Dissection Choice

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.

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Where We Live
11:05 am
Wed May 8, 2013

The Evolution Of Teaching Science

Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Where We Live
10:37 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Getting Psyched about Science

Chion Wolf

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?

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:37 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

The Mandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Festival, the Essex Steam Train, and Facts

Troy David Johnston/flickr creative commons

Facts change all the time. Smoking has gone from doctor recommended to deadly. We used to think the Earth was the center of the universe and that Pluto was a planet. For decades, we were convinced that the brontosaurus was a real dinosaur. In short, what we know about the world is constantly changing. But it turns out there’s an order to the state of knowledge, an explanation for how we know what we know. Samuel Arbesman is an expert in the field of scientometrics—literally the science of science, and he’ll join us to look at The Half-Life of Facts.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:46 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

The Future of Stem Cells

Idaho National Laboratory on Flickr Creative Commons

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:46 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

The Future of Stem Cells

Idaho National Laboratory on Flickr Creative Commons

Stem cells are the Wild West of biomedicine.

  The commercially run SpaceX Dragon capsule just delivered mouse stem cells to the International Space Station, part of an experiment to see how long periods in space affect living organisms.

  In Scotland, researchers are attempting to make blobs of stem cells in a three-d printer.

  And in Italy, terminally ill patients are being given an untested, unproven and theoretically risky stem cell treatment over the protests of scientists.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:34 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Regaining Balance

Ethan Sherbondy/flickr creative commons

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?

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News
12:38 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

Pfizer Will Tear Down Empty Lab Space in Groton

Harriet Jones

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.

 

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